Anyway, a lot of things have been weighing heavily on my heart lately--namely the fact that my sisters' step-dad is dying of cancer and a little three-year-old boy who was in remission has now been diagnosed with a new subgroup of leukemia. Please pray for my family and the Begoon family and for everyone who is suffering some kind of disease. Though it's selfish, I have also been thinking about my own battle to keep Crohn's Disease at bay. (It's been at the forefront of our thoughts primarily because Zach and I went to our first ostomy support group meeting Sunday afternoon, and honestly, we walked away a little scared regarding my reconstruction surgery after I had already worried us by reading about its complications.) I have been trying so hard to understand why we have disease and how to get rid of it. And I don't mean just for me--but for the whole world. I know it's not my responsibility to save the world...and yet it is because we are called to serve others and share the Gospel and I know that by Jesus' stripes we are healed, and I want healing for all of us NOW (His will be done on earth as it is in heaven--God's will is to heal). But then I get caught up in theology and doctrine and terminology, trying to figure out exactly what to believe and why some people are healed and others are not even though we seem to believe in the same things. It's a lot to handle, and I guess that, even though I hope I am continually maturing in my faith, I'm just not mature enough to handle this spiritually.
With that said, Easter is right around the corner (By His stripes we are healed!)! I LOVE Easter! For years, it has been my favorite holiday, and I hate how it is not as loved as Christmas. Christ's birth is amazing, but His death seems all the more amazing to me, and I wish we had the same sort of spirit in us at Easter as we do at Christmas. I'm thinking about how we are going to mark this day, and I have a few ideas floating around in my head, including exchanging baskets (like we always do) and dyeing eggs. (We bought an egg-dyeing kit two years ago but have never had the chance to use it.) Since I feel we got cheated out of celebrating many holidays and regular days in the fall and early winter, I'm trying to make the most of every one even when our plans fall apart. (I really wanted to do something for Mardi Gras, but Zach has a work dinner. *boo* I really LOVE Mardi Gras; for the longest time, I wanted a Mardi Gras-themed wedding.)
Since today is Fat Tuesday, that means tomorrow is the beginning of Lent. And I have nooo idea what to give up this year. :/ I'm not Catholic or Methodist--I actually don't align myself with any Christian denomination--but I am still drawn to the meaning and sacrifice that Lent represents. I usually give up either sweet tea or soda pop (or, as we call it in the South, coke *hehe*). Last year, I successfully gave up sweet tea--I was so proud of myself, and I felt like I had a clearer mind and a more settled spirit. (If you know me, this was huge because I can go through a pitcher in a short time!) I was also able to finally lower the amount of sugar I use in my tea I make at home because now it's all too sweet. I can't drink sodas right now--I've had a sip of Zach's a few times, and it is far too sweet, so it wouldn't bother me to give it up--so that is out, and I really don't want to give up sweet tea since there is so many food items I can't eat. I've considered giving up Facebook, but I would really miss my daily photo album posts, and I'm not sure if my heart would stay in the right place if I still allowed myself to get on there, even for a few minutes. One of my friends from grad school made the New Year's resolution to get rid of something every day of this year, and I think that is a really great idea. (She is still going strong nearly two months later--go, Paulette!) Hmmm...I've also considered giving up sweets or meat, but once again, with my health issues, there are certain things I shouldn't give up right now for nutritional reasons or for psychological/emotional reasons.
Gosh, I don't know, but I better figure it out before tomorrow...