I can’t believe how late I am in sharing our Easter festivities! Ah well! Better late than never, right? Anywho…Easter was a wonderful day. Not only in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, but we got to do it with family! My parents, sister and her crew, and my grandma all joined us for church and lunch afterward. We had a really great day celebrating together, having lunch, visiting and letting the kids play a lot together. It was an absolutely gorgeous day on Easter, and we were all so thankful to be able to sit and bask in the sunshine! We also celebrated my mom’s birthday, a few days early, and had fun doing that too! I love my Lord, and I love my family, and I love that we, as a family, all love our Lord together! David did a great job preaching a beautiful sermon from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. For the first time ever we got the 2 older kids a few Easter treats to open in the morning. Cora was absolutely adorable. She comes into our room and at the top of her lungs, and with as much excitement as she can, she says, “MOM! DAD! COME QUIIIIIIICK!!!!!!! THE EASTER BUNNY WAS HERE AND LEFT US STUFF ON THE TAAAAAAAAABLE!!!!!” So. Precious. I love seeing these holidays through the eyes of my children.
When we first moved to our current church a man in the church approached David about putting up a plain cross for the Good Friday service. The cross was meant to be plain with no decoration. On Easter Sunday the cross was then meant to be adorned with greenery and flowers. David thought it was a neat idea, and so since we’ve been here it has become a tradition to see the plain, stark cross for the Good Friday service and then the flowering cross on Easter Sunday. The man and his wife provide fresh flowers, and as everyone comes in for service on Easter Sunday they choose a flower, take it to the cross, add it to the greenery and go sit down in their seats. It’s so beautiful! I have really enjoyed this new tradition. There’s speculation as to when this tradition started in The Church as a whole, but I’m not able to find anything concrete. What I have found is some churches do the plain cross for all of Lent, and then the flowering cross for Easter. In any case, it’s really pretty. I find it brings focus to the fact that Christ is no longer on that cross and offers us eternal life if we choose to accept it and follow him. What are some traditions your church does to keep the focus on The Cross and what Christ did for us there?
We had a most wonderful Easter celebration this year! I love Easter. It’s my favorite, even over Christmas. David and I don’t do baskets for the kids, and we try very hard to keep it as commercial-free as possible. We want the kids to know for sure what Easter is all about. This year Cora has been asking so many questions. It’s so neat to be able to answer those questions for her and see the wheels in her mind turning. We pray one day soon she accepts the love Christ has to offer her.
My parents and grandma joined us for service and also lunch afterward! We had a great spread of food–grilled chicken and steaks (David said he was grilling outside regardless of the weather! Thankfully, it was just a little cloudy.), special mashed potatoes done The Pioneer Woman way, roasted veggies and fruit salad. Mom also brought brownies and ice cream for dessert! We were all stuffed to the gills and had a great afternoon just relaxing. It’s crazy to think next Easter we’ll be a family of 5! Here are some of my favorite photos from the day! I have to say…I do believe my children are adorable!
Last week I was rearranging some of my kitchen cabinets (read “nesting”) and went to put away the step stool I was using. I collapsed the stool and as I was walking it back to its spot it slipped out of my hand and landed with one of the feet on my left foot–my 4th toe on that foot to be exact. The pain was so horrible I couldn’t even cry. I hobbled over to a chair, sat down and rocked back and forth waiting for the pain to subside. My poor children came over to me with questioning eyes, patting me and hugging me. (On a funny note: Cora looks at her brother and says, “It’s OK, Ben. You didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident!” He nods in all seriousness and looks at me with big eyes. When I was able to find my voice I said, “Cora, honey, Ben didn’t hurt Mommy. Mommy hurt herself. It was an accident, but no one hurt Mommy but herself.” Cora looks at Ben and says, “Oh, you didn’t do anything Ben! It was just an accident!”) As the day progressed my toe got more and more red/purple. By the next morning my toe was blue, purple and red. Plus, the bruise had traveled down into my foot. Cora was fascinated that my toe was so many colors. In any case, I think I broke it, but it is improving.
Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well, let me tell you, I didn’t realize how much I used that toe until I couldn’t use it. I mean, did you know you use that 4th toe to climb up and down stairs, walk, balance, carry your son, and kneel on the floor and also to get back up? Yeah, you do. With everything I did I felt that dumb toe. It made me think of the following passage in 1 Corinthians. Please read it, I know it’s a little long, bear with me…
“Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-31
Scripture uses the human body to explain and describe what the Body of Christ is. We are all important. I mean, we need everyone. If you think you’re just a measly little toe, you’re wrong. You’re needed in the Body of Christ. Let me tell ya, if you stopped using the gifts and strengths God gave you the Body would suffer. People would say, “Hey! What happened to that toe? We’re out of whack! We can’t go up and down stairs as well. We can’t balance very well. It hurts too much to get up from this position.” Maybe your job is to be the pastor. Maybe your role is to be a Sunday school teacher. Maybe you’re the janitor. Maybe you’re the one who calls those who are sick, takes them a meal, or visits those who can’t get out. Maybe you quietly serve, and people don’t really know that the things you do are being done by you. Whether you’re the one preaching every Sunday or doing things people don’t even know about it doesn’t matter. It is our job, being a part of the Body of Christ, to do what we were created to do. If you stop doing what you were created to do the Body will not function the way it should. You are not just a measly toe, you are a very important part of the Body of Christ, and you need to remember that!
Today I’m thankful for the church the Lord has brought us to. I’m thankful he saw fit for us to serve in this church, for David to pastor these people and for me to get involved too. I’m thankful for their spirit of love and compassion. I’m thankful they don’t get bent out of shape over things that don’t matter. I’m thankful they are excited for me to be involved in the happenings of the church and that they allow David to use the gifts the Lord has blessed him with to minister to them. God knew what he was doing (surprise! surprise!). It was a long, two year journey to this church, but I’m so thankful the Lord brought us here.
Long before David and I had children we determined we would not tell our children they had to do something because their dad is the pastor. Instead, we want to instill in our children that we do the right thing because it’s what Jesus would have us do, because it’s the right thing to do and has nothing to do with Daddy’s job. I’ve been tested on this lately.
Due to a sudden influx of young children in our church our Christian Education Board has had to add a couple Sunday school classes. Cora is in the 2 year old class, or she would be if she would go. That’s right, the pastor’s daughter is not interested in going to Sunday school. I have struggled with this because I want my child to go to Sunday school, and after all she’s the pastor’s daughter! But, I have had to stop myself from making it a big deal (or any kind of deal, really) because you know what? She’s two. She’s had a lot of change in the past few months and whether or not she goes to Sunday school right now just isn’t worth the fight. And, I want Sunday school to be something she looks forward to, not something she dreads. So, right now, she will sit with me in church, will always be given the option to go to Sunday school, but I will not force her to go. I have to ask myself, “If she wasn’t the pastor’s daughter how would I be handling this situation?” This small situation has caused David, and especially me, to pause and remember the promise we made to ourselves and our children that they will not have to do things simply because their father is the pastor.
It’s been a year! Can you believe it? It’s been a year today that we moved out of my MIL’s basement and into our own home! What a year it’s been! It’s been a good year, a year of lots of ups and some downs. We have loved our house, our neighborhood, our church, the new friends we’ve made. It has been a year of blessing, peace and rest. God has put salve on our wounds, and they are healing. We are seeing daily, weekly, monthly how those wounds are becoming less and less and how the painful memories of the past are becoming more and more distant. God is good all of the time.