I hope everyone had a happy day making great memories with family (or, if you weren't with family, I hope you had a great day with friends!) Yesterday's Jesus Calling reading actually spoke more to me than today's, and I felt that it pertained more to the meaning of Easter (since Jesus died for us on the cross, and we are celebrating his resurrection). Let me start this post by sharing it with you:
I love you regardless of how well you are performing. Sometimes you feel uneasy, wondering if you are doing enough to be worthy of My Love. No matter how exemplary your behavior, the answer to that question will always be no. Your performance and My Love are totally different issues, which you need to sort out. I love you with an everlasting Love that flows out from eternity without limits or conditions. I have clothed you in My robe of righteousness, and this is an eternal transaction: Nothing and no one can reverse it. Therefore, your accomplishment as a Christian has no bearing on My Love for you. Even your ability to asses how well you are doing on a given day is flawed. Your limited human perspective and the condition of your body, with mercurial variations, distort your evaluations.
Bring your performance anxiety to Me, and receive in its place My unfailing Love. Try to stay conscious of My loving Presence with you in all that you do, and I will direct your steps.
This means to me...no matter how "well" I do in any given day as a follower of Christ, it does not affect how much He loves me. Let's take Lent for example. I use this time to renew my relationship with God, and I was absolutely successful with that. However, accidentally eating meat in my turkey sandwich on a Friday when I was sick and not thinking straight does not send me to Hell. I made a mistake, and it's fine. My performance does not affect how much He loves me. I gave up doubt for Lent, and I was SO successful with this. I was always thinking about God's plan and how He knows what He is doing for me and for my life. It helped me significantly with my anxiety. I gave up soft drinks for Lent, and although I did crave them, I didn't cave in. I drank more water, I steered clear from temptation, and I really enjoyed my tall fountain coke today that I drove to a gas station just to pick up. I vowed to write in my prayer journal every day during Lent. I went to Mass on Ash Wednesday, came home and wrote in my prayer journal, and haven't picked it up since. It's ok!!! I am loved no matter how well I did during the Lenten season AND all the time as a human being. My performance and His love are different. I found that reading easy to relate to and totally insightful. How was your Lenten experience? Please share it with me!! I wish I'd written more in my prayer journal, I wish I went to church more, and I wish I got that post up about recipes for Lent. Other than that, I am very pleased with my Lenten season, and I enjoyed my Easter today with my family very much.
Now for the rest of my break!!!
On Tuesday night, Sydney and I flew home together. It was so nice to fly with someone else; usually I'm flying by myself. We got home very late, as our flight was delayed 3 hours.
Wednesday was Sydney's 18th Birthday! I went with her to get her belly button pierced (the same thing that I did on my 18th Birthday) and out to breakfast. I came home, played with my sister's kids, and had a home cooked meal with my family. We played cards and had a low-key night in!
Thursday I had one of my doctor's appointments for Africa, and then I went out to lunch with two of my cousins, Katie and Rachel. I finally got my cream of crab soup and crab pretzel I've been craving!! SOOO amazing!! Then I took my Godson to T-ball practice. Every minute that I spend with those kids is the best minute of my life. They are my whole world! I love to watch them play, laugh, and grow. They melt my heart.
Friday was another Africa preparation day. I had another doctor's appointment, then I headed off to Patrick's to get a much needed manicure and pedicure! If you live in the Columbia area, make your appointment with Laura ASAP. She's amazing!
Saturday...the busy day. First stop: The Color Run! I'd been wanting to do this for a long time and finally found a convenient time and place. I went to Camden Yards with Sydney, Leah, Lauren, and Raynna. It was a beautiful day to run and it felt so good! We had a lot of fun.
That night, we all went to Sydney's house to celebrate her 18th Birthday. It was a great night with good food, good drinks, and good friends. When all of us get together, we make the best memories. There is so much laughter. I am so proud of Sydney, being the little adult that she is, getting ready to make some of the best memories of her life as she goes off to college. She is going to do great.
Today was Easter Sunday! The day was spent with my wonderful family and my sweet little baby bunnies. Three of them were in South Carolina, and I missed them very much. Three of them were here with me and were cute as can be. They are my heart and soul and my main reason for coming home as often as I do (even though it's really not that often).
Tomorrow I go back to school. We are also celebrating my roommate Erin's birthday tomorrow night! I am so blessed to have such amazing people to say goodbye to at home and to return to at school. I'll be finishing up my sophomore year in these next few weeks and heading back to Maryland before we know it!
Goodnight everyone :)