Friday, April 14, 2017

On Preparing your family's heart for Easter

I took my 8 year old shopping today to get all the stuff we needed to host our family's Easter gathering this weekend.  I love it when it's just the two of us and we can act goofy and just talk.  But this morning, was different.  As we were heading out the door, he tells me, "Mom, today's the day Jesus died."  and then walked away.   The tears well up as I write this because despite the busy and the chaos that screamed today, he slowed down and remembered.  He reminded me to slow down and remember, too. 

We can't forget. 

We've been trying to get our Resurrection Eggs done and we've been slacking off, because we are busy.  It happens.  But, when we do them, I am seeing lights turn on in my 6 year old's eyes. I see the excitement my 8 year old gets when he remembers specific details.  Sometimes I think that it would be easy just to not talk about the hard stuff with our kids.  Jesus's birth.  Easy.  But death.  It's hard.  And Jesus' death isn't even a fun one to talk about.  It's gut wrenching, painful, and bloody.  It's hard.  It would be easy to throw that on the shelf for when they get older. 

But then I remember.  Jesus said, "let the children come to me."  They need to hear it and I need to be reminded of it.  Jesus's death is painful.  It's hard to talk about, but, as I watch my kids get excited and remember, I, too, am excited.  I pray that this stays with them.  That they remember that Jesus, long ago, died on a cross, with them in mind.  He knows them and loves them. He died so we could be forgiven.  There is nothing like the Love of Jesus.  Our kids need to know this.  We need to be reminded of this. 

Sharing the story of the resurrection, or any story really, isn't always perfect. Sometimes it's just downright hilarious and full of tangents that make you wonder if they even care.  Last week, we were opening the egg with the cup, talking about the last supper and my 8 year old decides we need to reenact the last scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  I was frustrated and laughing.  My husband joined in the fun and reminded me that I am a mom of boys.  My 6 year old closed our time in prayer that night, and I am pretty sure that he prayed about zombies.   It's not perfect.  It might not even go like you envision it, but they do get it even when it seems hilariously hopeless.  Don't give up.  It's important. 

So, here's a few things that I have found over the past few years that have helped us usher in Easter.  We don't do them all anymore, because now both kids are in school.  And some, we cram in despite the busy because the illustration is beautiful and yeilds a tasty treat!

1.  Resurrection Cookies -
These are one of our favorite treats.  They only take a couple of minutes the night before, but they give a sensory lesson of the cross.  From the sweetness of sugar to the bitter taste of vinegar, these cookies tell the story of the cross in a wonderful way.  They also, are dairy free (because they are pretty much just meringue cookies) so it's a serious hit with Weston. 

2.  Resurrection Eggs
There are 12 color coordinated eggs that each have an object inside of them.  They have a book, with a verse and a little story about why the object is there.  We have found this to be a great before bedtime activity and offers and easy way for kids to remember little details about the story.   I found mine at Lifeway after Easter for 75 percent off. . . a price I could not miss!  So, if you don't have them, I encourage you to keep your eyes out next week for cheap ones.

3.  Books.
I am a lover of books.  Beautiful picture books with beautiful words are one my favorite things to collect.   I had found another one to add to the collection, but it is not available anywhere!  Hopefully next year, I will share it with you. . . it's a good one!  Some of our favorite Easter books are:

The Parable of the Lily
I also wrote a blog post on this one here.

The tale of the three trees

Benjamin's Box - this is the story of the Resurrection Eggs

The Story of Easter

What is Easter?

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter! 

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