holy tuesday

We’ve reached the point in our holy week where there doesn’t seem to be much out of the ordinary going on. Jesus is with His disciples and He’s still teaching them via parable. We have the one with the two sons (not the prodigal…), the one with the vineyard owner, and the one with the wedding banquet.

We also get to hear about Jesus’ anointing at Bethany.

“Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped his feet with her hair…Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in. Jesus answered, ‘Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.'” (John 12:3-8 CSB)

I don’t know if Mary knew what she was doing – that she was preparing Jesus for burial. But I do know that her act of worship was a costly one. She literally poured about three hundred day’s wages on the feet of a dirty traveler and wiped them with her hair.

Can you imagine the stance of humility she had to take? Pouring out expensive perfume, bending to the ground and wiping Jesus’ feet with.her.hair.

I don’t even like to wipe my own feet with soap in the shower. Let alone, someone else’s with my face right next to them.

The point is – her worship was costly. Yet it was worth it.

Judas gets angry.
Jesus blesses her.

Jesus acknowledges that she is worshiping in such a way that she may not even know – she is preparing His body for what is to come.

I don’t think my worship is often costly for me.
My closest friends offer safe space for conversation to work out what we believe and lean into in our relationships with Christ.
My church is literally named Refuge – offering a place for the weary to come and have some spiritual rest.
My family has always expressed trust in Jesus.
My worship of Jesus is expected.

My worship has not been costly.

I wonder what it would look like for me to bend down at Jesus’ feet this week, offering up my safe worship for something that will cost just a little bit more…

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holy monday

This Monday does not feel holy.
It started out feeling holier than my previous few Mondays, but then I quickly remembered that I forgot a timely work task and yelled a curse word at my empty apartment.

Yet, here we are. Monday of Holy Week. Holy Monday. The day where Jesus entered the temple and turned over the table of the money changers and called them out for turning a house of prayer into a den of thieves.

He was v upset.

I remember a song that I used to listen to on my non-skip cd player that had a deep voice declare at the end of one of the very Christian songs, “My Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer.”
The version of the Bible I read today doesn’t say it quite like that, but still…

I got to thinking about another time Jesus was in the temple, but a lil less upset. He was 12 and he traveled with his parents to Jerusalem for Passover, as ya do. Jesus, being the perfect pre-teen that he was, stayed behind when his parents were done with the festival. They realize they’re missing the Messiah, so they turn around and go back to get him. His response?
“Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49 [CSB])

Even then, He was telling us who He was – Son of God, Son of Man.

I doubt the instance we read about in the later chapters of Matthew, Mark, and Luke was the second/only other time Jesus visited the temple. I’m sure he went many times, as was the custom for Jewish people. Yet the people still didn’t get it.

Don’t you know it’s necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?
Don’t you know this is a house of prayer, not profit?
Do you have any idea what is about to happen to this temple?
Do you know that I am the One you all have been waiting for?

Luke tells us in chapter 19 that as Jesus approached the city of Jerusalem before His final Passover, he wept for her, because she “did not recognize the time when God visited you.” (19:44).

Do we know that God has visited us?
Do we know that redemption is available?
Do we know that He is the One who has healed the broken hearted and bound up their wounds?

May we recognize the time when God has visited us, and may we take a tight hold on the Savior who weeps over us and longs to bring us peace.

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Palm Sunday

Today is, as the title suggests, Palm Sunday. One of the holiest days on the Christian calendar, marking the beginning of Holy Week. In other news, Easter is next week you guys.

This day marks Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem, sitting on a donkey’s colt as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9. This was also how King Solomon entered the city when he was declared king. Jesus’ entry told a story to those that witnessed it. It was not random that those gathered kept shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

They were ready for their King to come, overturn the Roman authority, and finally rule and reign in power forever.

But the week that started with a lost of promise for the Jewish people quickly went sideways, and in 5 short days, their King was dead.

We’ll get to that part of the story later this week.

The thing that really struck me today as I read through the Gospel accounts of the Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19) is that in each of them Jesus said, “Go and you will find a donkey and her colt. Bring them to me. And if anyone says anything, respond by saying, ‘The Lord needs them.'” (Kayla International Paraphrase)

Jesus gave instruction and gave an answer for potential roadblocks to the disciples’ assignment. He knew that someone would say something about some random travelers coming into town and taking a donkey that didn’t belong to them. He provided them with an answer, with a way out. They went, people asked what the heck they were doing, they responded exactly how Jesus told them to, and they got what they came for.

I kinda love that we don’t have their reaction to Jesus’ request in Scripture. I, for one, would’ve had a lot of questions for the Messiah.

I, for one, do currently have a lot of questions for the Messiah.

What struck me today is that sometimes, Jesus gives an answer. He gives His disciples the exact thing to say/do to get to the other side of their problem.
And other times, He doesn’t.
But what He always gives His people is Himself.

