When Your “Easter Best” Looks Pretty Bad

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I didn’t give my daughter an Easter basket this year. Instead, I gave her a waste-basket. Why? Because late last night, she woke up puking. Our night was filled with trips to the bathroom, loads of laundry and cleaning up puke.

Not the Easter I had imagined this year. Her pretty turquoise dress hung on her doorknob in the dark as she and I lay in her bed. I pulled her against my chest and took in the scent of throw up in her hair as we drifted off to sleep together.

This morning, as we lay tangled together on top of sheets and towels, she began to stir. My eyes fluttered open and I helped cover her again with blankets and stroked her face to help her fall back asleep. My heart ached for my poor two-year-old who would not get to wear her pretty dress today, or have any candy, or see any cousins or grandparents. But as we lie there together, my eyes met her big blue ones, and she smiled at me, the blankets half covering her face. Then she said in a groggy, tiny voice, “This is so fun.” I smiled wide at her.

This is so fun.

I’m sometimes taken aback by her innocence. How she lives without expectations or demands. How she finds joy in the most unlikely of places. And calls me into it.

Our morning was spent at home together. All of our big plans, flushed down the toilet. With the puke. Instead of a big Easter brunch at my mom’s, we feasted on Saltines and Pedialyte. Instead of getting all gussied up in our Easter best, I stayed in my sweats, and she in her footie-pajamas. Instead of attending a nice church service, we laid on the couch wrapped in a cocoon of blankets and watched cartoons.

And we looked…just terrible. She had a fro in the back that wasn’t going to calm down easily. Along with the dried puke. As I took her to the tub, and began to fill it with hot soapy water, I was halted by a glimpse of myself in the mirror. And…wow.

bad hair day

Need I say more?

Yikes.

Tonight, as I scroll through the news feeds of everyone in their Easter best, I realize how bad we look here at our house. In Easter’s past, we have tried to look pretty, and hopefully next year’s Easter, we will look slightly better than we do right now.

But if not, it’s okay. Because as I sit here, with a wild bun on my head and no make-up. I’m reminded that Easter is not about how good we look. It’s about how good our God looks. It’s about Christ.

It’s not about making much of ourselves. It’s about making much of Him. It’s not about gazing at ourselves in the mirror. It’s about gazing at Him. If our Easter best looks pretty bad, it doesn’t really matter at all. Not even a little bit.

What matters today, and every day, is that, Christ looks good. Because He is good. And He is alive. And He is here.   And He is so much bigger than Easter. Because He really did destroy the powers of darkness, and triumphed over them, making a spectacle of them. And He did pour out His blood, He did make a way, for us to obtain salvation. Even in our ugliness. Even in our wickedness. And whether in pretty Easter dresses, or rags…He came to those who were far off, and called them close. And called them His children. He rescued us from eternal death.

So He can’t just be hard-boiled and decorated the way we want. Because there’s a live chick in that egg.

And He’s alive. And He’s going to crack the sky when He comes back. And His name is Jesus.

And He is beautiful. And holy. And mighty. And He made a way for the ones covered in puke. And sin. He washes us. He restores us. And He clothes us in robes of righteousness. For His name sake.

“So, I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about You. It’s all about You, Jesus.” –Heart of Worship

Like I said, our Easter best is lookin’ pretty bad this year. But it doesn’t matter. Because He is alive. And He is looking more radiant and beautiful than ever.

Missing Rock Concerts

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Right now, Kari Jobe is less than a mile away from my house. (I could literally put on my running shoes, and be at her hotel. Not that I’ve thought about it or anything.) But she might as well be across the country. Tonight thousands will flock to our city’s arena and hear her sing and lead tremendous worship
–but not me.

Why, you ask? Because of barking.

Last night around midnight, I heard barking across the hall.
It was my daughter, it was Croup.

When I pulled out last year’s humidifier from our hall closet…it looked like it was hit with the Black Plague. (That was disappointing.) In a flash, my husband was gone to buy a new one. Meanwhile, I lay with her next to me in our bed, pulling her warm, feverish body close to mine. “Shhh,” I whispered. “It’s okay.”

My husband must have bought an industrial grade model. Because let me tell you, it felt like a SWAMP in our bedroom last night. I swear I felt raindrops at one point as the whole water cycle was happening in our bedroom. I mean, it was thick in there.

But she could breathe.
And that’s all that mattered.

This morning, as she and I stayed home from church, I popped in a live DVD performance of Bethel Music’s, “You Make Me Brave.” And who should appear on the stage, but Kari Jobe. “Ah!” I thought, “I could be seeing her tonight!”

But alas. Here we were. Her in her pajamas, and I in my sweats. In a steamy house. Steamy like the fog that was wafting on the stage where Kari Jobe was singing on the TV screen, steamy like the arena where she would be singing tonight.

But as we watched…Selah, my daughter, got up and started dancing. And I started dancing, too. Together, in our steamy house, we started dancing, and singing, and jumping, and laughing, and I held her hands swung her around in wild, dizzying circles, while she let out a high-pitch squeal at the top of her lungs. And Kari Jobe was belting it out from the TV, and so was I. And no one was watching.

But God.

And here in this place, here my sweatpants, I suddenly didn’t mind missing the rock show tonight. The glory of God came down, right in our living room. Selah laughed, and I cried–because God is good, and God is here, and God is enough. And just to be here, in his presence, together, like this–is enough. More than enough.

Being a mom: I may miss out on some of the glamour, but none of the glory.

“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” Genesis 28:16

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