Saturday, April 9, 2011

Follow Through Friday on Saturday - Easter

Whoops! Time crunch this week. Reasons exist for my lateness, but that's going to be the topic of a future post, so we'll delve right into the topic at hand. My follow through task from 2 weeks ago went like this:

Next week: Easter is one month away. Every year, the day after Easter, I tell myself that I'm going to emphasize this holiday more next year.  I have my wreath out (see March 9 post), but otherwise, I have nothing celebratory around the house. And I have no special plans for Easter week. This week, I'm going to work on making the house more Easter centered and I'm going to plan Christ centered activities/readings for Easter week.

Well, because of my little April 1 prank, Easter is now a short two weeks away. Between now and then, David has 5 golf matches, Faith has 2 track meets, Elizabeth has 5 soccer games, and Mary Grace has 2 soccer games and 4 tennis lessons. She and I are also going to squeeze her "I'm about to be a teenager" trip to St. Louis in. Add a couple of more non sports related events on the calendar,  and we only have the potential for everybody to be home for 3 evening meals in the next 14 days. (That kind of hectic schedule is also fodder for a future post.)

So, what will our Easter emphasis look like? I'll list them for you and then briefly comment on each one.

nice fingerprints

1. Resurrection Eggs: These have been around a while, but we still enjoy them even though my kids are older. Each egg contains an small item representing a significant event during Jesus' last days on earth. There is a related scripture reading with each. Once a day, starting this Wednesday, you open an egg, read the scripture and discuss the symbol. Obviously, it's best to do this when everybody is home.  Thankfully, the entire family being together at least once in the day is not completely shot for us because we already have a set breakfast time in place. The kids have to be at the table every school day at 7:20 for breakfast. I'm a loving tyrant about this. They may be half asleep some mornings, but they are there. I try to read to them a short passage from the Bible. We'll just take a brief hiatus from the book of Daniel, which we are in right now (remember the writing on the wall story? Yikes.) 

Food for the body. Food for the soul. But let me be honest here (not that I'm not always honest, just need a little emphasis). I often still feel a bit awkward initiating this reading time and actually doing it. And sometimes I wonder about its effectiveness. But then I remember
Isaiah 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
So, awkward feeling or not, I try to do it anyway (most days) praying God will cause it to take root in my kid's lives. Maybe, if you've been wanting to try some kind of similar reading, the Resurrection Eggs this Easter season could be a launching point.

2. Saturday Night before Easter Reading Party: How about that catchy name? This is something brand new for us. Lou came home from his Bible Study with this idea. Tom Sneed, of cutting down tree fame, has started reading through the Bible with his family on Saturdays. They set aside 1 hr and take turns reading the Bible out loud to each other, just as you might read any story out loud. The Sneeds have found it very meaningful and powerful. Out of discussions surrounding this practice, came Lou's idea. The Bible Study families will come over, and for 1 hour, we will read through a gospel, which culminates right where we are - resurrection. It'll be interesting to see what kind of discussion comes of this. An hour is a significant amount of time to sit and listen, so we'll be letting the kids know (I guess they do right now) what's going down so they can psych themselves up.

I'm sure food will be involved on some level. And if weather permits, we'll probably set up a flashlight egg hunt. If your kids are too old for traditional egg hunts, try one in the dark. Parents, after banning kids to interior rooms,  will hide the eggs while it's still light outside. When it gets dark, the kids are turned loose with flashlights to hunt. We've done this with a big group, and it is great fun.

3. Easter Sunday: Sunday morning service with its atmosphere of celebration is the grand finale. In times past I have cooked a special meal for lunch, and other times, we've gone out. I haven't decided which we're going to do this year. Always, though, I make a cake in this lamb mold.

A small reminder, but a reminder, none-the-less of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 

As far as my house being decorated for Easter, I haven't done anything new. I have my Lent wreath, which I absolutely love, prominently displayed.

It's been good to describe its meaning to everyone who comes to the house. 

I also have these crosses.

 Lou made these from the trunk of 2 of our Christmas trees.  I had read about that somewhere and asked Lou to make it happen. The one on the right is my favorite. We discuss how the Christmas tree, the symbol of the birth of Christ is used to make the symbol of the death of Christ. He was born to die. Another something to remind us. To constantly remind us.

This season is busy. If I let myself, I could almost be bummed that we weren't doing more to help us focus. But I'm not going to concentrate on what we are not doing, but on what we are doing. And what we are doing is good. And isn't good, good?

Next week: I want to set up a table in my family room that's patterned off one I saw on Martha Stewart's site. First, I have to find the picture, then I'll set it up. How's that for specific?

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