The Real Reason

41_InthePark.JPGCelebrating Easter has always been exciting to me for many reasons. It signifies the beginning of spring and the return of warm weather, flowers, and green grass. It’s also fun to get dressed up in new clothes and spend the day at church and with family.

I was especially excited about this Easter since it would be Jack’s first Easter. We had a busy weekend planned. We were celebrating with my side of the family on the day before Easter with an Easter waffle brunch. I had a new outfit all picked out for Jack for Easter morning, and we had big plans for having my husband’s side of the family over for Easter lunch.

But sometimes, the best-laid plans fail. Unfortunately, Jack came down with croup the Thursday night before Easter. After getting over the initial scare of dealing with Jack’s croup came the disappointment of not being able to celebrate Easter in quite the way we wanted. We did not take Jack to Easter brunch or to church on Easter morning. (We thought it best not to spread his germs!) To be honest, I was flat out depressed.

Then it hit me. After lamenting several times about how it just didn’t feel like Easter, I realized that I had lost focus on the true meaning of Easter. I am reminded of the words from Dr. Seuss’ classic story How the Grinch Stole Christmas. While the story is dealing with Christmas, I believe the concept could just as easily be applied to Easter.

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! … He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming, it came. Somehow or other, it came just the same.”

Easter is not about spring, new clothes, or even going to church or
spending time with family. It is all about Jesus, His sacrifice on the
cross, and most importantly, His resurrection! It is about the
opportunity to spend eternity in heaven with Him because of the price
He paid for my sins!

Were you able to celebrate the real reason for Easter this year? Tell us about your Easter celebrations.

Preparing for Easter

39_EasterFamily.jpgWe went shopping this week to buy some Easter clothes for our family. This is one way many families prepare for Easter. But these clothes only last so long or likely are outgrown before next Easter rolls around. Hopefully we are also preparing our hearts for Easter — a gift that will last much longer — by remembering Jesus’ death and celebrating the resurrection.

There are many ways families can focus on the meaning of Easter, especially going to church together on Easter Day. Take advantage of this time together and talk about what you heard whether it is explaining the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, the Bible story of the resurrection, or other special things your church does to celebrate Easter.

In the April 2009 issue of ParentLife, R. Scott Wiley’s article “A Strong Foundation at Easter” emphasizes how important it is to teach preschoolers about Easter. This teaching about Easter lays a strong foundation for a later faith decision. Recognizing this, the April issue also has the article “Leading Your Child to Christ” designed to help you lead your children through this important decision. So be sensitive to your child and how the Holy Spirit leads in his life as you teach him about Jesus this Easter.

Tell us special ways your family celebrates Easter and tells the Easter story. We would love to hear any Easter traditions your family has. Share with us!

ParentLife Product Pick — Hide ‘Em & Find ‘Em Eggs

18_HideEmFindEmEggs.jpgDo you have an egg hunt as part of your family traditions each spring? Try a new twist on a traditional egg hunt with Techno Source®‘s new Hide ‘Em & Find ‘Em Eggs. Hide the eggs to start the egg hunt fun. The eggs then begin talking (“I’m Hiding!” and “I’m Over Here!”),
laughing, and making noises as you try to find them. Open them up to
see a cute bunny or baby chick say, “You found me!”

The eggs come in six collectable colors: violet, pink, green, yellow, orange, and blue! Each egg is large enough to store candy and the batteries are even included!

Hide ‘Em & Find ‘Em Eggs will be available in March at Rite Aid, Target, and Wal-Mart as well as other retailers.