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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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29

Monday 9th April 2012

Every Morning Is Easter Morning From Now On

Overnight, the first of the blooms on the Easter lily bowed its head to die.

Passion Week has ended; I don’t want mine to.

I want the Resurrection Day to be the start of something big. Oh it was. The resurrection was colossal, cosmic — the biggest thing to hit Planet Earth. But I need continued, colossal change in me, long after the leftover Easter ham is consumed.

I want to live an audacious, Passion life that reflects that fact that I have a Savior who lives.

I need Jesus.

I pull a single dying bloom from the lily on the kitchen table. Three more remain.

dying Easter lily

The fragrance of these trumpet-shaped blooms will linger for days. But by next week, the scent will be a fading memory. You know, we could leave our Easter celebrating on the dinner table, next to dying lilies.

It happens. And not just to the once-a-year worshippers who checked out churches yesterday. It also happens to the people who return to the sanctuary every Sunday to sing, to lead nursery, to stuff bulletins, to pick up Cheerios between the pews. I might smugly think I’m immune. I am not. But I am this: Forgetful. I forget about Passion.

We forget because we’re human — not because we’re failures.

We’re prone to crumble in times like these: When the bill is overdue. When the errant child won’t come home. When the doctor gives the diagnosis that you feared. When your husband splits.

Me? I crumble over far lesser things. I panic over lost keys. I cringe over stubbed toes. I fret over things like to-do lists and unfolded laundry.

I forget there’s a Risen Savior. I forget that, as my husband reminds me gently, “God’s Got It.”

I need more Passion, not only in my week, but in my year.

It’s true. I need to reorient my vision on Christ.

But Jennifer, haven’t you said that before?

Um yeah. Good point, friend.

Let me confess: I have learned that I am in the constant process of becoming. I am caught between who I once was, and who I will be.

Tozer once wrote: “We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.”

Maybe in the seeking and ever-seeking, my vision will improve. I will relearn to orient my vision on this Master, who loves the weak and unlovable. Only then will my yielded heart stop yearning for idols and second-rate saviors. I will remember again that I need not redeem myself through success, moral achievement, or someone’s flimsy praise, which I often desperately seek.

I need more Easter every day.

As a child, I sang this song throughout the Lenten season: “Every morning is Easter morning from now. Every day’s Resurrection Day the past is over and gone.”

From here on out, I want to live every morning like it’s Easter morning. I also want to live like it’s Good Friday. When I see Jesus dying on the cross to make a wretch his treasure, I can’t help but love Him more.

crucifixion spike

Jesus paid the enormity of my debt, giving up his spirit for the love of my two-faced heart.

On the third day He rose from the grave, in the greatest triumph of all time.  That’s worth the audiacious praise of a life yielded.

And, so, once again, I surrender to a living God. This ransomed woman dies daily at the feet of a crucified Savior — and at the open mouth of His empty tomb.

The world has never known another god like this — a God who loves sinners.

I don’t have to climb a moral ladder for salvation. I don’t get to pull myself up there. I’m tossing away my bootstraps in the garbage, next to the Easter candy wrappers. When I’m tempted to pull them out again, I will apply my “Get-Over-Yourself-Ology” — a simple theology I’ve adopted for reorienting the eyes on Christ. It goes like this: “Get over yourself, Jennifer.”

I am becoming. And He is still waiting, as I stumble my way Home.

He is Risen,
not only in April, but in June and October and December.

He is Risen
at midnight and noon — and even at 3:52 a.m.

He is Risen
when we feel like singing at the top of our lungs,
and even when we don’t.

He is Risen
when we need him most —
and also in those heels-dug-in moments
when we think we don’t Him at all.

He is Risen
— not for a day,
but for EVER.

I need a Savior like that.

And thanks be to Jesus, I have one.

 

 

Writing in community with Michelle and Jennifer …

  • So beautiful, Jennifer, especially the last part.

    I was telling God in the pool this morning that I am so sick of myself. These last few years have been about me, and I’d be happy to never write about myself again (at least for the next few days, while I’m still feeling Easter-y).

    • I’ve been uttering and muttering these words lately: “God, save me from myself.” I suffer from almost all of the self sins … self-indulgence, self-focus, self-pity. Dear Jesus, help me live a John 3:30 life. You become greater, Jesus, so that I might become less.

      • Jennifer, rest assured, and you too Megan, that you are not alone. We are humans who so easily turn the focus inward. I especially like the words “help me live a John 3:30 life.” Words to remember, words to keep me on the path.

  • Every single day. Amazing, that even the day after Resurrection day we have to get up and get over ourselves all over again.

    Beautiful reminder and encouragement, my friend.

    • I’m so glad that I got to spend part of this post-Resurrection Monday talking with you. That was a gift. A huge gift. You’re grace in my life.

