Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Honesty

Happy Easter!

I have some thoughts about this celebratory weekend that I'll share at the end, but I've been eager to show off our dove. She's nested in our back yard. I was about 12 inches from her when I snapped this photo. Can you see her egg there?

I have hunch that young Mrs. Dove is a first-time mom, judging by her nesting location. That, or perhaps she's new to the area, and did not realize that this particular yard is inhabited by 9 people, 7 of them being super-active children between the ages of 1 and 14.

You see, we had a wisteria vine growing on a trellis connected to our back fence. Since workers are coming soon to replace that section of fence, we carefully took down the twisty plant and rested it on a chair.

Mrs. Dove nested in it within 24 hours, and the kids came running inside to tell me. Amazing! It's fun to see mother bird up close like this. She's brave, I'll say that. We can come very close (no touching!!), and she won't fly away. I'm not sure how many eggs she has now, but we have seen two so far.

This picture gives better perspective on her perhaps not-so-wise nesting location. She's about 3 feet off the ground, if that much.

Easter. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Jesus is alive. He has made a way for me to have peace with God. It's crazy to think of all He's done for me and in my place: living perfectly, loving just right, giving grace, trusting His Father; suffering shame and disgrace and blame and condemnation, rejection, punishment, death. And then, resurrection!

He lived flawlessly holy, pleasing to God, because He knew I could not.

He took my deserved punishment and death.

Then, Jesus defeated death, also on my behalf, and for anyone who trusts His good work for us.

And, mixed in with all that, He loves me. He loves me! The better I get this, the more deeply I receive it...I mean, it's pretty life-changing - a very secure, blessed place to be arriving here at almost 38 years old.

This is where it's at, right? Knowing I'm loved like that? It's my prayer for my children and for many others, that we'll realize and believe this Great Love...

This love, this is the thing to hold tightly. Or rather, It's the thing that holds us tightly.

I'd hoped that the Lent season would be deeply meaningful and symbolic and solemn, personally and for our family. There are so many good, special traditions available to help with this goal.

We have the lovely Advent/Lent candle spirals made and sold by Ann Voskamp's son (of A Holy Experience). I got ours ready at the beginning of Lent and had high hopes for rich interactions and that we'd experience the gospel more deeply through daily Lent devotionals.

Here we are after church today, lighting the whole spiral of candles, getting ready to read scripture together.

But did the general experience go as I'd hoped? Not so much. Our devotionals weren't exactly daily. It was a bit hit or miss. Interest was also lacking among some of my crowd. And one inescapable reality of biggish families with a large spread of ages is that there's just no perfect set up to reach them all.

And can we talk about candles for a minute? I mean, they are the biggest distraction ever. Stop blowing the candles, guys. Hey, y'all. The candles, stop blowing them. Leave the wax alone, okay? Don't fan the candles with your book, kiddo, please?!

Fire is irresistible to all, that's all I'm saying, and perhaps it may even detract from our ability to focus, just maybe? I am laughing inside as I write our crazy family and those drippy, flaming distractions I insisted upon...

I'll stop ranting about the candles now.

So, I was a little bummed about the overall experience. [And lest this sound like I am blaming the candles and the children for making our Lent celebration lackluster in the deeply meaningful department, I'll openly admit that my own brain is still muddy much of the time these days. Oh, not like it used to be, but still, it is cluttered and distracted and I long for a deeper connection with Jesus myself day by day.]

But the awesome thing is, you guessed it, Jesus loves me. And He loves my kids, my family, and you. And He doesn't love me less because our family Lent devotionals were a bit cray-cray at times, or non-existent.

The other hopeful truth is that we are in process. So much grace in that. After several years of crazy, we are definitely tippy-toeing toward more thoughtful, purposeful living. Always in process, growing toward whom and what He means for us to be. I'm glad about that. I'm happy that we did our best at delivering the truth of Christ and His Good Work this season. May God bless it and make it fruitful.

And just for fun on this Easter, LC and I attempted a unique egg dyeing craft (I know, a craft. I can't believe it myself, since I have the dominant anti-crafting gene). My neighbor told me about using onion skins to dye eggs. We took  little flowers and leaves, pressed them to the eggs, wrapped them tightly in a piece of pantyhose, tied it tight with a rubberband. Next, we boiled the eggs in water that also held a big pile of red onion skins. We tried this with brown and white eggs.

While I'd need to play around with technique and supplies to get reliable results with each egg, here were our favorite/best eggs once we were done:

Now, just for fun...

Well, do you remember Ninja Boy? We've seen less of him/her in the past year or so, but Ninja Boy was back this week, accompanied by a sidekick, whom we'll call Ninja Girl...

Hilarious. Ninja Persons always have a mask of some sort and a whip. Don't ask. I have no idea. But it cracks me up. CJ's rocking her tough face here:

Have a great week!


  1. The last picture is seriously cracking me up!!!!

  2. so glad to know we're not the only family with serious candle issues during devotions :) I feel like such a Scrooge for threatening to blow them OUT. Now that it's light at suppertime, we don't light a candle anymore :)