We had planned on taking a big trip South to visit family right after Easter. That trip has since been delayed due to a bout with the chickenpox. Yes, I said chickenpox! That not-so-common-anymore, spotty, itchy, uncomfortable childhood illness. I'm happy to report that everyone survived relatively unharmed, save for lack of sleep on Mom's part. :)
Easter celebrations this year, like much of the first three months of 2008, were different. Micah and Dori were able to go with Jason to church, but the baby and James were still contagious and missed out on the church festivities. Micah was kind enough to collect many candy-filled eggs in his brother's stead, and we all together enjoyed a leisurely afternoon after eating roasted chicken with veggies and resurrecting (no pun intended!) an old tradition from my childhood: the coconut cake.
This year was a time of reflection. Of remembering hope. Hope we have from the cross, hope for the coming of Spring, hope for the future. And although the children were quite a sight, and Mom was super sleepy, it turned out to be a wonderfully quiet and relaxing day.
Sometimes we get bogged down in trying to create some super-spiritual experience for our family. You know what I mean--we've all done it! Christmas Eve rolls around and we think, "Oh no! We haven't read the Christmas story yet, we're not focused on the real meaning." Or we try to somehow give only three gifts to the children to represent the wise-men (or some other symbolic mechanism that will make us feel like we have adequately given enough spiritual weight to the holiday) . Or we just *have* to bake a special scripture cake, and then we will have effectually created the right balance of focus on the birth of Christ verses the joy of giving and receiving gifts. And so we run around frazzled and sometimes even stressed trying to facilitate this "spiritual" aspect.
I was thinking about this a lot this past Christmas and talking with a dear friend about this very thing. She said something so true: waking up on Christmas morn and seeing the delight in your children and feeling the warmth and love of your family.....that is the spiritual part of Christmas. That is something that only our relationship with God can foster. That is what the birth of Christ and the redemption of man yields.
Where am I going with all this? Back to Easter.
I forgot to dye eggs or go over any symbolic meaning with the kids. I stayed up almost the entire night before with a sick and uncomfortable babe, and so I was a little fuzzy. We didn't have ham or taters, and all the family didn't make it to church. But being together and waking up to children's delight and reflecting on the hope we have in Christ....well, it was a spiritual experience indeed.
Dori's Easter treats. She loves drawing and writing so I got her this nature notebook--just in time for spring!
James' Easter treats. He really wanted this Rapunzel Puzzle