Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter 2017

So Easter happened. I saw lots of happy family pictures posted on social media, all pretty in Easter Sunday best. I didn't take one of my crew. For a fleeting moment I thought of taking a couple shots, but I really wasn't into imposing that on us. The boys would have grumbled, Jon would have accepted the interruption though his focus was intently on the sermon, and I was wearing a dress I've worn for 8 years or so. Blah. Olivia looked cute, that I did notice.

But Easter picture wouldn't do one single thing to prepare my heart for the significance of Christ's resurrection, and really, that's what I wanted most.

I had made some Easter plans as an attempt to make the day stand out from the rest. We had a special breakfast together, and preparations were made to have several families from church for the day. Oh, and the egg toss which has become something the kids look forward to now. I never really know what the plan is any more. I've tried to become flexible enough in my hosting to include more people than anticipated. I want holidays to be celebratory and inclusive.

Yeah, but an Easter menu and a decorated table and laughter over splattered eggs doesn't equate true celebration. This I know and feel.

I didn't grow up with particularly festive holidays and we didn't have many traditions. As frequently happens, people grow up and decide they want to do differently from how they were brought up. I am sure my kids will look back and decide that they don't want to repeat certain things I've done. This is to be expected. For me, though, one thing I wanted to do differently were holidays and celebrations. I wanted family traditions and festive celebrations. I've had to work at this, learning the how-to of hosting and preparing for such occasions. I have seen that my efforts have enriched our family life, but I've also grown acutely aware that special days of worship can turn into distracted days of human tradition and entertainment.

This isn't worship. Yes, I want days like Resurrection Sunday to stand out as being special, but I desire this to come from humble hearts of gratefulness and true worship. We should be able to do this  regardless of the menu and decor and entertainment. I want to learn how to do this.

In the car today, I told the boys that every single day my desire is to communicate to them just how wonderful God is. In a big huge way I want them to know this... To taste and see that the Lord is good.

But I don't have the words. I told them I fail at communicating what my heart longs to say, longs for them to know. So despite my difficulty, I pray daily that the Lord's face would shine on us, that we would know him, that our eyes would be opened to the Truth that changes hearts and lives.

I want every cell of my body, and the entirety of my soul to be oriented to God and to know him for who he really is... and then to be able to express it appropriately.

But I find myself stuck, distracted, wayward, and stone-like at times.

Then Easter comes and all I want is for my mind and heart to truly celebrate. And I'm unable to do so beyond surface type praise.

This side of eternity, I will not be able to fully grasp the depth of my sin or the vastness of Christ's love and sacrifice. I won't fully understand the significance of his resurrection with my finite heart and mind. It's too wonderful for me.

In the car ride today, I encouraged the boys once again to go before God in complete honesty. If they don't believe, they should tell him so. He already knows it, and there is no use pretending with him. If they don't love him, they should ask that he would change their heart. I told them that sin will happen. It just will. The good news is that God always forgives. The proud, unrepentant heart, however, is to be feared. We ought to pray that God would orient us toward him... because we cannot do it on our own.

I tell God I don't love and worship as I should. I tell him I want to, but I need his help. I hope this humility, though terribly small in terms of gifts or expression of thanksgiving, is pleasing to Him. He knows my heart and how it needs to be sanctified.

He promises to do it, and his word is always sure. He resurrected, just as he said he would, and  he will surely return. Then I will know true worship.


We had a wonderful spring break last week. We were able to get away as a family for a few days and enjoy this season of our lives. We went through Santa Barbara, our get-away town during the years we lived in L.A., and we recreated the very first picture I posted on this blog. You can see the original picture HERE


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