Day 28, 29, 30, and 31…

Day 28- amnesia

The weekend was so full that I got behind on writing.  Now, I honestly don’t remember what I did on Thursday.  I do remember it not being a very great day for the Goeke family.  A lot of hurt was incurred.  It’s probably a good thing I can’t recall all that happened on that day.  Even in my forgetfulness, I am reminded of all that I receive because of Easter morning.  Namely, God’s merciful amnesia:

 “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

Day 29- pow, pow

We surprised the kids by taking them to the Rodeo after school.  Paul and I had a chance earlier in the month without children.  Now, we wanted them to experience all the drama and excitement for themselves.  As the rodeo began, the stadium lights went out and fireworks were set ablaze.  Judah, stood in my lap, bug-eyed and jaw-dropped.  When all the smoke of the indoor explosions cleared, in a faint voice he said, “pow…pow…”  I said, “Yeah, Buddy, that was cool, huh…” To which he replied, “Mo…mo…”  Unfortunately, he had to wait 3 hours through all the rodeo events for more fireworks.  We took in the dust and the smell of livestock waiting for more big bang action.

To be “powed” by the Maker, by the display of His glory…this is the effect the cross and resurrection can have on us, if we are willing to bear our eyes wide to the expansive explosion of all time that occurred there.  All Old Testament prophesy collided in the man, Jesus, who proved His God-nature by rising from the dead three days later.  It all met at the cross, at the tomb, there with Mary as she looked up to the glowing face that knew her name.

Honestly, I never rest in that moment very often or for very long.  I rarely think about that morning, when she ran to tell all the others that their beloved Jesus was no longer dead.  I’m not taken in by the ‘pow’ daily.  I focus more on all the manure of the mundane life I live.  If only I could marvel more at the resurrection and take in some spiritual “pow.”

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’  Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’  She turned and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).”

 John 20:15-16

Day 30- showers

Today, I took a shower then went to a bridal shower in a rain shower.  The day seemed to be covered in showers.  Sheets of water fell behind window panes set as a backdrop for the future bride as she was showered in gifts, blessings, prayers, and words of wisdom.  I was reminded of The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  Women of all generations festively helping to usher the next young bride into the tent of marriage.  Such joy, such hope, such beauty.

Adding these varying kinds of showers to Lent has been a helpful reminder, yet once again, of all that is showered upon me through Jesus: His joy, His hope, His beauty.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61: 1-3

Day 31- worship

This morning I had a chance to be a part of the worship team at church.  What joy it is to worship.  I am thankful for the opportunity to humbly worship Jesus, whether from my seat, or the stage, or by the side of my baby’s crib.

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.”

Psalm 29:2 


“He has done it”: R&R Retreat 2015…

I knew He would come through, yet I still clinched doubt behind my back.  I kind of had to believe the truth of His promises.  It is after all what I tell my preacher-boy husband every week: “Don’t worry, He’s gonna show up and do His thing…despite you, even.”

Jesus came and delivered this past weekend, despite me…and, of course He would.  The Spirit of the Lord hovered over every facet of the R&R Retreat of 2015.  Multiple times I found myself in tears over the worship and the people.  God is so good…and so BIG.  Such simple words, but yet so incredibly hard to comprehend.

He led His daughters through beautiful imagery found throughout Genesis, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the Psalms.  He reminded us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully…mud.”  He breathed life into our dust, then planted a garden for us out of love.  We witnessed His raging rivers full of provision.

We sat among the cinders, repenting in ashes of our depravity: our idolatry.  We abused all that He meant for our good.  We mourned our losses.  We asked Him to search our hearts, for only the Gardener can tend His crop and prune at the appropriate time.

He heard us.  He listened.

He promised to replant, to rebuild, to restore.  “I will do it,” declares the Lord.

Then, He did a miraculous thing.  He took a tender sprig from a tall cedar and named this planting: Jesus–the strong tree that holds all of creation under it’s umbrella of safety.  His blood outpoured for us all–He redeemed the world on yet another tree.  The epitome of God’s glory revealed in His dying and His rising.  Not for our sake, but for the sake of His Holy Name.

He beautifully exchanged all that we long to loose, with all that we long to hold.  Our loss is nothing and our gain is everything.  He replaced cinders with splendors, a cross with a crown, thorns with a throne, and misery with majesty.  The poor received good news.  Broken hearts were bound.  Captives were set free.  Prison chains were unleashed.  The mourning were comforted and became glad.  Their ashes replaced with beauty.  Faint spirits began to worship and praise!  Our fertile mud, packed tight with potential energy, sprang forth a shoot.  He called us “Oaks of Righteousness”.  We became the sought-after ones of God.

We spoke of thanksgiving and magnified His holy name.  Our leaves absorbed His light and produced sticky joy that will sustain us through all seasons.  Our foliage, of varying seasons and colors, display His glory and we are made beautiful.  Our roots stretched into His word (and His track record) and we learned to bloom where we are planted.  Our past fruitless branches with wilted leaves, have been pressed beneath the mud to produce fuel that fans into flame His splendor.  We bear fruit…lots of it…NOW.

Our dry bones have become an army, released with violent energy, to do a great work for Him.  His changing agent: His breath, His touch, His planting… fill our lungs.

I was planted this weekend…amidst a whole forest of Righteous Oaks.

I had nervously questioned His provision.  But He said, “I will do it.”

And He has done it.

In barren and desolate ground,

A fistful of mud’s all I’ve found.

But you make it beautiful…

You make it beautiful.

I take of the fruit and enjoy,

Abuse all that you have employed.

Can you make it beautiful?

Please make it beautiful.

When all the debris

Settles on me,

You are all I have.

When I can’t maintain

My own plan to gain,

Will you redeem me?

Beautiful.  My broken heart you bind.

Beautiful.  Your spirit anoints this head of mine.

A holy unmatchable breath

Is wildly engulfing my chest.

You’re making me beautiful.

You’re making me beautiful.

A new heart in me,

You cause it to be.

Oh, fall afresh on me.

For love of your name,

All mine is gain.

For You breathe new life in me.

Yes, You breathe new life in me.

Beautiful.  My broken heart you bind.

Beautiful.  Your Spirit anoints this head of mine.

Beauty from ashes,

You make me beautiful, I am beautiful.

A garment of praise,

For You are holy, You are worthy!