Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feeling Blissful

Aside from the occasional meltdown by one of the kids, I love life right now. God is so gracious. Right now I'm listening to beautiful piano music, the kids are napping after a wonderful playgroup morning of learning about Jesus and doing a fun project, and right before naptime they were sitting nicely while I did some chores. I love the friends God has placed in my life right now. I love the blessing of getting to stay home with my children and work on little projects here and there. I love that my husband loves me and works hard to support our family, and comes home to play and love on our kids. I love the blessing of a sunny day after months and months of snotty, cold weather.

Things will change, and if I think about those changes too much I get a little freaked out. I hope though I will always remember this feeling of bliss and blessing. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Baskets

When I was a kid I loved Easter. My parents went all out filling our Easter baskets with goodies. Toys, books, stuffed animals, and of course, CANDY!! I was a candy junkie. My brother and I would get up and find the basket and just chow down. Then of course there was the Easter egg hunt, which produced even more candy. I was a candy hoarder (was? to some extent I still am). I would hoard the candy from Easter and make it last until Halloween when the basket would get refilled. I distinctly remember hiding my stash o' candy in the closet and creeping in to get some. I also have a distinct memory of one Easter at the cabin in Hoodsport. I was in 8th or 9th grade, and I remember doing the Easter egg hunt in my jammies from Indonesia. After Easter basket and candy fest, we'd pack up and go to church. It was always so beautiful at church, with the pretty daffodils and lilies decorating the stage and windowsills. Sometimes we'd head to Grandma's for Easter dinner or have dinner with my Grandpa Floyd and Grandma Harriet at our house.

The last few years, I haven't been overly excited about Easter, at least in the same way I was as a child. I just looked around my house and I don't have any Easter decorations up. None. (Unless you count the gingerbread house we made last week that's been picked over, that's one.) We didn't put together Easter baskets for the girls, but they got some things from Great Grandma Ev and Nana and Grama Bales. Caley's playgroup is learning about Easter and the events leading up to it, but beyond that, I haven't done much. Someone told me about a "tomb cake" that teaches about Jesus' Resurrection. Cook a chocolate cake in a bowl and cut out a door and put a piece of cloth inside to show that Jesus came back to life. It sounds like a wonderful idea, it just didn't happen last week during Holy Week.

**I'd like to add that we did this yesterday, and it was a massive tomb cake didn't cook long enough and when we cut out the door to put Jesus inside (all wrapped up like He was in the story), hot chocolate goo came pouring out. Parts of it were cooked enough, so we just shoved Jesus inside (He got all gooey), acted out the story, and the girls ate the cake afterward. Peter the dinosaur disciple and Princess Atta and Ariel the mermaid (playing the women who went to Jesus' tomb) looked on. Caley understood the story, which is the point, not that it was necessarily pretty. Read more on Caley's Classroom blog asap.**

Caley knows the story of Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection. It's something she learns all the time, at church, at home, and when she hits her sister. She often says, "Jesus died so we don't die." When she sins (and when I sin) it's a perfect time to teach "The Easter Story." If you learn one thing about Jesus, it should be the Easter story. I would feel guilty about not devoting this entire week to Easter-related stories and activities, but we kind of do that anyway. It shouldn't be a special thing to learn what Jesus did for us, we should always be learning about it and contemplating it.

I'm not against Easter baskets, or candy, or bunnies or eggs. I'm not against doing fun things to illustrate Jesus' miracles or holidays we celebrate. But sometimes Mommy doesn't do things quite on time or the way everyone else does, but if the point is still Jesus then that's okay.

We celebrated Easter this year by going to church and hearing about Jesus, hearing testimonies of lives changed because of Him and seeing people baptized. Mars Hill also had streaming services live from the Ballard campus. We watched some baptisms when we got home and Caley asked, "what is baptism?" She saw a little girl about 5 years old get baptized. What an impact for her! I look forward to the Easter Sunday (or any day) that our girls will profess their faith in Jesus and be baptized by Daddy.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tantrums at Target and, well everywhere

Oh my dear sweet Amelia, where have you gone? You have been replaced by Little Miss Independent in the grocery store, in the parking lot, and so many other places. You want to walk by yourself, where you want to go (which is always 180 degrees from where I need to go). You want to hold the cup and drink, not have a sip while it's in my hand. You don't want to hold anyone's hand while crossing the street, so I have to pick you up, which just makes you more angry. Dear sweet Amelia, I'm just trying to protect you. I don't want to lose you to a crazy car that's driving too fast or a creepy guy looking to snatch up cute little girls in a lamb coat. I don't want you to fall and hurt your pretty little face on the sidewalk. Why don't you see that I love you and want you to stay safe?

It must be the way God feels when I want to do my own thing instead of letting him carry me through. When my stubborness and independence takes over instead of letting my Father care for me as I care for you dear sweet Amelia.

So sweet baby that's not a baby anymore...thank you for showing me how I act toward God sometimes. I'm not angry with you, it's your sin nature...this must be one of the reasons God gave me a toddler, to teach me through you. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's Amelia's turn to pray!

A few nights ago before dinner, Amelia prayed for us.

"Jesus, Amen. Yay!! (clapping)"