Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring, Easter, and Everything Else

I’m loving this weather. Loving it. Like I just want to gather it all up into a big ball and give it a hug. I love living in the South, particularly in Tennessee. There’s a host of reasons why, but one of the big ones is that we get to experience every season. And yes, I know our weather has been a bit stranger this year-- an almost snowless winter and a warm Spring-- but we still get to watch the seasons shift and fade from one into another. And that is good for my soul. At the risk of sounding like I’m a BFF with Mother Nature, I really do love when a new season begins. I love that it’s new, a fresh start. I feel that way at the beginning of every season.

Because the weather has been so lovely, it’s afforded us the chance to do some outdoorsy things with Abi Kate. And she has proven thus far that she is not her mother’s child. She loves being outside. I often open up the back door in our kitchen in the morning while she eats breakfast, and as soon as the child is done eating she runs to the door and shouts, “Down! Down!” (Safety Sally won’t go down the steps by herself yet). She just wants to be outside all the time. So much so, that my closing the door this morning so we could get dressed ended in an official toddler tantrum. I like being outside. I really do. I just like it better from the porch, in a rocking chair, with a drink, hiding from the bugs. Since she seems to be a big fan of this new season, too, it made this next part an easy choice…

Easter is just a few days away. This significance of Resurrection Day is huge in our home-- it’s the source of our salvation. But I always feel like Easter gets left out in our culture. Stores spend forever on Christmas. Christmas Eve, Day, Week, Month-- it’s ALL a big deal. But Easter seems to be looked over. An egg hunt, a new dress, church, Easter dinner, and it’s done. Forgotten until the next year. The truth is, without Easter, sweet little baby Jesus’ birth would’ve meant something different on Christmas Day. The purpose of His birth was ultimately His death our forgiveness. I know there’s a big push amongst most believers I know to make sure that their children understand the true meaning of Christmas, the importance beyond the materialism, why we give the gifts that we do. And I think because the celebration of Christmas lasts for essentially a month (or earlier if you’re Walmart), there are so many opportunities to bring things back around to Christ’s birth. It’s easier. With Easter, there’s no big preparation. I realize that’s part of the purpose of Lent- but even with that, it often seems to be only a personal and quiet sacrifice, which is great. But there are no company parties, no dinner celebrations/gift exchanges with friends leading up to it, no outward preparations made in the culture. Because of that, we wanted to make sure that Easter morning is understood by Abi Kate for what it is, so we opted to do a Spring Basket instead of an Easter basket from the Bunny. When she wakes up on Easter morning and we get ready for church, it will be a big deal-- the cross will be a big deal. And P.S. I totally think you can do Easter baskets and make Jesus a big deal in your home. We just wanted to be sure that WE didn’t skip over the real meaning in our home. We aren’t anti-Easter bunny, or anti-Santa people. We like Santa and the Bunny. In fact, my mom always does Easter baskets, so the Bunny will just go to her house and Abi Kate will have a basket whenever we see them. We just want that morning as we prepare for worship, the days leading up to it, to be all about Jesus and nothing else. And since I love new seasons, it was easy to pick a Spring Basket. She gets to open her basket on the first day of Spring, which was March 20 this year. (We were late by a few days. Oops! Good thing she has no sense of time.)

Target $1 bins were good to us this year and I got a host of her things from there. Bubbles (hence her new word which she pronounces “bo-buhls!”) Sand and water toys for the new sand and water tables gifted to us from some sweet friends. A Praisebaby DVD for rainy days (this has been a source of much hilarity as we watch her dance). A new diaper-- seriously, there’s always a reason for a new diaper. Besides, it’s getting hot outside and she’ll be running around in just them soon. Like I how justified that one?! Books for her car book basket (she looks at books while I drive so I keep a basket of her books in my car). 
 Going after the snacks first... Smart girl
 And immediately taking them to Daddy to open

 Her current favorite pasttime-- reading. She's my child for sure!

So far, I think her favorite thing has been the bubbles. She figured out really quickly they were a necklace, so she wears them around the house all day and quacks when she finds them since they’re in the shape of a duck. Best $1 purchase ever.
 Bubbles with Aunt Ra
Safety Sally strikes again... Despite the fact that the patio is flush with the ground, knees are needed to get down ;) 
Love this sweet giggly girl.

Easter always elicits sweet memories for me. Every year we dyed eggs, made Jell-o jiggler eggs and rabbits, hunted for the golden egg. You know what else I remember a lot about Easter? The clothing.

 My mom made our dresses very often. Sadly, I did not inherit her domestic goodness in the sewing department. We almost always wore white hats and white gloves and usually a corsage. Thank you, Southern living. I’ve always been a girly girl, so I loved it. I remember spinning in the dresses to make sure skirt twirled when I spun, obviously the most important part of any dress. And I remember my sister going, “Mom, this is so scratchy. I don’t like it. Mom, do I have to wear these gloves? This flower is poking me.” Despite our close friendship, Rachel is about 180 degrees the opposite of me. She did not heart the dresses, the white hats, ribbons, or flowers. She did, however, make out with fabulous Easter gifts, which I very obviously NEEDED

The significance of Easter was never lost in our home, and I’m grateful for that. I really love all holidays, and I love the old memories and new ones that we’re making.

I especially love that my sister got the dress with the collar, extra lace, high neck, and puffed sleeves. She loved it, too. Just look at her face. And have no fear, there WERE gloves with these dresses.

I thought of our “Easter best” because when I was shopping for Abi Kate’s Spring basket, guess what was in their $1 bin?! White Easter hats. I almost bought one, just for good measure…..

And just to throw in one more flash back--
 What a difference a year makes! (We deemed this the Easter dog as he kinda didn’t look so much like a rabbit in the picture.)

I hope your Easter is filled with sweet memories, white gloves or not, and that the message of the cross and the life it gives echoes throughout your home. Happy Easter, friends! 

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