Resurection Sunday

It didn’t look like a story with a happy ending.Yesterday, despite my best efforts, I thought we were going to celebrate in our traditional way, with a sick child, or two, and me at home stressing about getting everything done and not enjoying any of it. The guys were consumed with packing for a Boy Scout trip, Hope was throwing up, Ethan was feverish, and David stepped on a wasp who was prepared to attack. 

Thankfully everyone recovered overnight and I have been learning from my mistakes. I decorated a month in advance, using what I had in the holiday box I keep in the garage. I didn’t buy anything new, but I arranged some things differently than last year. On the mantle I put things that remind me of Jesus. He is the Lamb of God, the Vinedresser, He died on the cross, wearing a crown of thorns, and He rose again on the third day.

I moved the candles I had on the mantle for Christmas and Valentine’s Day to the table, but I honored Mike with the decorations there. He does not like centerpieces that block his view. He wants to look straight down the length of the table and make sure I am still there and behaving myself. I lined up five birds’ nests between an alley of glass candlesticks, then wound a blue ribbon among them all. Underneath all that is an antique dresser scarf, embroidered and edged in handmade lace, made by one of my great-grandmothers. It is so fragile that parts of it have disintegrated, but it is still beautiful enough to display under the protective plastic table cover. 

A few years ago, we rethought the Easter basket and egg hunt tradition. We haven’t had visits from the Easter Bunny since I was a child, but the baskets and eggs were so pretty, and fun to give as well as receive. The problem was two fold. First we looked deeper into the roots of these traditions, and what we found turned us off. We found pagan themes dressed up in church clothes and we just did not want anything to do with that. We have heard others who have found ways to mix the Christian faith into the old traditions, but we just wanted Jesus. The second problem was all the lovely candy and gifts in the basket, the excitement of the egg decorating, and subsequent hunt eclipsed all the spiritual richness as far as our children were concerned. And that was the final straw. How could we then even desire the pretties that blinded us to the real Gift? When we realized all that, we shared our discoveries with the children and they surprised us by choosing to do away with the egg decorating and baskets! The challenge has been to start almost from scratch, building traditions that focus our attention on our Savior and which are meaningful to us. 

That is where my binders help. Years in the making, I compiled a dedicated binder for every major holiday and a combo one for all the little holidays, stuffed with any ideas I came across in magazines or on the internet pertaining to that day. In the days leading up to the celebration, we take turns flipping through it for menu and decorating ideas and everything in between. Even though I am craft-a-phobic, I am happy to let anyone else find a craft idea and run with it. Jonathan found a recipe he wants to make tonight. 

In the past I ambitiously tried to do too many special things and too many new recipes. This year I remembered how that ends up stealing my joy and I kept everything very simple. I chose familiar recipes that we all love. Easy ones. And I didn’t go to Wal-Mart and cruise up and down the seasonal aisles, loading up on Easter candy. I bought one box of Peeps, really an afterthought, and used them as favors. That is all the candy we had and all the children were thrilled. I never would have thought that could be possible.  

Here is my menu.

Sticky Chicken

Parslied New Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

Apricot Filled Butterfly Rolls

Sparkling Grape Juice


Simple. Traditional. Predictable, except for the dessert. But it works. Everyone was happy. The chicken cooked while we were at church and I finished up the vegetables when we got home. The Pavlova was so simple, but elegant. I don’t know why I had to nearly kill myself all the other years of my married life. The only new recipe was the butterfly rolls and they weren’t that great. See? Simplicity is best. 

Even our church simplified by canceling Sunday School and only having the worship service. Ahh. Breathing room. I love our Sunday School class, but I think this was a great idea for today. Instead of running out the door after breakfast, kitchen in chaos, Mike read and discussed a simple devotion with the children while I prepped lunch. When we got back home he read a story book that goes along with Resurrection Eggs, which allowed me to do the last minute things without toddler assistance.  The story book describes a fictional child who gathers items for his treasure box which illustrate the last week of Jesus’s earthly ministry. Then the resurrection eggs each hold a small item that corresponds to each treasure the boy collects. 

We set out the usual seasonal literature for children to enjoy all month, plus they watched The Donut Man and the Resurrection Celebration. This movie is geared to the younger set, but the story gets all the important points across and the music is pleasant for an audience of any age.

We did not give up the traditional Sunday afternoon snooze.

And we would never dream of giving up our family tradition of Picture Torture. I planned to drive them all to a gorgeous spot in town with a fountain and garden to take some really fabulous pictures, but some of them were still low on energy from yesterday. Maybe we’ll do that on another day. 

© Being Fruitful, 2012