Last year, Easter came right in the midst of spring planting and Katie's arrival and, unfortunately, didn't get a lot of attention. We went to church on Easter Sunday, had a family meal and an Easter egg hunt at the library.This year I really wanted to be more intentional about preparing our family to celebrate the Easter season and to really take the time to teach the kids about why this, of all holidays, is truly one of the most special ones we celebrate. We talked about it with the kids and skipped out on the library Easter egg hunt and instead did our own version with 'Resurrection Eggs', telling the story of the events of the Easter weekend. I remember my parents making a big deal at Easter time, Mom doing crafts and devotions that taught about Jesus' sacrifice and love. And, instead of getting baskets of candies and chocolates, getting a new Christian CD, a devotion book or trip to the Christian Book Store to pick out something special. I'm so thankful for the example my mom and dad gave me in making Easter a true celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There were times, with the kids at this age, when I wondered if this was all worth it. There were definitely moments of craziness and activities that, I had pictured in my mind as being quiet, solemn teaching times, were filled with arguments about who got to open the next egg or silly gagging over the smell of the vinegar. On Saturday night I was definitely thinking that I had done a pretty bad job at choosing activities that were appropriate and meaningful for our kids. Another fail for the mama. But then, in true Easter form, came His grace. Pete came in from the barn and went to say goodnight to the kids, who were already tucked in. As I finished folding some laundry across the hall from the boys' room, I could hear Pete talking with the boys and voices that were much too excited for bedtime. I headed over to see what was going on and could clearly hear their voices "...and the vinegar smelled SO bad, Dad. I can't believe that's what they gave Jesus to drink! Do you think they were being mean to him?", "...and the salt was so salty but Jesus and everyone was crying so they would taste the salt on their face too!", "and when we put it all together it turned white!!! Just how Jesus makes our hearts clean again.", "I can't wait to see what's in the tomb, I mean the oven, tomorrow! What do you think will happen??". Hearing the excitement in their voices as they described the things we did together brought tears to my own eyes. A beautiful reminder that, just because things don't go exactly as I plan, doesn't mean that God isn't working out an even better plan in His most perfect way. A grace-filled Easter lesson for me.
"At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him." (John 12:16)
I'll leave you with our favorite Easter song from this year. We've had this on repeat for the past few weeks and we hope it brings as much joy to your hearts and home as it has for us. He has risen! He has risen indeed! Happy Easter, from the Koobs Klan! xo