My kids recently started attending a Mother’s Day Out program TOGETHER, which means for the first time since becoming a mother I have a three hour window each week (that is not a nap/nighttime sleep window) where I can _________ (fill in the blank). Today I find myself at a local coffee shop enjoying this… BY MYSELF.
I love my kids, and I am incredibly grateful that I get to be at home with them. Do not get me wrong. But I’m also grateful for this quiet time when I can focus completely on work / continuing education hours / an adult conversation with a friend / etc.
Focusing, these days, requires some major intentionality on my part.
With Easter around the corner and my 3-year old now old enough to understand more about our Savior and the day He defeated death, I wanted to prepare for Easter intentionally. I wanted to get ready for Easter in the same way that we prepare for Christmas: with decorations and festivities and clothing and story reading and movie watching. But even more so, I wanted to prepare our hearts for the day, not just prepare a bunch of themed activities.
So, the first step I took was deleting all of the social media apps on my phone on Ash Wednesday. With the massive distraction that social media can bring removed, my chances for intentionality got a lot better.
Next we decorated our Easter tree.
Then we hung our eggs in the kitchen.
We pulled out all of the Easter books (a couple we keep out all year, but the rest go into a box with the Easter decorations).
We’ve decorated Easter-themed sugar cookies (which came out of a kit from Walmart).
We’ve been watching everything we have about Moses and the Exodus. This includes The Price of Egypt (available on Netflix) and the Superbook episode Let My People Go (available for free on Prime Video).
And, David and I are preparing to celebrate a Christian Seder meal with our kids on Passover. (This year it is the day before Easter). My family began to celebrate Passover in this way when I was a teenager. In so doing, I began to understand the continuity of the Gospel throughout the Bible in a way I never had before. I purchased this book on Amazon, and we will use it as a loose script for our Christian Seder.*
I’ll be honest. Some of this has been kind of hard for me. We’re not shy in saying that we’re very protective of the content our children are exposed to. When my 3-yr old looked at a picture of Jesus on the cross in one of her Easter books and asked me what the red stuff on his hands was, I paused, but then I answered her.
I’m a hands on learner, so it’s natural for me to give my children activities to help them understand something. Things like baking croissants with marshmallows in them and dying Easter eggs… I learn best when my hands are working. My children both appear to be auditory learners, which is why we’ll still be intentional in talking and listening while we engage in our Easter festivities.
Preparing for anything these days is a lot work, but preparing for Easter has been such a joy this year. Nothing has been elaborate. Everything has been on our children’s developmental levels.
Our hope and prayer is that when Easter Sunday comes, our children awake not just to filled Easter baskets (which yes, we will do), but with excitement and an understanding that today is the day we CELEBRATE that Jesus is alive. We pray that seeds are planted in tangible ways for them to understand His sacrifice and why it was necessary and so incredibly perfect.
Wherever you are in your preparations for Easter, whether for your family or just for yourself, I encourage you to be intentional too.
Do you have an Easter preparation activity that you do every year? Or that you plan to do this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Until next time,
*I am not endorsing this book by sharing it here on the blog. I am merely sharing it as a resource since that’s how David and I are utilizing it- as a resource. We grew up in a church that recognized the Christian Seder. My family celebrated it, as I mentioned above. But, we needed a resource to reference for prepared and sharing this special meal on our own. We chose this one because it focuses on presenting the Christian Seder to a child.