An Easter Letter From My Mom

3:24:13 An Easter Letter From My Mom.jpg

Every year, my mom sends out an Easter letter to her friends and family, and I received mine yesterday. I thought that, for those of you that recently read my post requesting prayer in light of recent family changes, it would be a good follow up, so I asked her permission to post it today. From my beautiful mom: 

“He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said.” Matt 28:6a.  

Those words, spoken to Mary Magdalene and another Mary at the tomb of Jesus, are more precious than ever to me, today – 3/24/13.  What HOPE!  What JOY is set before those who believe this proclamation!  And I guess I need to be reminded, to be a remember-er in this season, of all that Jesus did for me.  For ME!  Just typing these words sets my heart to praising the GOODNESS of God who made the ultimate sacrifice on my behalf.  NOW I have life and joy everlasting! Despite what this day (any day) looks like, eternity is unimaginably desirable! 

I’m typing on Mark’s computer today – something I’ve never done before.  I didn’t think I wanted to keep this thing... While trying to figure out how to get online (I’m old ) and to do some updating, I managed to boil to a crisp some hard boiled eggs on the stove! I couldn’t figure what that strange smell was coming from the other room… Ha!  I’m focused!

And I’m stalling… trying to decide where to start.

Maybe I’ll start by saying my life continues to be in transition. (But that’s true, always, for everyone.  Still, you know what I mean.) – Just this past week Bree moved back to ABQ and I moved in to my sister’s home with the Lisea family. --- But maybe it’s better to backtrack…

This past year has been full in so many ways.  Bree and I kept busy here in Santa Barbara – Bree at Paul Mitchell going to Cosmetology school, me working at SB Orthopedics within an increasingly varied job description.  All good, all good.    Bree graduated with flying colors and got her CA State License the first week of December.  Now she’s entertaining the idea of going back to college and getting her BA!  Who’da thunk?! - I’ve gone from a surgery scheduler to a surgery biller, and everything in between. Maintaining all, I’m experiencing first-hand, the implications of healthcare changes at the provider level!  Whew!  Don’t get me started..!

And it feels like this past year has flown by. 

Some of my joy has been in tracking Levi’s exploits as he and Brandi have grown personally in their walks with the Lord and have expanded their ministry of LevithePoet.  I think they’ve been on the road more than not over the past year and they have some awesome tales to tell.  (You can check those out @levithepoet.net.) Last summer they hit several regional/national festivals followed by a couple area tours around the States.  Levi’s also done several solo trips when he’s flown here and there to do youth retreats, conferences and the like.  – We, California family members, enjoyed a tour Levi and Brandi embarked on right after spending Thanksgiving here with us in SB; so fun to see Levi in action!  Thus far in 2013, L & B have already traveled to New Zealand where they participated in the famed “Parachute Festival” and Levi did a crazy road trip in a hearse with XXX Church for the “Porn Kills” tour!  What a ride!!

Beyond the poety-ministry, Levi is one course shy of concluding his year-long ReTrain program with Mars Hill Church.  He’s enjoyed it immensely, but I think he’ll also be somewhat relieved when it’s over.  Many hours have gone into classes, reading, paper writing, etc.  We’ll see what the Lord has for Levi and Brandi beyond this investment!!

My other “joy” has been in watching Bree grow and bend per the Lord’s leading in her life.  As I mentioned, she, just days ago, returned to Albuquerque.  But prior to that move she navigated  new life and circumstances mostly on her own.  It wasn’t easy.  And sometimes it was flat-out hard, yet she persevered.  She missed her NM community, yet she sought community here and grew to love and cherish her new-found Reality family.  For this she is thankful as am I!  - I’m also extremely thankful for Bree in MY life for the past couple years!  I count this a total blessing and HUGE gift.  I’ve always loved my daughter; now I treasure my daughter – my FRIEND.  She is an amazing woman and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for her!

And me.  Well, I’m interested in knowing what He has for me, also.  This is a strange new season without husband or kids.  I know I’ll be okay; I know my Faithful Father isn’t done with me yet, but I’m a little lost to be honest.  Not in the lost-in-the-forest kinda way; just lost in the “what’s next?” question. And I’m not making any guesses, but will continue to just put one foot in front of the other as I’ve done for several years now.  He is GOOD.  That’s all I really need to know, remember and depend on.

One thing I can report is - I Love My Church! I have been blessed with wonderful worship, teaching and fellowship in a tough season for the Body here.  Some of you caught updates from me regarding Pastor Britt’s daughter, Daisy, who recently moved home with Jesus after battling cancer.  The heroism displayed by the Merrick’s, the church leadership and the rallying Reality family has been beautiful beyond inspiring. I HIGHLY recommend viewing Pastor Britt’s message: When Sparrows Fall – (http://www.realitysb.com/santa-barbara/sermons/when-sparrows-fallsage).  It’s gotta be numbered in my top five, all-time, inspirational messages.  

And now that I’ve rehearsed God’s Goodness to me throughout the past year, now that I REMEMBER myself, His faithfulness, I say again: “He is not here! He has been resurrected, just as He said.”  THANK YOU, JESUS, for all You have done, all You are doing, and all You will do! 

Because of Him and Who He Is!

– Jody

(I just now got a text from another pastor, Pastor Mark, saying “If we love people, it is imperative that we tell them about the risen Jesus.”  - And isn’t that the truth?  And isn’t that convicting?  - For those of us who believe, may we rejoice and celebrate our risen Savior this Easter.  And may we also be challenged to love people enough to share our gospel message with those who don’t know Him. Eternity is in the balance as well as peace for today.)