The Silence of Saturday {Holy Week}

It feels wrong to say that Saturday is my favorite day of Holy Week, but it’s true. It is a day that feels sacred to me, sitting in the gap of tragedy and triumph, resting between death and victory. Perhaps it is my favorite because it feels so familiar. It feels like most of our lives. This is the day when I feel so small and helpless, standing with the cross behind me and watching the tomb before me where hopes and dreams are buried.

I don’t think I’ve ever yearned for the resurrection more than I do these days.

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Come Alive {Holy Week}

But nothing was normal after Jesus. Easter was a revolution. It was the day after which nothing was the same ever again. When a man who claims to be God rises from the dead, “business as usual” isn’t a thing. From that day forward, you spend your entire life either affirming that he is risen or denying it. Easter isn’t just a time to pause and reflect on some nice truths we tend to forget about the rest of the year. It is the entire crux of our faith. It is the only reason we have to hope.`

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Great Expectations {Holy Week}

As we grow older, we learn to expect death. We experience it in a multitude of ways, through the death of beloved pets, loved ones, relationships, dreams, expectations. Fires and floods and earthquakes shake our realities. Mass shootings and senseless murder make the headlines.

And we grow burdened. We are heartbroken. We grow numb. We lose hope that things will be different.

Death is the expectation. But today would change it all.

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Good Grief {Holy Week}

Grief is a many-headed beast. It takes you out, disorients you; it makes you feel unproductive, helpless. It affects not just those who grieve, but also those who surround it. That’s why we struggle to find words, why we bring flowers or casseroles, because what is there to do with grief except sit in it and wait for it to pass?

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An Offer You Can Refuse {Holy Week}

Our world is so dominated by scarcity — the fear of not having enough. But an equally significant problem — and not nearly as discussed — is the pride that prevents us from receiving.

It is pride that makes us feel entitled to what we have, upset when we lose it, angry when it is given to someone else. It is pride that makes us say no to offers of help, makes us think that people will not be generous or selfless with their resources, makes us look for ways to “pay back” kind gestures.

Feeling unworthy and feeling entitled are two sides of the same merit-based coin.

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Questioning God {Holy Week}

The final kind of question is the one that takes the most faith to ask. They are the questions that feel as if they fall on silent ears. God, why you allow this to happen? God, are you there? God, do you love me still?

These are the questions that remain ringing, unsatisfied because you don’t want the answer. You don’t even want the right answer if it’s from someone else.

What you want is just an answer, a word, anything at all from God Himself, a God who remains seemingly silent.

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I Feel You {Holy Week}

“I want you to say or shout or scream one thing you are angry about while holding this rock, and then you are going to chuck it as hard as you can into the ocean.”

One after the other, I threw those rocks into the ocean. One after the other, I shouted my grievances to God. My anger grew louder as my arm grew tired. And for the next few days, my predominant emotion was rage.  

It was terrifying.

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Crowns for a King {Holy Week}

“Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets…”

“But who do you say I am?” The point of Jesus’ discourse becomes clear as he focuses his attention on Peter. Will the crowds determine your answer, Peter? Will public opinion sway you? Will popularity or political correctness rule your heart?

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Unlovable

I have spent many years trying to fit the mold of what I thought was lovable, a carefully defined outline of a person that grew narrower and narrower with every wound received, with every critique given, or with every loss. And, like a preschooler hyped up on sugar, I've learned that despite my best efforts I can never stay within the lines.

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Curiosity is Love

I sat on the plane en route to Mexico City, mourning all the things I hadn’t checked off of my to-do list. My four years of high school Spanish had yet to resurface, and I had only made it to “Él es un muchacho. Él bebé leche” on DuoLingo. My list of “Things to Eat” only had one all-inclusive bullet point: tacos. I hadn’t begun Sandra Cisneros’ Woman Hollering Creek—a book I have owned since college, purchased for some class, and never opened because, let’s be honest, in the deluge of assigned reading, SparkNotes became my dear friend–like the one with all the extra meal plan points at the end of the semester.

