So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

In the Christian world, we love the stories in the Bible. We believe they are true. That they really happened. In the Christian world, there’s also a lot we don’t like to talk about. Emotions are one of them. We love talking about spiritual health, and we’re even ok with physical health but when it comes to our emotions, sometimes we like to pretend they aren’t there. 

It probably stems from the fact that we believe we aren’t supposed to be driven or ruled by our emotions. And this is true. But ignoring our emotions and our emotional health is an extremely unhealthy position to take. I’ve learned a lot about emotions and emotional health over the last year – mainly by firsthand experience. Going through hellish circumstances can do that to a person. But “emotional health” is a much broader topic than should be dealt with on Easter Sunday. 

So, back to the stories in the Bible – namely the “Easter Story” as we often title it. The verses in the Bible on which we, as Christians, base our entire celebration of this beautiful Sunday. This story is accounted for in all four Gospels but let’s look at the one in John chapter 20. I’ll be looking at this story from The Passion Translation. It’s a newer version that translates from Greek and Aramaic texts. After being a Bible reader for over 30 years, I have really enjoyed the fresh perspective of TPT. You can purchase it HERE.

Alrighty, here we go…

There are such a variety of emotions on the morning that Jesus rose from the dead so many centuries ago. And I love that the Scriptures share with us the normality of those people that we sometimes can only can grasp as Bible characters and heroes.

The first person on the scene in John 20:1 is Mary Magdalene. It’s early in the morning as she makes her way to the tomb. She is so moved by the fact that the tomb is empty that she RUNS to go tell everyone. A grown woman running for the excitement of the situation! She didn’t try to hide her excitement and ‘be a lady’ – she is freaked out, excited and needs to let someone know what she has seen… or hasn’t seen. 

When Mary lets the disciples know what she has found, they too, run for the excitement of it all. Can you imagine seeing grown men running by your window – ones not wearing running clothes? As they reach the tomb (vs. 5) they don’t go inside but just take a little peek. Scared much? Like tiptoeing around a house that you’ve heard a noise in, I picture them doing the same. They want to know what they will find in there but… they also don’t. 

Then in verse 8, John gets brave and goes into the tomb! Overcoming his fear, he actually is hit with belief! It’s like everything he’s ever heard from the Scriptures and everything Jesus ever said, now makes perfect sense… THIS is THAT. Overwhelming, I’m sure!

But Peter evidently doesn’t have the same experience and is puzzled (vs 10). He and John leave and go back to their homes. John, full of belief and Peter, puzzled.

Finally Mary gets back at the tomb and she’s a wreck, “broken and sobbing,” verse 11 tells us. She decides to take a peek and peers inside, through her tears she sees two angels! Can you imagine? I’d totally wipe the tears out of my eyes a hundred times before believing what I was seeing. Then she begins having a conversation with these heavenly beings. I can’t imagine what she was feeling inside at this point.

All of the sudden, Jesus shows up. Only Mary doesn’t know that it’s Him. Assuming it’s the gardener (think cemetery work crew), she tells Him she’s crying because the body of Jesus is gone and she wants to know why and where. But then… He speaks her name. I can imagine her about to look at that ‘gardner’ and ask how He knows her name but as she turns to look at Him, their eyes meet and she realizes. She realizes THIS is HIM… her friend and her Savior and she runs to Him. But Jesus has to back away (vs 17) and let’s her know that she can’t touch Him – because of things she probably doesn’t understand at this point.

Then we find Mary going back to the disciples to tell them what has just happened. She has SEEN HIM!

Just eighteen verses to describe this scenario. Eighteen verses jam-packed with emotion. Various emotions. Extreme emotions. I think this story is one we can celebrate and one we can learn from. When life hits you hard – whether it be amazing and exciting or terrifying and horrible – emotions are our God-given response and release. 

As we celebrate Easter today, may we fully embrace our emotional response to life. Not letting emotions rule us but never denying them. Now, excuse me while I go ponder what Jesus truly did so many years ago… THAT my friends, is positively overwhelming!

Dani Stroda

I love the adventure of life - aspiring to live every day lost in the whimsy and wonder of the journey. I’m outrageously in love with my amazing husband who makes me laugh every day. I’m mamma to 4 gorgeous and witty daughters who delight me everyday. I’m overwhelmed by the love of our Creator and passionate about helping others find freedom and wholeness - body, soul and spirit. I am author of the book, Journey Through the Door, which released in November 2015. A good conversation, with a friend, over coffee is a favorite pastime of mine and you can join me over at to join in the conversation! Also find me at “Whimsy In My Cup” on Facebook.

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

The Guilt of an Angry Mother Meets Grace

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and son hug at home

“No one’s perfect,” I think. I’m mopping up my overspilled anger like the remnants of an erupted chocolate volcano that hit the kitchen floor.  It was the last bucking whine of “I don’t want chocolate in my milk” that did it. The culmination of about one million “I want chocolate in my milk”s ended with a sticky muddy river of it from highchair to floor.  After reasoning with my toddler, which never works well, I gave in to his adamant refusal of white milk for a chocolatey exchange. He responded to my surrender like a 2-year-old. He revolted. Little feet...

Keep Reading