From "Merry Easter" by Frederica Methewes-Green (a reading in my Lenten book)
"It's that time of year again, when school children are coloring pictures of Jesus hanging from a cross, and shop owners fill their windows with gaily colored cutouts of the Flogging at the Pillar. In the malls everyone is humming along with seasonal hits on the sound system, like "O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded" (did you hear the Chipmunks' version?). Car dealers are promoting Great Big Empty Tomb Size discounts on Toyotas. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Easter..."
The sarcasm in her words is hard to miss. She goes on to say, "Somehow we just don't make the same boisterous fun of Holy Week that we do of Christmas. No one plans to have a holly jolly Easter." Her thoughts resonate with me.
But as for some Easter Carols.... for the Easter seaaon, that is something I CAN do.
Hello, iTunes! Make a mix of songs that remind you of the cross, Jesus' sacrifice and the joyful resurrection. They don't all have to be slow, mournful tunes. Although be sure to put some thoughtful ones in mix.
This is my Lent Mix. It starts with Hosanna and songs that remind me of Christ's entry into Jerusalem....songs in the middle focus on the cross, His sacrifice....and songs at the end sing praises of his victory over death.
So if you are looking for some tunes....Here are my suggestions.
Let's fill our homes with music that reminds us of the season.
Okay, here it is...MY EASTER SOAPBOX....hold on, let me climb up here and get the mike adjusted....
WHY CELEBRATE LENT?
a soapbox speech by Janna Widdifield
For many--and likely most of us--Easter involves one day, perhaps one weekend if you are traveling and dying eggs on Saturday night. Yet, Easter is the cornerstone of our Christian faith.
Consider: We take a whole month to celebrate Christmas. Advent calendar anyone? It involves gifts, decorations, books, movies, songs, activities, parties. You name it, and at Christmas time, we do it.
What about Easter? We get the Easter bunny, egg hunts, chocolate (a very key factor), church on Sunday morning, family dinner after. Maybe, maybe some other Easter-related events, which usually take place at Sunday School or church or MOPS, but not really in our homes.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I am all about God sending Baby Jesus down and giving us such a precious gift. But if Jesus just came and lived and that was it, our faith would be empty--really nothing. What sets Jesus apart is that he not only came, but that he lived a sinless life, died a horrible and shameful death on the cross for our sins (not his own)... Then, rose again on the third day--not only conquering our sin, but death itself.
As Saint Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."
Can I get an "AMEN!"
Without Easter—without the resurrection of Christ—there would be no Christian faith. Christ's resurrection is the proof of his divinity.
This is what the season of Lent is all about. It's about taking a season (really just a little over a month) to reflect and celebrate. Don't you think it deserves some time on our calendars?
Now, I'm not trying to guilt anyone about into celebrating 40 days of Lent, fasting, giving up something on Ash Wednesday, etc. That's not where I'm going with this at all. I just want to encourage all you mamas out there to think of some simple, but meaningful ways you can do just a little bit more during this season to teach your little ones about how incredible Easter is....making it a little more special, more anticipated, more meaningful. Being more intentional.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing some ideas, tutorials, books that we use during this time of year as Easter approaches.
We introduced the kids to the "best dog-gone dog in west...."
Most Sunday evenings, we stage our own Wonderful World of Disney family movie nights. Remember on Sunday nights when you could watch a Disney movie on regular TV?
I have to say that some of Arlis' expressions, mannerisms and antics really reminded me of this boy.
Then, as I was unpacking the basement, I found this old comic book. It was my dad's.
Then, we watched the sequel Savage Sam...lots of cowboy and Indian action in it...guns, kidnapping, fights...right up Jackie Boy's aisle.
Several of you have been emailing/commenting asking about when to start your Hill of Calvary....
While you can begin gathering up your supplies, I suggest waiting on planting for just a bit.
Here's why: If you are growing it in a sunny, warm spot, it will grow SUPER fast. I usually have beautiful blades of grass by day 7. If you plant it now, you will need to "mow" for several weeks and the grass will look kind of sickly by Easter time. (Probably because it has sapped all the nutrients out of the shallow soil by then...)
Easter weekend starts April 22. I suggest planting the first week of April. I'll repost the updated tutorial around then. But here's the link if you are a planner.
Pray for Joanne at 9 a.m. today. She will undergo surgery where they will put back the piece of skull that they removed right after her stroke. Pray against infection. Pray for a steady surgeon's hand. Pray for recovery time.
Here are a few scenes from the Night of Worship last Friday night. You can watch the video of it here.
I set up a little table where people could write notes of encouragement to both Joanne and Heather. I decorated some moving boxes...these were actually boxes that Joanne gave me after they moved back from Arizona to use for our move.I loved seeing her handwriting "fragile stuff" on the boxes as I crafted them up all pretty.
Beautiful Kristen Franklin who read some scripture during the service for Joanne.
This photo is specifically for Joanne: Jo--Check out our Kristen's red heels! They are so fab! We know you would approve/appreciate her fine shoe selection for the evening. (And you probably couldn't see them on the video stream.)
Every fall, I make a fall wish list. Not things I will likely buy because they are extravagant and not necessity. But it is fun to make the list, non-the-less. I thought it would be fun to make a spring wish list too!
Allora Handmade rose necklace...check these out the colors are so beautiful!
And how about some new charms for my bracelet....
And I would love three charms, each with a name of my sprouts.
I think these chickens would sure make me cock-a-doodle-do each morning....
What's on YOUR spring wish list? Do share!
On Saturday, we went to the annual FCA High spring musical: The King and I. As always, it was incredible! And very fun to see some of our favorite people in the play...
A few years back, when they did Beauty and the Beast, they encouraged little girls to come dressed as princesses. We (some of my brave friends) and I decided to make the dress up aspect of the musical a tradition. Check out our costumes for past musicals...
2010 Oklahoma (Anne's all-time favorite)
My brother-in-law lives in Hong Kong. He had these dresses made for us. (Even one for Anne's American Girl doll.) I made some flower clips with the extra fabric. And painted some chop sticks pink.
I also made some autograph books. Anne and her friend Anna gathered all the actors' signatures after the show. Here is our favorite high school girl, Jenae--babysitter extraordinaire.