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Patreeya PrasertvitComment
The Table

I watched Crazy Rich Asians exactly a week ago, and after the movie, I found myself alone in the bathroom overcome with emotion. After taking the past week to reflect on why such a fun and upbeat movie could fill me with a mix of emotions–joy, pride, shame, sadness, isolation, belonging–here’s why this movie is so important to me…

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Come at Me

I am a person of calculated risk. My mentor once suggested I break some plates as a means of dealing with pent-up anger and grief. She pitched it like a dramatic reenactment of a movie scene, me alone in a parking lot, only accompanied by the cathartic crash of ceramic on cement.

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White Flags (What Surrender Isn't)

The older I get, the more I have learned that I am a strange mix of obedient and defiant. There is a rule-follower in me–someone who refuses to “California roll” through stop signs on principle. But there’s also a side of me that wants to join the rebel alliance, who shakes my fist at “the man,” who spent every Simon Says as a child trying to beat Simon at his own game and look for loopholes.

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Patreeya Prasertvit
Chivalry

I still believe in chivalry. I believe in knights and heroes. I believe that there are men who will live their lives to restore honor and integrity where it has been forsaken. I believe in men who will open the door, who will walk women home, who will give up their coats, who will lay their hearts on their sleeves. I believe in a time when the value of a heart will be understood in full, when pursuit of the heart is no longer a game. I believe in a man who is willing to risk his reputation, his pride, his ego to share a piece of himself at the potential cost of rejection; a man who does not live half-heartedly, easily swayed by his changing moods, but wholeheartedly.

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Patreeya PrasertvitComment
Untraditional

When people talk about Christmas traditions, I feel an ache and longing for ones I can keep as my own. But my anchor is this: the one constant in my Christmas has been Christ. He has been, is, and always will be present no matter what roof I wake up under on December 25th. And as difficult as it may be to celebrate the holidays always moving and never home, I am thankful the shifting settings and chaotic circumstance help reveal this one permanent thread. In a season where joy and peace are emphasized, what could be a greater reminder of why we celebrate?

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Patreeya PrasertvitComment
Small Glories

I’ve been wrestling with restlessness recently. I’ve been afraid of smallness. Are the things I’m doing big enough? Is the life I’m living significant enough? Are the decisions I’m making the right ones?

But the Lord has been teaching me something--to not discount the glory of the small. Because the small is so closely linked to the big. The person who is making those big decisions is the same person who is making small choices. The person who shows up for those big moments is the same person who is showing up for the small ones.

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Patreeya PrasertvitComment
Instead of Guacamole

C.S. Lewis wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain in our lives functions as a wakeup call. Whether it is the sharp, stabbing pain of sudden loss or the less defined, stretching ache of emptiness, pain forces a reaction out of us.

Common reactions include distracting ourselves with busyness or comfort, offloading it onto others (consciously or subconsciously), or channeling it into something we consider “productive” that we think will either make us invulnerable to pain the next time around or speed up our recovery.

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Come Alive

The temptation is to treat Easter like it’s an ending. The eggs have all been found, Jesus is risen (*raised hands emoji*), we went to church, I can finally eat sugar/watch Netflix/go on social media again...and now it’s back to "normal life."

But nothing was normal after Jesus. Easter was a revolution. It was the day after which nothing was the same ever again. When a man who claims to be God rises from the dead, "business as usual" isn't a thing. From that day forward, you spend your entire life either affirming that he is risen or denying it. Easter isn’t just a time to pause and reflect on some nice truths we tend to forget about the rest of the year. It is the entire crux of our faith. It is the only reason we have to hope.

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Winter

You can do this, Patreeya, I told myself. You are made of tougher stuff than this. You don't quit. You're not a quitter. Just suck it up because you can do this.

Then I felt something else whisper: You can't do this right now. And you don't have to. You don’t have to keep trying harder. Who told you you couldn’t have limits?

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