Some families are making Easter gardens....
Some are creating Easter wreaths...
Some are reading about each day of Christ's journey to the cross...
Others are playing with scripture eggs filled with toys that tell about Easter.....
Great Easter books are being read...
Worship music is being played....
Family is coming...good food is cooking...dresses are hung ready to be worn.
Leading up to Easters past I led my children in some of the above. Baskets were filled
with wonderful books and gifts and toys to remind them of what Jesus has done for us all!
One year, when they awoke..they followed a trail of empty eggs down the steps, into another room to find pet hamsters for each!
This year...my children are entertaining themselves-watching WAY too much television-
and sadly, might not even realize Easter is this Sunday.
I have no craft kits ready for them to make...
No Easter clothes have been purchased...
There are no baskets ready to be filled-and nothing purchased to put in them anyway.
I can't find any of the pieces that tell the story in the scripture eggs
-which have been played with in their kitchen
set since last year anyway.
The idea of shopping to buy soil and things needed for the Easter gardens overwhelmed me.
I have a headache and just don't want any music on.
I could have read the Bible to them each night-sharing the journey. That would have been easy. But I didn't.
Today is Friday. As I read more and more face book and blog posts about all the wonderful and amazing ways families all over are celebrating Easter I started to get sadder and sadder.
I started to feel guilty that I didn't make the time...be more organized...go shopping....etc. etc. etc.
I told myself that if I stopped feeling so sorry for myself I could get back to the way things used to be!
What a horrible Mom I am being!
Then I went for a walk. I saw the beautiful buds and flowers blooming on every tree and garden. I felt the warm sunshine on my face. Heard the birds singing their praises to God. Smelled the new grass growing.
Easter can be made super fun and super special and filled with wonderful traditions by all of the above and many more. But Christ's life-death-and resurrection does not change or go away if this year I just can't muster up any extra umph to plan special things. Christ lived and died and rose again to heal the very kind of hurts me and my family have been suffering from and to forgive the very kind of sins we all struggle with every day.
Even the sins of:
Selfishness-as some days I just feel too sorry for myself to stop crying and thinking and wondering and actually get up and DO something!
Worry-as I beat myself up for not being as good as I was and worry that my children will suffer for my lack of doing all these amazing things others are doing.
Pride-as I fool myself into thinking that ANYTHING I could do or plan or prepare or shop for could in any way compare with what Christ has already done!
Our family has been on our own kind of journey this past year. Especially me. It's been a brutal, dark and lonely trip and I wish I was at the end-but I don't think I am.
So....on Easter morning..while other families are getting all fancied up and worshiping with their church families and later eating and celebrating with their birth families...while children are opening gifts, hunting for eggs, running around with cousins and friends...
We will be in the car...on a 10 hour drive...in our sloppy but comfy "car clothes". We will be on our way to a campground where just us-just Mom-Dad and kids will take a break from the daily stresses and try to just kick back and relax and enjoy some time with each other. We'll lie on the grass in the warm sun-make dandelion necklaces-
play tag and I'll show them I can still out beat them all in a Hoola Hoop contest!
We'll laugh-eat s'mores-sleep in.
And all the while I'll try to remind myself and them that
"Every good and perfect gift is from a above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1: 17
In the quiet times we'll talk about all our family has been through this year and how even though it has been hard Jesus hasn't left us and is helping us through it all.
We'll remember that the new life we see all around us is a reminder of the new life we have in Christ and that-praise God-He's still growing and changing us and isn't done with us yet!
They might ask about presents and baskets and pretty dresses and church and a big dinner.
If they do...I'll remind them that even though those things are fun they don't change what Jesus has done or make it any more special.
We can celebrate in our hearts and maybe next year-Mommy will be more like my old self and we'll get back to some of those fun traditions.
For now: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1
If you...like me...just couldn't muster up the extras this year....forgive yourself!
Easter is ALL about forgiveness!