Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easter

I'm still working on "back posts". Easter weekend, my parents visiting, Rylee's birthday weekend...they will all get here eventually!

So, for now...let's talk about Easter!
We had a GREAT celebration of Easter this year.
I can honestly say I don't know that I've ever celebrated Easter with such heart and love!

My kids really began to understand the reason we celebrate Easter. Explaining it all over and over again made it more real for me, too.
We did several things to celebrate. Friday, the kids and I made a mountain/tomb to visually illustrate the Easter story. We had friends over Friday afternoon to decorate eggs. Then, Friday evening we went to a Good Friday service at church. We also had Jesus hung on the cross and placed Him in the tomb at night (bottom picture below).
Then, on Saturday morning we joined our church for an egg hunt/party at the apartment complex where we lived last year.

Rylee was all about gathering the eggs this year. She filled her bucket, brought it to Daddy, had it dumped, and filled it again! You can see all the loot with Jenna in the wagon!Then, we capped off the day by hosting a party and egg hunt for our neighborhood.
Several weeks before Easter I was convicted that I need to do more to get to know my neighbors. We were studying Isaiah and the verse that says "how lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news...". Pastor Jerry mentioned that the mountains can be what stand in our way of sharing the Gospel. I certainly haven't shared much in my neighborhood. I didn't know my neighbors! How can I meet needs I don't know about?!

So, after several weeks of conviction, I asked Joel if we could host a gathering. We had no idea how it would all work, but God already had it taken care of.
The day after we decided, a surprise "gift" arrived--just the right amount to cover the costs for hosting a gathering. We made fliers and the kids and I went door-to-door meeting and inviting neighbors.
We even had games! The day of our party we just casually asked about the games being used by our church. They offered to let us use them!
That night about 30 people gathered on our front lawn and enjoyed hotdogs, chips, brownies, lemonade, games, and a nice egg hunt! We give ALL glory to the Lord!
Sunday morning the kids awoke to find that the stone was rolled away and tomb was empty (on our little mountain). They had to find Jesus, who has risen!!!! They were so excited! It's awesome to hear my toddlers shouting "He's alive!"
(By the way, Asa does not like yellow plaid shirts!)We enjoyed Easter at church and then had lunch at McDonald's. Hey....a treat for the kiddos! They love to play at Mickey Ds. We had naps and they awoke just in time to welcome some of our GFA family over for dinner.
Twenty-eight of us gathered on Resurrection Day to celebrate. We hid more eggs, but this time we added Resurrection eggs to the mix. (You can find out what those are here, here, or here. We were given our set by our church preschool director, who we love.) We numbered them and went through the Easter story as the kids all checked out their goodies.
It was so much fun!

The more I grow in my walk with Christ, the more I appreciate Easter and the more I have to celebrate. I cannot even begin to imagine how amazing and wonderful Easter will be as my kids begin to have their own unique relationships with the Lord and we can all celebrate together. What a glorious time to look forward to!

He is Risen!!!

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