Week 40, Day 1 (-15 pounds)
Heart: I haven’t had much time for sewing or gift-making lately. Our schedule is crazy right now, and will be for a couple of months. But, I’m finding myself surprisingly at peace with the chaos. I think that being home with my kiddos is one of the biggest factors! I don’t feel like I’m missing out on time with them, so I’m alright. I can get my laundry and housekeeping done during the day and our crazy evenings and weekends are free to be crazy! I hope we don’t have to keep this up long-term, but for now, we’re definitely making it work!
Soul: The Good Friday service at our church this year was awesome! It was so emotional for me, but also extremely profound! I’ve heard the Easter story over and over for years, but this year our Pastor spoke on Barabbas. I know about Barabbas. He’s the murderer the crowds chose to have released instead of Jesus. I feel like the general feel about that situation is that the people were idiots. Had they just made the wise choice, had they not been swayed by the religious elite, had they just chosen to free Jesus, He wouldn’t have had to suffer. But that perspective almost implies that it was all based on chance, and I don’t believe that it was. I believe that God knew exactly what would happen. In fact, our Pastor suggested that more than just knowing, perhaps God wanted it to happen that way.
Maybe God wanted us to see a man who deserved to be crucified, a man who deserved what was coming to him, walk free. Maybe God wanted us to see Jesus literally take the place of a man who was rightfully to be beaten, mocked, and hung on a cross. We don’t see Jesus trying to argue for His own defense. Maybe because He loved Barabbas enough to let him walk away, to literally take his place. Maybe rather than imagine that I was simply some random person on God’s list of “Who I love”, I need to realize that I am a Barabbas. I deserve to pay the penalty for the mistakes that I’ve made. And Jesus steps in, without so much as a word, and they unlock my chains and haul Him off to pay my penalty.
How often do we describe the mercy of Jesus using financial examples? “Imagine you had a great debt to pay and Jesus just showed up and paid it.” That’s how we try to explain the love of our God!? That doesn’t even begin to touch the depth of the sacrifice He made for us! Imagine you’re standing on a stage, convicted of and sentenced for the stupid things you’ve done in your life. Imagine they pull Jesus up on stage next you, a man who’s done nothing but love and heal people. Imagine they walk over, unlock your chains and put them on Him. They strip Him of His clothes, they mock Him, they beat Him… all the things that are supposed to be happening to you, and you just stand there and watch this man take it for you. He doesn’t say stop, He doesn’t ask you to make it right, He just loves you so much He’s taking it all for you. Wouldn’t you want to make it stop?! Wouldn’t you be screaming, chasing after Him, trying to convince them that He doesn’t deserve it?! Wouldn’t you be humiliated in shame and fear as the crowd watched this man pay your penalty?! But He just wants you to let Him take it. He just wants you to live your life. When it was over, and He had paid your debt, wouldn’t you spend the rest of your life telling everyone who would listen?! Wouldn’t that become your life mission?! To make sure that everyone knew exactly what this man did for you, so that you could be free?!
If you have a few minutes, you should check out this video. It’s absolutely incredible!
Strength: Well, I’m down 15 pounds and I feel great! I love this new eating plan! It’s getting easier the longer I do it as I’m getting more familiar with my options for meals and snacks. I even made it through Easter dinner! Holidays are one of the first places I drop a diet because I have this inner voice that begins to panic. “What if I never celebrate another Easter?! Do I really want to spend this one without a dinner roll?” “Do I really want my kids to remember our holidays as yucky because Mom was on another diet?” But, I was surprised to find that I actually quite enjoyed our Easter dinner, I didn’t even mind the lack of a roll on my plate. And, because I brought several of the dishes, my plate was loaded with food! Turkey, roasted veggies, deviled eggs, fruit, raw veggies, etc. No one even noticed that I didn’t take a roll! The kiddos loved the meal, they weren’t even fazed! I even made dessert (a raw earl grey lemon cheesecake) so we could all have dessert together! It’s amazing how silly our fears can be once we face them, but how scary they can be if let them have control.