Friday, April 14, 2017

how can you love Good Friday?

Good Friday has always been my least favorite day of the Holy Week.

I know it is the day that the price for my salvation is paid.
I know that without it, I am lost and good for nothing.
I know that in those holy moments of pain and terror, Jesus chose us over Himself.

I know it is our best day...but it feels like our worst day.

Because Good Friday is a horror movie kind of day.
I don't know about you but I am not good with blood.

I want to skip over the gore of Friday to the high hope of Sunday.
I want the angels with their bright glory and tombstones flung back.
I want the gates of hell to be shattered and the power of death to be broken.
I want Mary Magdalene, racing with joy down the path towards the disciples,
yelling at the top of her lungs, "He is ALIVE! I have seen Him!"

This...I love. I love everything about Easter morning.

But I wish there was a less brutal version of the crucifixion.
Something more palatable. Something a little less over the top.
My Christian sensibilities can't quite handle all that carnage.

I can't bear the thoughts of thorns piercing Jesus' forehead sending blood trickling into His eyes.
Or the cackle of the Roman soldiers as they send the whip singing into His bared back.
Knowing that He must have shouted out in pain and wept into the ground.

I hate thinking that He suffered...alone. Not a friend in sight.
That He was betrayed by the ones He loved best of all.
That His dignity was in shreds and
that people who weren't good enough to kiss His feet saw Him naked...
and showered Him with spit.

I can't stand it. I really can't.
I don't want to think about it. I don't want to ponder it.
I don't want it. Any of it.
Because it is so ugly. So brutal. So wrong. So evil.

I can hardly stand the thought of Jesus, bent and bowed, straining under the weight of the cross,
staggering up the hill to the place where He knows He will die.

I cringe thinking about each strike of the mallet against spike
and knowing that His screams tore the air.

The laughter of the centurions as they gambled for His robe?
John and Mary, His mom,
holding each other up as they watch the cross lifted and dropped into place?
The heaving of Jesus' chest as he tries to get a morsel of air into his lungs?
His desolation at feeling abandoned by His Father...
the One who has asked Him to do this heart shattering work?

 I hate it all. Good Friday is a nightmare.

I hate every. single. thing. about Good Friday until I hear His words.
The ones torn from his lips that were cracked and dry with thirst.

Father, forgive them. They have no idea what they are doing.

It is in this moment...that His heart is on display.
It is thundering in His chest.
It is broken and bleeding out for all to see.

And His heart is for us.
The ones who put Him there.
The spitters. The haters. The nail pounders. The mockers.
The gamblers. The whip holders. The deserters. The hate filled.
The killers. The despots. The bitter. The angry. The lost.

His heart is for me.
And for you.
At our worst. At our most desperate.
He is pouring out grace and forgiveness.
He is heaping loving kindness on our heads.

And He is calling out to His Dad,

Don't give them what they deserve.
Let me take it instead.
Because I want them to know you.

He held himself there in that place of pain
so that you and I could be free.
So that we could see how deeply and terribly He loves us.
So that we would know that
there was absolutely nothing that He would not do on our behalf.

The miracle of Easter is grounded in the gore of Good Friday.
The power of His love is poured out for us with His blood and tears.
His depth of His pain and suffering on the cross shout of His faithfulness.
His benediction... It is finished... ushers in our deliverance.

Captives set free.
Blind eyes opened.
Those who sat in darkness blinking in the light of hope and freedom.
Bringing all of who He is into the chaos of our lives.
Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Goodness. Peace.
And love.
Love upon love upon love upon love.

And that?
That is what makes Good Friday the LOVE-liest day of all.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

You guys...the cat has gone rogue...

I don't know if it is appropriate to ask for prayers for a cat.
They are kind of haughty and prideful creatures.
They do their own thing. They can withhold their affection.
But we have to come to love one, especially, in our house.
His name is Toby.

We have had him for four years.
We got him a week after my dear friend Shelly died.
He has been a comfort. And a joy. And a source of laughter.
We especially appreciate the love/hate bond that he has formed with Flash, the dog.
They have been known to eat together and cuddle.
And when Flash gets too wild, Toby gives him a pop to the head and puts him in his place.

But when we had our crazy move two weeks ago, Toby went AWOL.
We were feeding him at our old rental until we could get into the new rental.
And there were tons of people coming in out of the house doing repairs.
People that were not us.
And took off.

He is a tomcat so he loves to roam.
It is not unusual for him to take off for a few days.
The boys thinks that he loves the ladies.
That may be true.
But this....this is unusual.
He has never been gone this long.
And we are sad.

I keep wondering, "What is he thinking? Does he think we abandoned him?"
I have cat guilt. I didn't even know that was a thing.
Pets work their way into the fabric of your lives and hearts and become
a part of your family story.
Now a furry piece of our story is missing.

We have been leaving food for him.
He is eating it. Or we are feeding an impostor raccoon. We don't know.

We go to the house multiple times a day. Calling him.
Doing our special whistle
that let's him know that there is food for him.
But he is off the grid.

We have alerted neighbors and texted them pictures. We have gone to  the SPCA. No luck.
Our next steps is hanging posters. Flash wants his cat back.

Will has had dreams about finding him. Toby used to sleep with him every night.
Addison wants to buy a security camera and stake out the back yard.
Their hearts are hurting.
Who knew you could miss a cat so much?

Jack asked me last night, "Have you given up yet? Toby had a good run."
I said, "Nope. Not yet."
We would like a longer run.

Somehow this new house will not quite feel right until that fat cat is lying, purring on the couch, hugging my shins and taking swings at his frenemy, Flash.

