I wrote last year a bit about my Upbringing and Easter... if you want a bit of my background, well - there ya go. Otherwise - let's jump right in.
I became a Christian at 21, a wife at 22, and a Mama at 25. I fell in love with my life as it was unfolding and that has ever since then been the case.
We have an Only... she is hands down the best thing I have ever done and coming at Easter from the perspective of a parent undoes me every. single. year.
Gah... how much the Father loves us!
Every year we meet up at my In
-Laws -Loves house and have Easter lunch after church. This tradition began long before I entered the family and it was cemented early on, even in our Before Season of having a Little.
We gather together, eat lunch, and share what stood out about Easter, really letting the Gospel saturate us. Eventually our Only came along and she has one older cousin and for a couple of years, we'd hide eggs all over yard and they would go on the hunt... just the two of them. After Steph moved away, for many more years our Girlie searched on her own.
Can you even?
Since then, well - Littles have been added... and added...
(...and added some more - even since this photo was taken a couple of years ago!)
In the midst of her growing up years - our During Season - Easter has always meant church and family and Egg Hunts with the cousins, - and let's not forget that crazy over-filled, (now seriously sad) hand crafted Easter Basket made for her First Easter Ever. It went from a little candy and a dress with some sidewalk chalk, plastic toys and bubbles squeezed in, to a little candy and a dress with designer heels, room decor, and an itunes cards tucked in.
Seriously, ya'll - this is falling apart and she won't let me get rid of it!
When she was still a Tiny and could barely climb the stairs, she would ask to watch "Jesus on da Toss!" She loved her Easter cartoons, but what she requested more than anything was to watch The Matthew Movie - a word for word rendition of the Gospel of Matthew; the one with the happy Jesus and she would be glued to the screen, downloading Scripture without even knowing it. Oh, we'd let her but we'd always skip the Crucifixion. Still, that is the scene that got her, every. time. Even going fast forward. (...So that completely dates me. Whatever.)
For all of her life, our Girlie has known Easter and what it means - how it is all about Jesus and what He did and what He does still... how He is still going about the business of saving and redeeming...
But in this (nearly) After Season some things have changed. Our college girlie works now and so getting a holiday off is not a given and we are still waiting to see if she gets to join us on Sunday and sit down for lunch, share Gospel and mashed potatoes, and talk a little about life and death and resurrection. All the cousins are getting older... we still have Littles so the excitement of searching for eggs and candy is still high, but it has a different feeling to it now.
Honestly, at this point, this isn't how I envisioned things. But I am old enough now to know that God is never caught off guard or surprised by anything. The little details that I would like to change don't really concern Him. But He and I both agree that what we want the most this Easter - for my family and for yours, no matter the stage or age, is that there will be heart-hunger stirred up and Gospel-truth soaked in deep!
I pray that at some point over the next several days, whether at church, in quiet time, with family, or searching for treasures hidden, you will reflect on Easter as a parent. That you will see your Littles - no matter how little they are or aren't anymore - and remember that the Father gave up His one and only Son so that we might have life... and have it more abundantly!
No matter your wishes or dreams, your disappointments or concerns as a parent... He's got your Littles and your not so Littles and He knows... as a Father, He knows! He desires the best for them too and He loves them with a heart that beats FIERCE for them. Whether they are joyfully serving Him, going through the motions with little shown emotion, or searching on their own for truth... He is after them!
I remember having a conversation once where we were discussing if God really forsook Jesus on the Cross or if the enemy of His soul simply made Him believe He was forsaken. It was not an argument and it can't be proven, but it made me ponder ...how often have I fallen for the lies of the enemy and felt like I was abandoned, beyond help... forsaken, beyond hope? Too many than I'd like to admit to, honestly.
But He has given us a Promise to never leave us or forsake us and I believe that - always - there is hope, because where ever you go, He is there!
I'm linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
and with Holley Gerth for #CoffeeforYourHeart