Happy Easter!

12:44 PM

"People can make their life miserable in the most beautiful and peaceful places and maintain a happy life in countries destroyed by horrid wars. Happiness doesn't live in the buildings, it lives inside people. If it isn't there you wont find it no matter where you go and if you're happy, you'll be happy everywhere."

(a photo I took on our honeymoon)

I read this lovely quote on a forum about buying old houses with histories/deaths, etc. I was reading up on what people thought of buying old homes since it's always a reality that when a home is over 100 years old, people have been born and died there. That's just life. I wanted to read some outlooks from other people in the househunting world about homes that might have a dark past. We know the previous owner passed away as we bought the home as an estate from the bank. We also figure the walls of this home have seen a lot of things. We plan to research the history of the home to know what to specifically pray about as we make this house our home. We love it here and we are also thankful that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (an Easter appropriate declaration...haha) so we are not afraid of any darkness that may have once existed in this home. We bring a light and love with us. We bring the victory when we invite Christ into our home. We don't deny that evil exists, we just declare that God is triumphant over evil. When we asked God for our dream home, we knew that if it was His will, that He would use our dream to bring glory to Himself. That's how it works. If you get healed from cancer, God is revealed as able to heal. If you ask God to open a door financially and something comes along out of nowhere, God is revealed as able to provide. If we move into a home with a dark history that suddenly gets to have life again, God is revealed as able to overcome evil and protect. If your prayers being answered do not bring glory to God, then you are probably praying for the wrong things. I am thrilled that through our adventure, God gets to teach us more about knowing Him. I believe the purpose of my life is to prepare me for His Kingdom, so that when I meet Him face-to-face, I will greet Him as my closest friend and not a stranger. In church we sing about wanting to know God more, but when we are faced with an adversity or challenge that in the end will reveal the identity and character of God to us, we try to run from it and get mad, throwing down our hands and in our hearts we cry out, "this isn't fair! I wanted life to be easy and fun!" Well, I don't believe anyone will get the most out of their life if they are constantly on the search for the easy way. If we allow it, difficulty produces character. If we keep our eyes on God's Kingdom, I believe trials bring us closer to knowing God and feeling Him in our lives. So that being said, facing a situation that requires some spiritual warfare, just gets us more aware of God's presence in our daily lives. We don't feel anything evil spiritually in our home...but we have definitely felt it in places before. How much more can you feel and recognize God's PEACE and spirit when you have felt the opposite? I have been in weird places that gave me the creeps...and I know the feeling of absolute calm and peace that God brings. I really encourage people to understand that when they ask to know God and to feel Him, that can sometimes involve a battle because there can be things in our lives that are making us feel  the opposite - fear, anxiety, depression, bitterness, regret, etc. It can almost always involve needing to overcome something. But be encouraged that the victory is won through Christ who paid for that victory already. All we need to do is stand on the authority that God gave to us and declare who God is over a situation. Our peace, our hope, our light, our triumph - they all come from knowing Him. I am encouraged just writing these words down. Nothing I face is too big for God. Nothing I face is a surprise to Him. Nothing I face is outside of His knowledge and plans for my life. He's "got this." I am excited for where He is taking us next.

This Easter, I pray that God would show each person reading this more of Himself. To know God is to know peace. The message of Christ was presented by Himself as "good news!" He didn't come to condemn the world but to LOVE us. He loves you so much and wants to take you to places you never even dreamed of...He wants to journey with you through the ups and downs of your life, and He wants to give you the victory you've been seeking. Don't walk through life missing out on the gifts God has for you...don't let horrible experiences with selfish religious people in the past stop you from missing out on the incredible love of God. It's not about church or holidays or books (although these can all be great) it's just about you and God. He sees every hurt and every pain in our hearts and Easter is us turning back and saying "thank you" to God for sending a way that despite our disobedient ways, we may still live forever. No more talk of hell...I don't even want to waste my breath on such darkness and fear that has been instilled by the church for far too long. God isn't creeping around instilling fear in the shadows, that's the Devil's job. God is breaking through the darkness like the sun breaks through after a storm. He pursues each one of us from our births, fighting for us and longing to see us whole and loved. I pray that 2014 will be a year marked as a season of learning to know God more and to trust Him more deeply. He IS good. Stand on that. The past is washed away...He brings us a new day with new hope for the future.

I am thankful for everyone reading this blog and following along on our journey. I hope you all have a great Easter with your families and can stop to appreciate the blessings in your life.

Much love,

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