Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

After making such a big deal out of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas this year, Brad and I started to think about Easter.  If we make sure to stay focused on Christ during Christmas and not Santa or the presents then why don't we make such an effort on Easter?  After all, isn't Christmas really about Easter?  Jesus came on Christmas so that we could have Easter.  And Easter is starting to become more and more about the Easter bunny and coloring eggs and chocolate and presents.  That's just not what it's really about, though.  And we would rather start off with the true meaning of Easter than have to go back and do damage control in the future because we let things get out of control.

But we just weren't sure how to stay focused on Christ but still participate in the typical Easter festivities.  As I've mentioned before, Brad and I love to give presents, especially to our boys, so we really didn't want to not give them any gifts at all.  After searching for some time we found a few ideas that we really liked and have decided to make part of our family tradition.

The first is celebrating the first day of Spring the way most people celebrate Easter Sunday.  The boys woke up and found their baskets filled with goodies.  We usually try to give the boys gifts that we know they will use rather than something that will just fill a basket.  So, in Judah's basket we put two new diapers, a sippy cup, and a book (we give the boys books for every holiday).  Micah's basket had LeapFrog letter magnets, stamp letters, bath crayons, and a book.  Then, we had a special breakfast.  Micah loves pancakes so Brad made him pancakes in the shape of a bunny.  Did you know that a bunny is a symbol of Easter because they procreate so easily that they are a sign of new life, which is what Easter is really all about?  Cool, huh?

Then, that morning, we had a First Day of Spring party with some of our friends.  At our party, we had an egg hunt, colored eggs, made a craft, and had some yummy food.  Micah had a blast playing with everyone and he got to enjoy all of the regular Easter activities, apart from Easter Sunday.  This is definitely a tradition we will keep up!

However, focusing on Jesus at Easter is about more than ignoring the "secular" part of the holiday.  It's about celebrating him and his resurrection.  So, Easter morning when the boys woke up they each had a little something waiting for them at their seat at the table.  Each of them got a book about Easter, which we read to them during the day, and a Bible verse printed on a piece of paper.  The Bible verse is the verse that Brad and I have chosen to pray for each of them in the next year.  A verse to focus on for each of them.  We printed the verse on a piece of cardstock and are going to buy a frame to put them in to hang in their rooms so that they can be reminded that we are always praying for them.  What better gift can we give our children then to show them that we are praying for them? 

Curious what verses we chose?  For Micah we chose Ephesians 3:17b-19 "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and
long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God."  Pretty self-explanatory as to why we chose it. :)  For Judah we chose Pslam 139:13-14a "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."  Judah has had a lot of tummy and skin issues.  We're trying to figure out if he had food allergies or sensitivities.  Sometimes it can be so easy to get upset and feel like there's just something wrong.  But we need to be reminded that God created him just as he is.  And if he does have allergies, God created him that way.  He's a unique little boy.  Very
different from his brother, that's the way God made him.  And we praise God for making Judah Judah and we want him to know that.

After breakfast, we went to church and had a wonderful service!  Both of the boys got to sit with us during worship, which I love.  I think it's so good for them to see us praising God with song and I just love sharing that with them.  Then, we went to my parents' house for some time with my family.  While we were there, my dad read the resurrection story from Micah's Bible.  It was a great way to end the day. 

I'm so happy with the traditions that we are making for our boys and the example that we are setting for them.  It is my prayer that Easter will never be about some bunny or coloring eggs for them, but it will always be about the amazing gift that Jesus gave them on the Resurrection Sunday when he conquered death because of his love for them.  And I pray that someday they will accept that gift as their own and love Jesus with all of their heart.

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