Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pressing Pause

"These are the moments that we'll miss." is a phrase that has been said a lot in our house recently. It started a couple weeks ago when our kids were being especially goofy at dinner one night.  It could have easily escalated into a battle to get them to stop and focus on eating so we could rush on to getting ready for bed to then hurry through those routines...and totally miss what matters.  Instead, we found ourselves laughing and feeling a little sentimental as we realized that one day not that far into the future, we'd be missing these crazy nights.  And dinner and bedtime that night become something special as we slowed down and enjoyed it.

Kids grow so fast and there are so many amazing things about each stage that are easy to miss when we get wrapped up is the busyness of our day to day lives.  I know that I can get lost in my to-do list with so many things that feel urgent, but are much less than important.  And in this season of our lives, it can become easy to focus on 'someday' instead of stopping to really appreciate the beautiful life that God has blessed me with right now.  But thinking that phrase in the moments when I am tempted to rush things along or harp on something being done really has helped me stop and appreciate the beauty and wonder that is my family and makes everything just a little sweeter as well.  Because this life is not about a bigger house, more income, more time, more's about valuing how He blesses us and honoring Him with our thankful hearts.  Having it all means a much better thing when I recognize that I already do.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Baskets with a Twist

Inspired by Amanda at's unEaster Baskets, we added another new tradition to our celebration of Easter this week.  We made the choice a few years ago that the main gift in Easter Baskets would always be about growing Bug & Basil's faith and remembering the true reason for the holiday.  So, it's usually a book or a new Bible as they grow.  This year, I loved the idea of using the baskets as part of our teaching of what Easter is about.

First, we collected rocks and talked about how sin hardens our hearts and keeps us from God.  Then, we labeled the rocks with some sins that we'd committed in about the last week and the kids put them back into their individual baskets.  We covered them with a red t-shirt and Bug quickly made the connection to Christ's blood which I thought was pretty cool.  We talked some more about what it meant that our sins were covered by Christ's blood.  We did all this just before bed and told the kids we'd see what their baskets held tomorrow.

They were SO excited to see their baskets this morning!  It was like Christmas morning.  When they came out to the kitchen they were greeted by three baskets.  We talked some more about why Jesus' basket had all their rocks and then dove into their baskets with glee :).  Bug was surprised to find out we'd filled their buckets because he thought Jesus might have done it - love the faith of a child!  I loved how it all made their Easter baskets much more meaningful.  

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:24

Monday, March 25, 2013

Impressing Easter

                              22 The stone the builders rejected 
                                   has become the cornerstone;    
                             23 the Lord has done this, 
                                   and it is marvelous in our eyes.    
                             24 The Lord has done it this very day;
                                  let us rejoice today and be glad.
                                                          Psalm 118:22-24

I was actually awake before everyone else today and took advantage of the chance to start my day with some quiet time in God's Word and this Psalm was what I opened to this morning.  I was planning to read in John but as soon as these verses caught my eye, I knew I was already in the right place for my reading today.  I love how God does that.

I've been thinking a lot about how to extend our celebration of Easter this year beyond Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  While Bug & Basil do understand what Easter is truly about, I wanted them to experience it more and want the truths of Easter to be etched into their hearts.  Over the last couple of years, we've used Truth in the Tinsel from Oh Amanda at Christmas and love it!  We don't always do a craft because of schedule, but still spent time in the Word every day and were talking about what we are really celebrating and looking at the many parts of the Christmas story.

So, I started looking for ways to do something similar at Easter.  There are some great ideas out there (gotta love the internet), but it's also very overwhelming.  I did Easter bracelets with the kids at church the weekend before Palm Sunday and an extra for Bug and those have been a nice starting off point.  Basil is already connecting it to our reading and listening.   For the rest, my goal is mainly to make sure we read and talk about the events leading up to Easter Sunday every day.  And today, I'm excited to share this Psalm with them.