"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easter 2014

“And if Christ has not been raised [from the dead], then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.” 1 Corinthians 15:14

Its kind of a trend right now to celebrate every single holiday to the max. People do things that I would never think of, like make green milk for your kids on St Patty’s day and have a Valentine’s tree.  I follow a blog where this girl decorates her house with a new theme, every single month.  And I am not talking just puts out a few seasonal candles or maybe has a little niche that she redecorates… every room in the house gets blinged out! I actually think this trend is kind of fun. When I read the Pentateuch and God is handing out the law and customs to the 12 tribes, I am always BLOWN AWAY by all of the holidays and festivals. There are so many reasons to celebrate! Of course each one is designed to draw them closer to the Lord, but still… I think God wants us to be celebratory people, and I love and am thankful to HIM that we have enough in our country that we can celebrate abundantly.

The things is, as much as I would love to be a Pinterest queen, I am not. I get completely overwhelmed half the time just providing my kids with a reasonable amount of stimulation and keeping my house from looking like a disaster, let alone getting up two hours early on random holidays to plan special things for them. I did decide a while back that Christian holidays, Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving deserve a little extra attention from me. And then while thinking about what to do for Easter, I thought… if my entire faith is based on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and without these events my faith would be in vain… maybe I should REALLY go all out on Easter AND make it clear to my kids that this is a BIG DEAL!!! I want to start accumulating Easter decorations although I am kind of picky and I didn’t find much that wasn’t either too baby or too kitschy or Pottery Barn and therefor too expensive.

Thankfully Isla is in a Awanas, a Christian preschool and also has our church Sunday school so she has been hearing about the resurrection from many different sources and we have had some very interesting conversations. Isla generally says things along the lines of “Jesus died on the cross, but we don’t have to be sad because he rose again, right?” That’s right!

She also thinks that people rise from the dead too! I have always planned to be open with my kids about death and so I have never tried to avoid a conversation about if it came up naturally. She keeps asking if my Aunt Jean is going to rise from the dead as she saw her body at the funeral, and we have had many conversations about death. The concept of death scares her and she told me doesn’t want to die and was very upset. I didn’t think she would grasp that so quickly so instead I try to focus on the fact that we will live here on this earth and then we will live forever with Jesus in heaven, as long as we love and obey him on this earth, and that Aunt Jean is alive in heaven with Jesus. That seems to comfort her (me too!).

My personal favorite conversation is this one though “I’m not too sad Jesus died on the cross because he rose again. Now he lives in my heart! (pause) Too bad Jesus and God don’t live at church!”

Haha. I think she’s maybe a little young to get into conversations about God’s omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence though so I just kind of let that one slide…

Well anyway, Isla’s birth was Easter week and so between Easter things and birthday things we had a full week! And then of course Isla got sick! And then Gemma got just as sick, so all of my best laid plans for going gangbusters over Easter kind of fell by the wayside. However, I do think that we had nice Easter celebrations.

The first Easter activity planned was Isla’s Easter party at school… which she was sick for. I was the chairperson for the party so I still had to go and set up and drop off supplies so Nick came home and watched the girls for an hour since he only works 5 minutes away. Her teacher gathered up some eggs during their egg hunt for me to take home to Isla, which was very sweet.

The end result was this! But I didn’t stay for the party… just set up and then got home to my sick birthday girl and Gemma.

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The place where I really feel like I dropped the ball was on preEaster activities; I had several planned but with the sickness we didn’t get to all of them.  However we did decorate Easter cookies and we got halfway through decorating eggs. My plan was to let Isla color on the eggs with crayons and then dye them… well we only colored on them with crayons. We just ran out of time, and I also don’t have any pictures of them. Hopefully next year we won’t have the double distractions of birthday activities and sickness to take away from our Easter extravaganza! My friend and another blog I follow did “Resurrection Eggs” which are like an Easter advent calendar and I would really like to try that next year.

Thankfully I had prepared Easter basket things in March so that wasn’t sidelined by sickness.

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Aren’t their Easter baskets cute??? I bought them on Etsy from LEmbroideryandDesign.

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I filled them with activity books, silly straws, candy jewelry, a slinky, one chocolate bunny and Easter books. I also bought Isla a butterfly habitat and Gemma a lady bug habitat where you send off for the larvae and caterpillars… that one was just as much for mommy as it was for the girls Smile. It will be a fun spring/summer activity to watch them grow.IMG_2713IMG_2705

Isla has heard about the Easter bunny from a lot of sources, but I just kind of downplayed it since its not even remotely a Christian or religious thing. However before she went to bed she told me that “Santa Claus is going to come down the chimney and fill our Easter baskets with toys!” HA!

We also did an Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning. We had my mom and Nick’s parents here and I wasn’t great about taking pictures since everyone was taking pictures, but here are two. My MIL gave me the best idea to fill them with Teddy Grahams and Goldfish so that they could still have a treat since these are not common foods around our house, but not a completely sugar laden treat and could eat them immediately. Gemma didn’t really get what it was about, but we made sure she received some eggs. Also she dressed herself in that tutu… she is SO girly!

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I am completely ashamed to say that we did not make it to church… and we have NO good excuses but let me give some anyway… we were exhausted after the illnesses and Isla’s birthday stuff, church started earlier than usual and we have a hard enough time getting our things together on Sunday mornings with just the four of us, let alone us plus three other adults, Nick’s parents were leaving that morning and we didn’t want to rush them off, I blame Nick for not taking more initiative, I blame myself for not being better organized, there wasn’t a pre Easter service which is what we normally do to avoid the crowds, we knew our church would be packed and we didn’t want to deal with it… blah, blah, blah. I am totally ashamed, but this is the last year we will miss Easter service!

And of course I comfort myself over missing Easter service with this:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” ~Romans 8:1

HA!

But seriously folks, Happy Easter! Sin and death were conquered that day by our merciful father in heaven. Its one of the best days of the year and I hope that we are able to celebrate it in joy every single year. Smile

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