What Easter means to me this year.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter is a time I find leaves me in quiet contemplation & reflection.  Maybe it's because the autumn days are getting cooler & the longing to stay cuddled under the covers seems stronger that I spend more time in my morning devotions (I do it first thing sitting up in bed each morning still covered with our quilt).  Maybe it is because the first term of the school year always seems the most difficult - getting into routine, seeing how the work has changed & knowing that to get through the rest of the year I'm going to need the strength that only the Lord can provide me to get through the sheer quantity of work ahead of us. But truthfully I think it's because Easter is the real essence of our faith - it is the reason we are Christians.  Let's face it if He hadn't died & then  risen we would have no reason to worship Him - He would have been no different to a troublemaker ( that He was accused of being by the religious leaders of that time).  But He did indeed rise again & I am so thankful for that - He conquered death so that we who are sinners can have eternal life.

This Easter I've been thinking about Jesus' time in the garden of Gethsemane just before He was arrested - when He was praying - the wrestle between His Humanness and His Godliness. Although my struggle is nothing in comparison,  it seems I've been wrestling with God a whole lot lately.  I'm sad to admit that my sinfulness has raised it's ugly head once again (sigh) & I've been trying to tell Him how I want my life to run - what I want to happen, the timing that I want.   I am mature enough in my faith to know that's not the way it should be - I have to let Him be God & I have to submit my will to Him.  I have to give up my dreams to Him & instead ask Him to allow His will to occur.  This is hard....very, very hard for me.  It's something that I've struggled with for the last couple of months & it's almost a daily struggle for me to give up this selfishness & instead trust Him - even if His will is different from my dreams.  It's not that my dreams are wrong or even sinful - it's not that what I want is against God's word, but it's more of a trust issue.  Trusting that even though there's nothing wrong with what I want that God wants the absolute best for me & that He will guide me in that way - if I let Him. Sure I know that it may be what I've dreamed of, His will may be what my heart desires are, but it's more about trusting Him rather than what the dreams are - more about submitting to His will than planning ahead as if my will will happen (does that make sense - I may someday share what I'm struggling with, but not now - I'm not ready - I'm still struggling too much).

I even know from past experience that trusting Him is the best way & has the best outcomes.  When we moved down here I really did not want to move so far from our old life.  Although I was looking forward to farm life that was all that appealed to me down here - I hated leaving friends, family, our pretty cottage, my abundant gardens, our support, but we did.  Although moving was one of the most difficult things I've ever done it's only now as I look back that I am so thankful that God guided us down here.  You see one of the joys of my life is home schooling my children -in fact I love it & wouldn't consider anything else now, but had we stayed up there I would never have considered it.  The children would have attended the lovely Christian school that I attended (& there's nothing wrong with that either - it's just that for us home schooling fits so well).  Had we not moved we wouldn't have found the most wonderful church family in the world who have challenged us & helped us to grow in so many ways.  Dave may not have a group of strong Christian men who study God's word with each other, challenging each other & praying together. So I know that we can trust in the Lord to guide us in the best.  But that's just it - I know that, yet I struggle- then I get frustrated that I'm struggling with this - it seems to be a circle at times. 

 So this Easter as I think about Jesus' sacrifice I am more glad then ever - my sinfulness atoned for - my selfishness forgiven.  I am so glad that Jesus didn't give into his humanness & instead chose the difficult way, but the only way to give us -those who believe on His name- the way to be called children of God - full forgiveness & the door to eternal life.

What lessons are the Lord teaching you this Easter?

Have a blessed Easter remembering Jesus' sacrifice & then His amazing resurrection all for you....



aunty sel said...

Hi Narn,
Thanks for sharing. And for your pretty pictures, the top flower one is beautiful.
I have also discovered that it is not a good idea to dictate to God. Even if it is for good stuff.
I have just woken from nightshift, but am very excited about my gold coast holiday.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

