As I sat down to write this morning, this was not the post I was intending to write. But many times, the Lord tends to grab the pen and changes my plan and words and so this.
Yesterday a sweet friend of mine posted something on facebook and I laughed at her antics and totally related to her struggle and then got distracted with children asking me for something. I can’t even remember if I liked her post. Nonetheless, I was reminded of it this morning and so…
To all you sweet, faithful mothers doing your best to pour into your children your hearts and faith, I am here to tell you that You are Amazing and all that you do to reach and teach your children truths is not falling on deaf ears, for you are building a foundation that will carry your children further than you can imagine.
“Mom, tomorrow is the day Jesus died on the cross for us and then Easter!” exclaimed my six year old daughter, quite jubilantly and proud.
My three year old began to cry and wail as only three year old girls can do and said, ” I don’t want Jesus to die, I like Jesus.” I go over to her and hug her. I kiss the top of her little head and take in her sweet, lavender scent. Pure, sweet innocence.
“It’s ok, because He is raised from the dead and He lives in our hearts,” explains the big sister.
And my heart is full.
All those days of sitting and reading the history of God’s great plan of salvation. All the crafts, all the intentional celebrations…they finally got it!
For the first time since I birthed these precious babies, now half grown into big kids and growing daily despite my plea for time to stand still; for the FIRST time the words were not, “I cant wait for the Easter egg hunt” and “more candy” and “I can’t wait to color eggs!”
All of those things are a part of our celebrations and family traditions that I love dearly. We certainly have never forgone any of those fun traditions for I have always been and am an advocate for celebrating childhood and imagination and creating memories that last a lifetime. But, I suppose like most Jesus following mothers, I want so much more for my children.
Many mothers, like me, we want our children to live out their childhood and enjoy the celebrations of this life that are worth celebrating. That is what drives pinterest! But, we also, and more importantly, want our children to know and understand the truth behind our celebrations. We desire them to know that the reason we celebrate Easter is so much more; that it is not just any day, but it is a part of what makes us who we are and it is why we live and love the way we do.
My son is 9 and our daughters are 6 and 3. We have intentionally taught our children why we believe and why we choose to live out what we believe every day.
We have done crafts and “experienced Easter” and read and shared as best as we can.
As I reflected on my friends post I began to think of all the things we have done to drive the message of Easter into our kids.
One year I bought the “A sense of the Resurrection” from Ohamanda.com. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to do all the crafts to make Easter real in the kids lives. Yeah, we did two crafts that year. 2 out of like 10. My expectations clashed with real life and I felt like a failure.
One year I made resurrection rolls and my kids made faces and didn’t eat them. I called them picky and ungrateful and then ate three rolls to soothe my ego. I have never made them again.
One year I didn’t buy any new Easter clothes, which was one of my traditions growing up. I had just finished reading Jen Hatmakers, Interrupted and the buying of frivolous, spring clothes was unnecessary and I wanted to make a point. Plus, it was to me a good way to “Keep Jesus in Easter.” Truth is no one really cared about the clothes but me and I found myself in my closet battling my selfishness, my ideals and the fact that I had “nothing to wear.” In the words of Jen Hatmaker, “Just whatever, man.”
A couple of years ago we were in the car and we asked our kids what Easter was about.
My son finally answered, “Uh, Jesus??” Really? Here we were trying our best to raise up Jesus loving, kingdom fighting, warriors for Christ and all we get is, ” I don’t remember” and, “Uh, Jesus?” Well of course, my husband did what any other strong, Jesus following, grace filled father would do, he said, ” If you can’t remember and tell me what Easter is about then we will not do any egg hunting or coloring this year!” They cried, we stuck to our proud, merciless ways and they finally “remembered” and our efforts weren’t totally in vain. It was a good thing, because I was about to get The Passion of the Christ out and
scar scare them into remembering forever!
Every year we decorate eggs and have a contest on which is the best. I, as always, trying to ‘keep Jesus in Easter’ yet again, decided to decorate my egg with a cross and “He is Risen” underneath.
We had two problems, a) I am the worst egg decorator ever. I just can’t do it. I really have no imagination or skill at this. It’s sad. Really. b) My kids at the time could not read. So, all efforts were lost on the illiterate.
My son says, “Why is there a ‘T’ on your egg?” “It’s a cross!” “Oh. I thought it was a ‘t’. Ok, dad’s chicken egg wins.” Sigh.
Every year we also do Resurrection eggs. Now this one is a winner for us. Finally. One win. But the first year I introduced them they fought over who got to open what and “I don’t like the green one” and “Why is this one empty” and “She got more than me because mine was empty!” Lord of Heaven, help me because THIS is why I am crazy!!
Usually, we don’t go to church on Easter Sunday. We serve and attend Saturday Services, making room for the guests on Sunday. On Sunday I make my “Famous” French Toast and we have family worship and enjoy our time together.
Unfortunately this year, due to scheduling and life we will be attending on Sunday and our traditions will be worked up somewhat differently.
But, that’s ok.
After years of efforts and intentional living, my kids are finally getting it.
Today they were glad Jesus died on the cross for them.
Yeah, Easter still makes me weepy. And as a mother and as a 30 something Jesus lover who constantly sinks and flails in her faith, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday break me because despite my failures and lack of faith, Jesus died, his body was broken, his blood, the nails…all for me.
On that cross He saw me and you and on that cross He saw our children. And today, He see’s all you do to make Him real and to pour into your children faith and love.
He see’s you and He is faithful.
So mama’s out there – As you plan your celebrations and you dye eggs and fill baskets and dress your babies in Resurrection glory, enjoy your littles. Reflect and praise our risen savior who trusted YOU to keep the legacy of your faith and His power. All that you do is a part of the giving of your faith to your children.
Every tradition and intentional truth you share with them is the baton of faith that you are passing on.
They hear you.
They see you.
It is not for nothing.
They will know and understand and experience the Resurrection through your life.
One day they will be able to run further and faster because they had a mother who taught them to run well.