So we have been praying for Toby.
I know this may seem ridiculous to some of you.
I get it.
The world is in crisis...why am I wasting prayers on a feline?

I guess because....we love him.
He is ours.

And I figure if God cares about the sparrows and knows where each one is...
He knows where Toby is. He can take care of the world and Toby at the same time.

He has shut lions' mouths and spoken truth through a donkey
and used a whale as a form of transportation....
He has ways with His animals...He might send Toby home.
It is a small thing for Him to do but a big thing for us.

If by chance this doesn't happen,
we are also praying that Toby finds some new people to love him.
To cuddle him. And kiss him. And scratch him between the ears.

But Toby...if by chance you are on someone else's couch, eating their snacks
and reading this post...get your rear back home.
It's not the same without you. Don't be scared.
Addie promises to not squeeze you too hard when you get here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

change makes me feel cuckoo crazy...

So I know it has been quiet over here at the Tired Supergirl blog.
That would be because of all of the chaos.

Let's just start by saying that moving is not for the faint of heart.
I forgot how wild it makes you since I haven't moved in over a decade.
And downsizing from a 4 bedroom to a 2 bedroom?
Kind of like putting on the jeans that you wore in college after 10 years of child bearing.
It would be a lie to say it has not been a bit of squeeze.

After cleaning out our old house of 11 years of detritus...
I was trying not to cuss in my mind.
Because I know cussing is not right.
I am a girl who loves a good turn of phrase.
I tell the children, "You can always find better words to use than cuss words."
And yet, certain un-holy words seemed super well suited to the task at hand
as I loaded my forty-eleventh box full of crud  that I don't ever care to see again.
It wasn't pretty but we got it done.

By the end of February, we were finally packed and all ready to move into our new rental.
But due to some renovation wasn't ready for us.
Jesus, hold us close.

So for the past two weeks we have been staying with some wonderfully hospitable friends,
escaping for a couple nights at a hotel via some dear friends' generosity,
dropping our kids off with cousins and living out of suitcases.

For those of you who are homebodies like me,
you will understand it has been unnerving.
I have been un-moored.
I told my friend, Marty, "I thought I had dealt with all my control issues."
Nope. They were just in hiding. Waiting to be revealed in all their glory during this move.
(Say a prayer for Scott and the children. It's been getting real over here.)

And then there was the fact that I couldn't find my underwear.
Scott had packed up our closet the last day and they vanished in the melee.
My boys couldn't find theirs either. Which had me calling out,
"New underpants for everyone!"
Because you can't be sleeping on the floor and not have underpants at the same time.

This past Saturday we moved into our new little house.
And finally could take a deep breath.
Then I realized that the bedrooms
were so packed with boxes and furniture that it looked like a hoarders episode.
That laid me flat out. Like a pancake.

Our marriage has been stretched.
That is a nice way of saying that Scott and I DO EVERYTHING THE OPPOSITE WAY.
and this tends to increase tension.
There have been some emotional moments searching for Addie's lost ukulele
and toothbrushes gone rogue.
Some tears and more hugs than usual have been needed.

The IKEA triple bunk for the boys almost did us in.
At one point the ENTIRE family was working on trying to put it together.
We gave up after two days.
We could not get the screw holes to line up on the frame.
Will worked for hours trying to adjust the frame with an Allen wrench. And a screwdriver.
And then back to the Allen wrench.
Jack is studying Dante's Inferno in school.
Scott and Jack agreed that one of the rings of hell is surely occupied
by people putting together IKEA furniture that never fits.

But, by God's grace and the help of our friend, Juan, all three boys slept in
the bunk last night.
A high and heady victory. A path has been formed from the living room to the kitchen.
I found a candle to light. I even located my underwear yesterday which was a special bonus.
Hope of clean bedrooms and curtains being hung
are beginning to round out the corners of these crazy days.

Change is exhausting. Anyone who says different is lying.
Anytime you are ripped from your comfort zone, things are likely to go awry.
Transition reveals all your soft vulnerable spots and your rough edges.
I have realized how much further I have to go in being like Jesus.
REALLY SO VERY FAR. Not until heaven, folks. Not until heaven.

I have had to apologize repeatedly to the children as my emotions have gotten the better of me.
"Yesterday when I said I would try to do better and not yell at you, I meant it.
Right up until that time that I yelled at you today. Can you forgive me....again?"
There has been a great need for grace and snuggling as we have all felt out of sorts.

This seems both ironic and right with Queen of the Universe coming out.
A book I wrote for moms who need encouragement.
And me being an angry mom who is pulling all of her hairs out.

I was supposed to be facebooking and emailing and promoting the book last week.
It would have been great to be able to say during book launch week,
"Hey, I have this mom thing figured out even when life is crazy. Nailing it!"
But mostly I should just say, "I am completely un-nailing it."
Falling apart. Undone.
Jesus, take the wheel.

A lot of times the high and holy call of mothering takes place in complete chaos
with us being imperfect and anxious and wanting to cuss.
That is why we need Jesus so much. We can't actually do it on our own.
This is what real life looks like. Messy. Unpredictable. And full.

And we stumble our way through and Jesus grabs us up in His arms and
reminds us how much He loves us in spite of the mess.
And tells us that even though we are a mess, He is not leaving us there.
He has a plan. A path. A way to bring us closer to Him.
He has our family in a vice like grip even now.
I can feel His peace coming on even when I don't know the location of my deodorant.

I know that Jesus has something for us to learn in this year of small house living.
I am beginning to think it is trust. Trust in His love. In His timing. In His provision.
Trust that even in the midst of change...He can
And that....well that changes everything, doesn't it?