The challenges of moving away and starting again are something I am all too familiar with. You gave up so much but God gave back and blessed you in different ways as you have shared. This has been our experience too. I sometimes think what my life would have been like had we taken the 'conventional' route - couple of kids, maybe a few more later on - we had originally planned on 4! (And would have missed out on the blessing of twins. So thank you God for taking us on this journey!) 'nice' Christian school, time in the day to myself for hobbies and organizing and deep cleaning my house, opportunities to attend the craft groups, Bible studies and conferences. I struggle with the assumptions other Christians make about me - I think that 'they' think that I'm just that 'Above Rubies woman' with all those kids. You know Renata, no one even bothered to ask me if I would like to attend the Hillsong Colour conference that our ladies go to every year. I was feeling very much excluded. Quite selfish of me really - I wanted to go and have a break from the 'routine' and enjoy lattes with others between the sessions. (I enjoyed a latte in town today but had to keep a close eye on an active one year old who wanted out of his stroller!) In conversation with my husband later, I realized that he appreciates the sacrifices I make to be at home and raise these children for the Lord. He tells me that the guys at his work think he has the best deal ever - a wife who stays home and loves to cook for her family. Even teach the children! I was quite encouraged by that. More often than not the encouragement I need to keep on going comes from people outside of the church.
Hey, I hope you have a most blessed Easter. My son is off to Easterfest in Toowoomba but the rest of us will be enjoying Easter at home. A time to celebrate and enjoy the life that we have been given because of His Sacrifice. When I think about it - I give up 'lattes with the girls' and conferences - He gave up His life. Puts it all into perspective for me!

Smilie girl said...

A wonderful reflection Renata.
I've been thinking on Easter as well with preparations for Sunday school and that's been good for me. That God had a plan right from the beginning of time and that he has followed it through.
Now, I just have to be a whole heap better at letting God have control.
Happy Easter Renata.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

It is seriously like you have put down what is in my head. For real! Thank you for sharing....makes me feel like I am not alone. Now to keep going....keep remembering that God's plan is greater...keep remembering the goals and not the side bars that happen.

Unknown said...

A lovely post Renata... I can relate all too well to it, I'm sorry to say. I'm struggling right now with wanting things that the Lord has said in His word are things we should desire and yet are completely under His control and I am need to be content with such things as I have. ♥

Grandma said...

Hello Renata, Thanks for your lovely words and photos...One of my favourite verses when thinking about Easter is 2 Corinthians 5:21 "He made Him who knew no sin to BE sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"...Jesus didn't just suffer the physical pain of crucifixion (and it would have been horrendous), but He became the very thing He most detested (which is why His Father could not look on Him as He hung on that cross.) That verse is one of those that are worthy of deep meditation - I always think of it at communion time - but I don't think we'll ever grasp the true meaning of it in this life. But I'm sooo.....glad He loved us enough to do it...
God's ways are the very best ones for us - He does know what He's doing. Our part is to trust in Him and not forget that He sees our life as a whole, as part of His plan - we only see the here and now, the little bit. The number of times I've thought I'd known what was best for me and pleaded with God for (and then been grateful later that He didn't answer me). Many, many years ago when I first became a Christian I prayed a very solemn prayer that God has honored - I asked Him to never give me anything that was against His will - no matter how much I pleaded for it. (I have to be honest there's been times when I was disappointed not to get my way, but, when I've looked backed I've been able to say "Thank You Lord sooooo much for not giving me whatever". But of course, there have been sooooo......many times when He has given me what I've asked for, and I can say Thanks for that...
Okay, enough of my little sermon - I'm so grateful that our God is such an amazing God and I could go on and on and on but won't.
Sent some pressies down with Nanny & Grandpa. You need to go through them - there are a couple for later on, but we'll talk about that.
Lots and lots and lots of love. Enjoy your visitors!! Hugs & Kisses to all the darlings. Love Mum xxx

Linda Stubbs said...

God is faithful........30 years ago I left Alaska.....cried the first year........now so thankful the Lord lead us.......my honey was found by the Lord.......and our life changed so much.

Hugs sweetie friend, Linda

Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Gayle said...

(((Renata))) I just want to hug you, my friend. It is SO HARD to wait and trust. But He is so good, and I just believe that He would have never taken you this far to drop it off at this point. Always know that you are prayed for here in the States, dear heart. I'm so glad to have each other. <3

Ruby Jean said...

Hello Renata,
What a blesssing it was to see your little Avatar pop up on my new blog.. : ) It is as though what you have said spoke right into my heart and soul...Often times we look at the outside thinking that somenoe else has it all under control..when on the inside they are struggling with the very same things we are going through...
Thank you for sharing your heart as it has given me cause to be able to walk on....

Looking forward to keeping in touch with you...

Cassandra said...

I know it's late but Happy Easter Renata and thank you for sharing this post.
You are still in my prayers, for both your desires and peace for your heart. (((gbh)))
Take care sweet friend
Cassandra xx

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