When Easter is for you, too

This week.

I can’t help but be overcome by what it means. It is a day so immensely special, there are no words which could truly describe the impact of such an event that was catastrophic to all that is broken and fallen; an event that brought about the perfection of freedom. It is where the ashes of our messy lives could hope to find beauty and where all that was lost could now be reclaimed. We are on the cusp of a day where we will sacredly observe an act of obedience that was carried out, so perfect and true; an act which resulted in our penalty being taken on fully and in every aspect – pain, death, and separation. His blood for mine. This week…well, it a celebration of justification.

The other thing? Well, as if all the above was not enough…we also get to celebrate one more thing: Resurrection.

This day we celebrate what death could not hold; we celebrate an empty grave. The humble Christ Jesus, rising victorious as King over all and with the chains of death, broken, in His grasp. A day that holds the promise for newness and holds the promise of freedom.

This day means:

  • Every wayward son and daughter, now has a new hope. Their pasts and their hearts now have a place to shed their brokenness and their rebellion. Because of the cross and because of a risen Lord, they now can stand faultless…they are redeemed, they are new.
  • The hurt and ache of a broken marriage that is held firmly in sin’s grip of death, no longer needs to despair and mourn. The fallenness that wants to destroy and steal away what does not belong to it, has no bearing when given to the One who prevails over the fallen world. In and through Jesus, there is now hope and a future for any and all marriages. Ashes redeemed.
  • The tragedy that struck without permission…stealing and snuffing out all happiness…can be given to the One who can heal hearts and redeem sorrow for true and lasting joy.
  • The heart that is held captive by the yearning to please constantly, there is freedom in Christ. The selfish and vain nature which is found at the root of this bondage, can be given a security and wholeness through the One who is perfection.
  • The heart and body who experienced betrayal and shame from another person, maybe someone who had something stolen they could never get back, no longer has to bear all the pain and “dirtiness” they carry deep in their hearts anymore. Jesus took the full weight of that on the cross and His resurrection destroyed its hold. He can wash and make new. Freedom from another’s sin imposed on you.
  • Hearts that mourn and are broken…there is healing.
  • Frustration and anger, there is a calm reprieve. A place to cast off those feelings which control so uncontrollably. The one who controls the raging waves of the sea, has the power to control and calm the rage inside of you.
  • The one whose body craves the thing that it most wants to be rid of…there is hope. Jesus is stronger than any addiction. When eyes want to bleed over images, when throats want to be quenched by fire, when bodies shake for that next fix, when minds want to wander to those places where no one returns from unscathed…There is freedom found in a Redeemer who has conquered the slave-master of your heart. The death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, is your freedom-song.
  • Pride, jealousy, greed…all chains fall at the feet of Jesus.
  • The one who struggles with self-worth, Jesus pours His love into you. You are worthy and loved by the King and He has the power to wash away unworthiness from your heart and mind.

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:10

You are the lost. I am the lost. We are the lost. All was and became lost in that garden long ago. But, what was lost in the garden…was redeemed on the cross and restored because of an empty grave. What was unraveled, is knit together. What was stolen, is redeemed. What was broken and ruined, is restored.

All that He accomplished through death and resurrection is ours…free. GRACE.

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – not from works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

A gift. A gift of rescue, free, through our faith that He can and will save us. His gift, to be free from works…for any other way would lead to further bondage and sins of the heart – so that no one can boast. It is through Christ alone.

I hope that this Easter season, this Holy week, will resonate strongly in your heart. I pray that the impact of what occurred, will flood you. I want you to be overwhelmed by the event that changed the course of this world forever.

“Our savior displayed on a criminal’s cross
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That’s when death was arrested and my life began”

“Death was Arrested” – North Point InsideOut

Happenings at the Hollow

March is here and we are nearly into month 5 of this RV living thing. Our little shop home is coming along, you can follow the progress on our Instagram account: @rustlinghollow, and we are slowly making this new place more “ours”.

Most recently, we have tackled the overwhelming job of clearing brush and junk left over from the previous owner. We are trying to get as much cleared before the real warm-up begins, which will inevitably bring about all kinds of nasty little bugs and slithery creatures. Also, clearing the brush and debris of the land will: 1.)Most importantly, keep my poor husband from contracting “the rash” again and again…he has had a perpetual poison ivy rash since we moved out here. 2.) Most, most importantly – I get my space for my chicken coop/run. Ya’ll knew it wouldn’t be that long before I would find a way to get at least a few chickens. Even the kids are missing them.