As Holy Week begins, I have a lot of questions and currently zero answers. But I have Jesus.
May He be enough.

getting uncomfortable

I spend a lot of my life around coaches.
The daughter of a coach.
A washed up athlete that had a lot of coaches in a lot of sports.
An employee of an organization that has a mission statement with the word “coach” in it.

I spend a lot of my life around coaches.

I’ve come to realize recently that coaches speak in ways that non-coaches/athletically minded people don’t. No person in their sane minds says things that coaches/athletes say.

They say things like:
“Get used to it not feeling good!”
“If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not working!”
“You’ve gotta get to where you think you can go no further, and then keep going!”
“Why are you here?! You didn’t show up just to take it easy!”
“When you feel your weakest, that’s when you’re actually getting strong!”

And my least favorite: “You’ve gotta get uncomfortable! The other side of uncomfortable is where growth happens!”

Also, I said “speak” earlier, but what I really meant is “yell.”
Coaches yell.
My mom does this fun thing where, when she’s in a gym or a large room of any sort, she can’t speak at a reasonable volume. She has what we have dubbed a gym-voice. And we have to remind her sometimes that our ears are literally 1 foot away from her mouth.

Anyways.
That line about getting uncomfortable has really been messing with me lately.
Uncomfortable is a thing that I have been a lot recently. I’m feeling some sort of way, but the only way I can describe it is as, well, uncomfortable. And I don’t like it. I want comfort. I want ease. But I don’t have it.

And as a follower of Jesus, if I’m honest, all I really want is eternal security. I don’t want to pick up my cross daily. I don’t want moment-by-moment sanctification. I don’t want accountability and course-correction. I want comfort.

Yet, I think the Lord is asking me to lean in to the uncomfort. I think He’s telling me that on the other side of uncomfortability is where growth happens. That when I feel my weakest, I’m actually getting stronger.

I don’t like to think of God as a coach that is telling me to do rounds of mountain climbers, tuck jumps, butt kickers, and burpees; yet, He might be. He just might be pushing me to the edge of my spiritual muscles so that stronger ones start to form and I’ll be even more prepared for pushing His Kingdom forward in my world.

I think a lot of us want to enter into life with Jesus and meet it with ease. But that’s just not how it goes. A good coach doesn’t let you off easy. They push you until you think you can’t go any further, and then you go further. And that’s what the Lord is doing right now. Pushing me, then taking me further.

If being uncomfortable will lead me to deeper, richer, fuller life with Jesus and those around me, then I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

Also, if anyone has any tips for muscle soreness, subscribe to my YouTube channel, slide into my DMs, or comment below.

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here’s to hoping.

Hoping, like expectation.
Not hopping, like a bunny.

Just want to make sure we’re clear on that.

As shocking as it may seem, 2020 has begun. I don’t know about you, but I definitely didn’t see it coming. This sucker snuck up on me.

And like I’ve done for the past few years, I thought I’d write a recap of my 2019 word of the year. I know you all have been waiting for the last 24 hours for this one.

A year ago, I declared 2019 the year of hope. Romans 5:5 says, “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

A year ago, I already held a lot of hope for what was to come. I was expecting great things in and around me. I could feel deep in my bones that it was going to be a turning point kind of year, and that I would fully experience the first part of that verse: that my hope would not put me to shame.

In a lot of ways, it didn’t. Babies were born, I went to NYC (by myself, might I brag…), turned 30 and was surprised by the bestest humans on the planet, relationships grew deeper than I could have imagined, and a lot of darkness was brought to light. The love of God was truly poured into my heart, through Holy Spirit and His people.

But in a lot of other ways, 2019 can kick rocks. Brokenness never seemed to take a break, for myself and those I hold dear. In ways that feel both trivial and gigantic at the same time. It was just…well…not hopeful. The tunnel got darker and the light at the end grew dim.

It was the opposite kind of turning point than I had originally thought.

The thing I know to be true in my head: God is kind. God is faithful. God is for His people.
The thing my heart still loses its grip on: hope.

Hope that God is those things.
Hope that I will see His goodness on display in me and for me.
Hope that all that is sad is coming untrue.

And yet…
He is.
I will.
They are.

And that’s exactly why 2020 will, again, be the year of hope. The year that I ask the Lord for restored and renewed hope. The kind of hope I didn’t know I needed a year ago.

At the end of it all, my hope will not put me to shame because it is in the One who defeated shame. The One who chased after the naked man and woman after rebellion and covered them – covered their shame – so that they would feel some sort of safety with themselves and one another. The One who ultimately brought hope to those of us that feel lost and hopeless through Jesus.

See ya never, 2019. But 2020, I’m expecting more from you.

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