Updated: Apr 6
(NOTE: I wrote this just after Easter 2019).
I gotta tell you, as a Mom, this was kind of a “fail year” for me regarding Easter. Most years I have my act together and make it a very meaningful time, but this year I had some big projects going on and time got away from me! Last Sunday we got together a week early to celebrate Easter as a family and it wasn’t all it should have been. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful. Getting together is always a treasured time for me since some of our grown children live in other states and I am always grateful for every moment. However, there were some important moments that didn’t happen.
I must confess to you that all we got done last weekend was a meal, an egg hunt, and some chocolate. (You can’t see me, but I’m hanging my head very low, with one hand cupped up on my forehead, looking away). I missed a precious opportunity that can’t be brought back.
You see, for all the things that fill my life with busyness, excitement, worry, pressure, and happy moments too, none of it matters to me in comparison to doing all I can to help my children and grandchildren walk in personal relationship with Our Savior, Jesus. He is my heartbeat and my meaning in life. In my early years, Christ may have seemed more of an obligation than a friend. But throughout the years, He has been my guide, provider, comforter, healer (both the healer of my body and my heart) and mender of relationships too. He has been the master artist of my family, designing a masterpiece that far exceeds what I could have asked or imagined.
Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, as many Christian’s have begun calling it, is one of the greatest opportunities of the year to refocus, as a family, on the One who deserves all of our attention year round. And so I find myself full of regret that I missed this milestone opportunity that comes only once a year.
Honestly, He deserves my family’s attention this Easter season, and every day of the year. That’s what I try to do. Of course, we mamas are going to have many failed moments, for none of us are perfect. There’s always going to be the “wish I had”s and the “why didn’t I”s. That is just part of the parenting package. We don’t need to beat ourselves up about every missed opportunity. In fact, I”m totally against heaping guilt on ourselves about our mistakes, but I highly value regret.
I happen to believe that regret is one of the most valuable life tools that God has given us as humans. That is, if we utilize it constructively. Regret is something to embrace for a time, until it has done its job. I appreciate the reflection that it offers and the sting of it also is important for motivating change in myself. So the sting of this particular regret motivates me to be more intentional in the future with the gift of holiday moments with the family to impact their eternity.
Here’s some ideas for you that we’ve enjoyed along the way:
LAMBS MORE THAN BUNNIES – It’s no coincident that Christ’s resurrection happened in the Spring. His resurrection is all about NEW LIFE! So, while some Christians may think that eggs and bunnies have nothing to do with celebrating Christ’s birth, I haven’t shared that perspective. I have never made Easter about THE Easter Bunny, but I have certainly incorporated a celebration of spring time and the new life that is all around us – new life that are symbols of the new life we have in Christ. Now that I’m a Grandma, I’ve been keeping my eye out for spring decor that is LAMBS not bunnies. I want to emphasize with my grandchildren the important symbolism in little lambs and what they mean about who we are and who Christ is. (Genesis 22:7, Ezra 6:20, John 21:15, I Peter 1:18-19, Acts 8:32, Revelation 5:12, Psalm 23)
RESURRECTION EGGS – Each plastic egg in an egg carton represents a different aspect of Christ’s last week on earth, from the Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21: 1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19) to the Resurrection (Matthew 28:5-6, John 20:27-29, Revelation 1:17-18, I Corinthians 15:12-20, John 3:16-17). Now you can buy a dozen eggs already put together with special little surprises in each egg such as cloth to represent the cloth they wrapped Jesus body in or a tiny little cup to represent the last supper. We have used an official set of Resurrection Eggs for about 20 years until last year when they were all so broken I just decided to throw them away. Before next Easter, I’m going to make my own set. Here’s a link to a DIY version: https://www.southernsavers.com/diy-resurrection-eggs-1/h
RESURRECTION ROLLS – Here’s a picture from this week when my youngest daughter had an Easter party with friends in our co-op. The mom, my dear friend, who led in the lesson of the Resurrection eggs, did such a smart time-saver thing- she bought already made crescent roll dough to wrap the marshmallows. Here’s a link to a making Resurrection Rolls at your house. https://joyfoodsunshine.com/homemade-resurrection-rolls/
JEWISH SEDER- If you haven’t ever studied Jewish holidays, they are fascinating. I wish that I was disciplined enough to commemorate them every year, but I haven’t reached that goal yet. Maybe I’ll make that a “Grandma Goal.” Anyway, a Jewish Seder is a special meal of remembrance of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 23:15, Numbers 9:1-5). As followers of Christ, we know that the Passover pointed to the ultimate Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world, Jesus Christ (John 2:13-23, John 13:1-3, Matthew 26:17-28). All of the Jewish holidays serve as arrows pointing to the coming Messiah. The Old Testament is full of insight and symbolism into what Christ would fulfill when He walked Earth – God became man and dwelt among us, took our punishment, and conquered death and the grave. All of the details of his life and death and resurrection were prophesied in the Old Testament, over 400 prophecies!
NEIGHBORHOOD CELEBRATION- Building relationships is what being a Christ follower is all about – relationship with God and relationships with others. It seems in many neighborhoods across America today that the urgencies of life have snuffed out the time for relationship-building, especially among neighbors. We’ve tried to make holidays a great reason to connect with our neighbors – Christmas goodies, Fourth of July fireworks, fall bonfire, and Easter party for the kids. In this picture, we simply ran to Dollar Tree for the paper products and food. Then we invited the neighbor kids to our front porch for popcorn in the bunny cups and some mnm’s placed on top of pretzels (sticking them on with melted almond bark). We brought out the resurrection eggs to talk about with the children while we had the neighborhood teens hide eggs for an Easter egg hunt.
FAMILY COMMUNION – I have these amazing goblets that were passed down from my grandma, each with a different picture of a different disciple etched on the glass. This makes family communion an extra special time for me as I get to pass on such a special heritage. But before these goblets were mine, we would use a simple goblet and plate to share communion as a family… to pray together, to remember together, and to bond together as God’s masterpiece in the making. (1 Corinthians 11:26, Matthew 26:26-28). Having communion as a family can be done with whatever you have on hand – some crackers and some juice works great. Here’s a great way to teach children about why we take communion: https://www.jellytelly.com/blog/3-tips-for-teaching-your-children-about-communion
May God bless you and your family this Resurrection weekend as you pray together, worship together, and bond together as your family becomes God’s masterpiece in the making.
Walking this parenting journey right along with you, Val