Here is a “before” picture of one of the area we worked on…


Here is the “after” picture of the same area…

Life in every other sense of the word is moving along, as life tends to do with or without said permission.  I was watching the kids play a few days ago and I couldn’t help but feel that little tug that sometimes grabs my heart and pulls until I feel a little lump in my throat. The growth, I see it unfolding before me – They are growing up and they are growing to be such great friends. While the growing up piece of it is something I sometimes struggle feeling happy about, the growth in the relationship I see happening amongst them absolutely warms this mother’s heart.

Just as their little selves are growing, so also are the minds. I have one who wants to read everything his little eyes can take in, another who loves to sit and study the pictures of book after book, and one who enjoys sitting all cuddled up by someone while enjoying being read to…especially if it happens to be a dinosaur book. The weather has been particularly lovely, which has been perfect for my little nature explorers/scientists. They can spend hours and hours outside studying, discovering, and constructing various experiments and projects.

Of course, all the outside playing/working has resulted in an extra trip to the laundromat every week. So a once a week chore, has now become a twice a week chore. However, with the weather warming up, I find myself hopeful. There is talk happening between my husband (you know, the guy who is trying to renovate a metal shop into livable space for his family) and myself —- I do believe I have convinced him to build me a clothesline. The washer is an easy hook-up; so having a clothesline available and the weather being nice, my bi-weekly trips to the laundromat with three kids may soon be a thing of the past.

Well, that is all the happenings I have time for sharing this go around… my little crew is starting to getting the tummy grumbles, which means dinner time is right around the corner. So, off I go to figure out what I will be making…since it is 5:00 and all. I need to get back to my weekly menu planning…

The Big Move

I see the words written in my journal. When asked how we ended up here on this new journey, I must go back to the pages that hold some of my prayers and reflections. The month was January and the words, – “Should we sell our house”…with a notation, “then what”. This was not something that we had talked about or a thought we had even entertained. I was confused as to why this question was settling itself somewhere inside of me.

February comes and goes, we have formed an outlook, a forecast if you will, for what our plans and goals were for the next five years. Somewhere, after year five — that is when we thought we would revisit the idea of selling our house. But, God had different plans. 

Words written in my journal, the month is now April. The idea of selling hasn’t been shaken, even after a set plan in place. I pray for direction and why this thought is being pressed so…I don’t understand it. My husband and I begin to entertain the idea. So, maybe it is sooner that 5 years…maybe we are looking at 3 years or so.

We begin to dream. A house sold, a mortgage paid off…and all of a sudden, life is looking vastly different. A big metal home on a small piece of land. Maybe 2 years from now.

Late July. Maybe, we buy land and pay on it while living in our current house?  We look at different plots of land…even made it to the point of taking the steps to making an offer on two. As we moved forward with making an offer, each piece of land disappears…sudden buyers come in and swoop it out of our grasp. We are confused. We are disheartened. But somewhere in our own frustration and our own unknown, the whisper becomes even louder – it is time to sell.

We are now in the first week of August. This is not making any sense. We have no where to go, not even any plans on where we could go. Nothing about this seems right. We wrestled. We doubted. We encouraged each other in our doubts. We prayed. We moved forward.

A text was sent to our friend-and-now-realtor. We were really doing this. She scheduled pictures…two days later she scheduled three showings…the next day we had an offer. Doubts were smashed, Just.Like.That.

The day we got the offer, we went out and drove around…almost aimlessly. Up until this day, we had not had any luck finding anything within a price range we were willing to pay and/or we could not find a location we felt was right. Our hearts were wide open…maybe our destination was not meant to be here. We prayed some more.

Then this day. We quite literally, happened upon the piece of land we now call home. The vision that had been placed in our minds, was here…it even had the large metal shop (though not big and grand, perfectly sufficient).

A long process then began: more praying, more doubting, more unusual circumstances, more detours, more trusting and more surrendering. A process of selling and buying that, altogether, took us two months. It was the craziest experience I have ever been through, ever. To rely on and make drastic decisions based on blind faith and trust, was not something I was not altogether familiar with…but His faithfulness was more than true and His grace was more than sufficient.

This beginning part of our journey, it stretched our faith and our endurance. We were tested and we hit (many) peak moments of stress. Moving is not for the weak, especially when it is a rather sudden thing…an unplanned thing. But there we were, weak…and moving. Many times, I was brought back to a moment I had in February of this year. While in deep contemplation and prayer with God, He challenged, as well as directed, me – “Don’t be afraid to step into obedience. Trust Me”.  This kind of obedience and this kind of trust…it is more than I can accomplish on my own. It is only because of Him that my husband and I were able to obey Him in this new journey and it is also only because of Him that we made it through this time. His peace was always just a prayer away and He supplied it freely and perfectly.

This journey we are now on…well, we don’t quite understand it yet ourselves. All we know it has been an interesting one; we also know — that it has only just begun.