  • Kim

    Beautifully written, as always. And I’m right there with you.

    • Thanks for being here, Kim. So glad to have someone right here, who understands. I appreciate you.

  • A beautiful post, and one I needed to hear this morning! Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Audra! Happy One-Day-After-Easter. May we live in His resurrection power all year long!

  • Dea

    There are many reasons why I needed to read this today—reasons too long to explain in this forum. Just suffice it to say, I was making something about me. It is has to be about Him…really it does! What in the world was I thinking?!

    I take comfort in this…”We forget because we are human — not because we are failures.”

    • So glad we could walk this road together, my friend. May we link arms?

  • I could use some “Get-Over-Yourself-ology.” Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • I would be a wee bit embarrassed to confess how often I need to implement “Get-Over-Yourself-ology.” 🙂

      Thanks for coming by.

  • How many -ologies have I tossed because they don’t line up with the Jesus I read about. I’m right with you–following our forever risen Jesus.

    • Glad you’re here, Jennifer. I’m stumbling around, but following anyway. So grateful for His grace and goodness.

  • Oh my. We are on the same wavelength today, but you’re way more eloquent than I. I need to get over myself.

    About the lilies. Our pastor mentioned yesterday how, since Easter is a “moveable feast,” it would take a little planning to get the lilies to bloom at just the right time. Never thought of that.

    • Oh, Sandy. I’ve been meaning to get over to your place. I saw your teaser on Facebook, and I just know it’s gonna be good. Headed over now …

      Oh, one more thing. I love the lilies comment. I had never, ever considered that before! Thank you, friend.

  • i am in the constant state of becoming… oh friend. me too. and easter every day? yes please. may he rise, continually, in our midst… (love you)

    • Love you, too, Emily!

      Speaking of becoming … Christ is so becoming on you. You’re beautiful, my dear. You’re living the gospel.

  • Jennifer, once again you have written blow-me-away words that needed to be read by me! I don’t want Easter to be over either . . . I want to live that life of the sinner that Jesus redeemed with his blood and some days I just don’t seem good enough. Love you for your ministry and the sharing of your gifts.

    • So glad that we can muddle our way through this thing together, Sherrey. So grateful that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. So intensely thankful that he loves us despite the messes we daily make. I stand in awe. … I kneel in awe.

  • great post…’get over yourself ology…amen to that for me…thanks for this…blessings~

  • Dave

    You write dangerous words, Jennifer, because I get the sense you will not be satisfied with Easter and the Resurrection merely rubbing off on you. You want Easter and the Resurrection to fill you and transform you.

    You’ve demonstrated with your life and with this post that you want for yourself what God wants for you – a Resurrection that does not merely make bad people good but dead people alive.

    Giving thanks that you refuse to settle for anything less.

    Thanks be to Jesus, indeed.

  • I hope to strip away every bit of me so that all that is left is Jesus. Only by His grace. I wanted to stand up and shout Amen! after this post. Thanks Jennifer.

  • Deb Russell

    I love that song — Every morning is Easter morning from now on … — I remember when Pastor Eldridge was in Marathon we sang that song every Easter.
    You seem to write exactly what we’re all feeling and you do it so well. “Caught between who I once was and who I will be”. That feeling of being in limbo is so hard, but I know only by the Grace of God will I move on and move towards “who I will be”. I also need some of that get over yourself-ology … always trying to keep my focus on God. Thank you Jennifer!

  • Joy

    “Let me confess: I have learned that I am in the constant process of becoming. I am caught between who I once was, and who I will be.”

    I am convinced that this is part of what Paul meant when he was writing in Phillipians about working out one’s faith with fear and trembling. When I was a younger Christian, I used to bemoan this very process as a sign of a lack of faith, that I just wasn’t getting to the ‘point’ of what I needed to be; and now I am coming to understand that it is a journey of ever-increasing understanding, and that brings me comfort and the joy of living Easter everyday, every week, month by month, year by year.

    Beautiful post Jennifer–I really resonate with it!

  • I need more Easter every day. What a beautiful thought. Yes, He is risen at all times amid all circumstances.

    Blessings, Jennifer. Your writing is so fulled with truth.

    Pamela

  • I needed to read this today and I thought much of the same thing. And to read all the comments. wow you really hit a nerve. This is one post, Jennifer, I will read several times. I did tweet it too so others can read your good thoughts

  • Yes, thank you. Those were words I needed to read today as well. My divorce finalized yesterday and I truly need my focus anywhere but me after this last year! Jesus is my rock, my strength, my all…more of Him, less of me!!

This is what we are all after this Christmas, right? We are all after more light, more Jesus. 🕯🔦💡... So let’s make it happen. Let’s make it all about Jesus. (Latest blog post in the profile) ift.tt/2j8VIGC pic.twitter.com/f1MRQ692QC