Easter 2013

Being here, without all the people we love, makes holidays pretty emotional.  Resurrection Sunday was no different.  We spent the week prior to Sunday doing a family devotional each night so that we could really focus on the meaning of Easter and appreciate all that was given for us to have life.  We skyped with some of our loves over the weekend and I began to swirl in this vortex of grief.  I missed the new dresses, the matching Easter baskets the girls have used every Easter of their lives, the celebration with other believers in a corporate way, the family time for lunch and even the egg hunt we always had with cousins.  It felt so unfair.  Then, in thinking that my life was unfair, I refocused on Jesus and all the unfair that He endured because He loves me.  Talk about a wake-up call.  I have abundant life because He chose to die.  He chose to let them ridicule Him.  He chose to let them beat Him.  To kill Him.  He chose all that because of my sin.  During worship on Sunday, which is so different than what it used to look like, I was moved to tears as we sang Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away.  Rising He justified, freely forever, One Day He’s coming, Oh Glorious Day!!  I looked around at this room full of people who sacrificed their “normal” for His purpose, and I realized how blessed I am to be here.  To be loved by a King who gave it all up for ME.
 We have always felt uncomfortable with the baskets and bunnies that symbolize Easter.  This feeling of shame would rise up in me every year, yet I wasn’t bold enough, or strong enough, to say we aren’t doing this anymore.  I like to give gifts to my girls.  I love to shop for cutesy little things and arrange them in a basket to surprise them when they wake up.  It was fun to me.  This year, without the Pottery Barn baskets that had their names embroidered on them, I felt freed from the tradition that I never liked to begin with.  I told the girls that since we had no baskets and I was the Easter Bunny anyway *to which Ellie replied, “no you are NOT!” with this look of disbelief on her face*, we were doing something different.  You see, I still wanted to do something fun, and I certainly wanted the excuse to buy them things!  So, I planned a scavenger hunt for them.
 One of the clues in the hunt said to go to the place that smells like feet.  Ellie felt the need to act out that this place stinks (it really isn’t that bad).  And a side note here:  Saturday evening the girls went through their clothes and chose Easter dresses on their own.  They wanted to dress up and look their best.  It made me so proud to see them with their hair curled and their little dresses on even though we sit in our living room for worship.  It just humbled me to see that they don’t need new things to make something special…
 I believe they were trying to solve the next clue to figure out where they should go.
 Ohhh…where is the next clue!?!
There was an extra little bit of fun to this game.  After they read each clue, before they followed it, they had to roll the die.  Whatever number they rolled, they got in cash.  Keep in mind that 6rmb is only $1.  There were 9 clues total, so they each had a shot at cashing in $9.  This, of course, did not happen.  Ha!  They each got around $5 by the end of the game.
 They didn’t forget to write their numbers down after each clue.  They wanted to make sure they got their money!
 We had so much fun with this!
 They were supposed to go to comfy place where we like to watch movies and look down.  The biggers went in that direction and spotted their surprise right away, but Ellie actually followed the card and sat.  She should have gotten an extra roll for that!
 “Which one is mine?!!”
 I got them all a new pair of Toms (online Chinese EBay, Toms are a mere $6), some chocolate and some trick balloons.  Simple little treats really, but sometimes doing something new and special in the place of an old tradition makes the ache of missing go away.  You see, even if we tried to duplicate what we did back home, it would never be the same, and it would leave us wanting more…missing the past instead of enjoying what is in front of us.
 Getting her purple sparkle on.

 Ellie was focused on the chocolate!  KinderEggs I think they are called…they are chocolate eggs with a creamy filling and two twix-type crunchy balls and a toy!  All in one egg.  Pretty cool.

The little got purple sparkles and Gracie got grey crochet Toms.  They really loved the scavenger hunt, and I loved that it made being away not as hard.  Finding the golden egg at Nanny’s house to win all Papa’s change was so much fun every year (even though I’m pretty sure Ellie stole the golden egg last year!), but I think this new tradition was a good thing.

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