Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Joy

This has been a fun week!

One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities that we as moms have is to teach our children about the love of Christ. So entering this Holy Week, I was determined to make sure I talked with Benjamin and Hannah about what Easter is all about and that it has so much more to it than chocolate bunnies and hunting eggs.

Monday morning, I sat down with the kids for a devotional time, something I try to do every morning that we are home. Imagine what went on in my heart when I asked the kids why we celebrate Easter, and Benjamin immediately began telling the entire Easter story from start to finish, in his own four-year-old language. I always wonder just how much soaks into their little brains when I read them Bible stories, and when they hear the Sunday School lessons, and when I just talk to them in general. Just listening to Benjamin retell the Easter story reminded me to keep on reading and keep on saying memory verses and keep on keeping on because it IS making a difference. It is so fun to me as a mommy to see my kids learning new things right before my very eyes.

Wednesday morning, we got ready and went to the church, where we met up with a group of others charged with the task of handing out flyers to as many houses as possible to invite our community to attend Easter services. I explained to Benjamin and Hannah what we were doing and why. Sometimes I forget they don't know that everyone doesn't go to church or love Jesus like we do. It's just the way of life they are used to, so they think everyone does that. So we got our assignment and headed out to our first street. As I was getting Hannah settled into the wagon with snacks and juice, Benjamin grabbed a flyer and said, "Let's go hand out flyers so people can praise Jesus with us at church." Again, imagine my heart at the sound of this! During all my explanation, never had I said anything about inviting people to praise Jesus with us--I just said we wanted to invite people to come to church with us and learn about Jesus. I love that his mind is grasping what church is all about!

We had a beautiful Maundy Thursday service at our church. It was very meaningful with lots of music and scripture and concluding with communion. I just couldn't help myself all through the service, though, because I wanted to skip all of that and just get to Easter morning! I almost felt impatient! I love walking into the sanctuary on Easter Sunday, with an almost electric atmosphere and singing "Up From the Grave He Arose!" What a celebration! Let's just get on to the good stuff! But as I sat there thinking this, my heart began showing me that this is no different than every day life. Just as we have to endure the pain of Maundy Thursday to celebrate the joy of Easter morning, we often have to endure the darkness and the hard stuff in order to appreciate and enjoy the light. We wouldn't know the bright sunshine dawning on a new day if we hadn't endured the darkness of the night. We wouldn't know that joy is so sweet if we hadn't tasted the bitterness of pain and rejection. To everything, there is a season...

May your Easter morning be blessed as we celebrate the Risen Savior!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I'm Still Here!

I have not completely fallen off the face of the earth, though it would appear that way by looking at my blog lately! Obviously, blogging has not been at the top of my priority list as of late, but I have missed it and am working to find its place in my schedule.

I have spent a lot of time and prayer lately figuring out exactly where my time needs to be spent. I know that is a hard thing for many women, and I am no different. There are so many things out there that beg for our time: husband, kids, other family, friends, church, housework, other work--and that's just the beginning and doesn't include anything that is set aside as "fun time" for ourselves. And it's not just "what" gets our time, but then you have to decide "how much" time that "whatever" gets.

One change that I am giving a try as of today is making my "sabbath" day on Friday. I've really tried hard the past few years to honor the Sabbath as God calls us to do, but I've also learned that He doesn't specify that it absolutely must be on Sunday. Sundays are often far from relaxing at our house, simply because for Mark, by nature of being a pastor, Sunday is a work day. Friday is his day off, so I've decided to make it my day off as well--to relax more, do the fun things that I usually don't allow myself to do during the week, and simply to focus on enjoying this life God has given me.

So my plan is to include blogging in my fun, relaxing activities for Friday. I'll keep you "posted" (ha--no pun intended!) on how it goes.

Life continues to happen around here, meaning both the good and the bad. But I feel much better equipped to handle it all on a more even keel due to the growth and change I've experienced over the past several months. God is good, and always works all things together for good. Thankfully so, or else some health and other "life" issues with my family (the family outside of my home) probably would have done me in.

Can some new photos make up for my recent extended absence? I'll give it a try...

Sunday Morning Finery

Sleeping Beauty

The Handsome Prince

Happy Weekend!