Sunday, April 17, 2011

Passion Week 2011

It's that time of the year when one cannot go 10 minutes without seeing a commercial on TV that has cute little bunnies or that ever-tempting chocolate dressed in lovely pastel colors. A visit to the mall means taking a pit stop at the Bunny site so my kids could say hello. Every time I turn around, I am politely trying to discourage others to stop giving my children candy. They barely get it with me, and I feel like a not-so-nice mommy when I refuse that box of jelly beans for my kids. But most importantly, this is the time of year where my family will focus on the celebration we have through the love of Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against egg hunts or chocolate bunnies, but I really want my children to focus on why we celebrate Easter in the first place. Trying to balance the two can be very difficult.

So since I am staying at home now, I have a little more time (don't cringe, SAHMs. I know we have very little "extra" time) to plan how I am going to present this holiday to my children. Christmas is a little easier. St. Nick really WAS a guy who was out to do God's work, and I use him as an example of how we are to share Jesus's love with others. But the Easter bunny is different. I have had other parents ask us how we deal with Easter in our home (which, by the way, I am honored that others value my opinion to ask). I'm changing things up a little this year. So here goes:

1. The weekly lessons I use for my children who aren't in school yet is Bible-based. The great thing about that is not only are they learning their letters, patterns, science, and shapes, but they are also associating it all with a story from God's word. This week's lesson is focused on Easter, Jesus's death, and resurrection. This will really help my children get in the right mind about WHY we are going to be going to a few special services this week. (http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/weeks_33-35.html#EasterReview)

2. Menu: I really want to create meals that are meaningful this week. Now not every meal is going to be centered around Easter, but a few key meals and other extras are going to be focused on the season. For example, I am going to make a traditional Jewish bread called Challah this week. It is easy to make, and I am going to have the children help me make it. We will talk about the components and how God has provided for His people. Friday, I will attempt my first Passover meal. I have looked up recipes for Passover and am going to attempt to make lamb for the first time. And the to go along with Easter linner (lunch +dinner), I will be making Amish Friendship Bread. I want to use that as a way to teach my children how we are to continue to give the gift of love to others. I also found a recipe for Communion bread. If I can work that in to this week's menu, I am going to make it. (Website for Challah recipe: http://proverbs31sisters.avirtuouswoman.org/notes/Challah_Bread_for_Sabbath)

3. Services: We are going to a few services this week. The first will be the Maundy Thursday service. Hopefully this service will work great with the discussion that will follow on Friday about what Jesus did for EACH of us. Sunday morning we will be going to the Sunrise Service (this year it is going to be at Magnolia Plantation!!) and then to the Easter service at the regular hour.

I know this all seems like so much, but really, how little are my efforts compared to what Jesus did for me? I pray that this will work out well, that this will become a sacred tradition, and that God will bless this week. May the Lord bless you and your family this week!

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