This Easter has been different. Normally we have everyone who wants to come over and who doesn’t have anywhere else to go come to our house for Easter supper. It seems as there has been a shift in our house. There has been so many changes over the last year with the dynamites in this house with yet another one of our kids moving out. Our oldest daughter Stephanie hasn’t be...en home for Easter for awhile now and our daughter Shannon is celebrating Easter on her own as a married woman. As I was gathering the goodies to put in the Easter baskets it was a little sad for me. I am down to four from six baskets to fill. I know that children are meant to grow up and leave the home to make a life of their own, but that doesn’t make it easy. All my kids came to church with me this morning except for my daughter Stephanie who lives in MO. I am sure she would have been there too if she could have come. As I sat there listening to the Easter message of hope I glanced down the row with pride. My heart was filled with joy to know that as a mom along with my husband had taught our children about God. They know the true meaning of Easter. I found comfort knowing that because each of them have accepted Christ as their personal Savior I know that they truly belong to God and that no matter where they are He is with them as well. Last night I was up filling the baskets with little trinkets of goodies and small gifts. I always love seeing my children's faces when they dig through them in the morning. However, the joy they have on their faces as they look through the special little gifts is nothing like their faces were when the received the ultimate gift of God’s love. Next week is Baptism Sunday and our youngest wants to get baptized. At the age of six she was baptized on her birthday as a gift to God, but she wants to get baptized now because she understands so much more than she did. We will honor her wish and we look forward to seeing her proclaim her love for Christ to everyone who is there.
It is amazing where my mind goes when it is quite, which at my house there is only quite at night when everyone is asleep. All the kids are with my parents. They wanted to take them to the movies. Our house is usually full of at least 30 people or so on Easter. We have had people stay until all hours of the night. A big part of me misses this house being so full of friends, family, laughter and tears to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, but this year I needed a break. We went to church and met my parents for lunch. My dad was having a hard time as he showed me a picture of me and my older brother Michael at my daughter Shannon’s wedding. When he showed it to me he said that this picture always makes him sad and then he asked me who was missing. I said Matthew my younger brother and my dad’s eyes filled with tears. Since he passed away almost 4yrs ago it is still fresh in all of our hearts. Holidays are never the same when you lose someone you love. Sitting here I remember Matthew was the one who would cut the ham and taste test it, wrestle around with the kids and who found the most interesting places to hide the eggs. One year we had one shoot out of our tail pipe of our van and about a month after one Easter we were smelling something stinky and we looked everywhere only to find a rotten egg hidden deep in the sofa. I sure do miss him, but he is celebrating yet another Easter with the one in whom we all celebrate the reason behind Easter in person.
It’s true I have had a hard time getting into the spirit of Easter. I have been sad that my kids are growing up and leaving the house and I have been consumed with money and having enough of it to give my kids Easter gifts. Easter isn’t about the Easter bunny, fancy dresses or Easter traditions. Easter is about love, family, friends, and most of all HOPE! We all have hope because the fact that Christ died and rose again!! Did you here that He rose again!!! He lives, yes Jesus lives!! I may have not opened our home to those who had nowhere to celebrate Easter this year, but I still want to tell others about HOPE and about a Savior that loves them. I am sorry to those who should have been here to celebrate with us, but my heart was heavy this year and I forgot about why we celebrate it to begin with. Take time today and remember that Jesus loved and loves you so much that He died on the cross so we can be forgiven for our sins. Remember that if you put you trust in Him and accept the free gift of eternal life we will be with Him always. Remember the HOPE that is ours to take because He rose again three days after He sacrificed His life for ours so we can be with Him always!! I am sorry I let this world get to me to the point of cancelling Easter here at our home, but I am here blessed still knowing that God loves me. He loves you too!! He cares for you!! And you are not alone!! I pray that you have a blessed Easter Sunday knowing these things.