Our Holy Week has been less than traditional this year. We are sandwiched between two Spring Break schedules (K Christian ending on Easter Sunday and Zeeland Christian/Wyoming beginning on Good Friday!)! Therefore, we were busy last week with our dog sitting and we are back to the usual this week while our families are scattered abroad. In addition to that, Steve was all set to play his trumpet for church in the brass band, and Kayleigh got a cold. Since I have a HUGE problem with people who bring children to the church nursery sick, I thought it would be most hypocritical to take my coughing tot to church ... even on Easter. I was longing to celebrate the greatest holiday (in my opinion) in the calendar year with friends in a place honoring God's sacrifice and triumph! BUT, it seemed that that was not what God had planned for me this Sunday. So today, while my daughter enters into the 3rd hour of her Sunday nap and my husband passes his first hour marker, I'm going to reflect on the discombobulated ways God reminded me of His blessings this week. (1). Our Easter season began with Palm Sunday last week where we were able to attend church with Jordan :) It was good to hear and sing praises to God, and it was nice to have an extra member to the family to make that feel extra celebratory (2). We left to Mom's right after Palm Sunday and had plenty of joyous moments during our "Early Easter" dinner. Ryan smiled and cooed and blew lots of bubbles. Kayleigh hunted Easter Eggs, dished out hugs to Grammy, and "kisses" to Ryan, and even little _____ was awake, alert and active as we took loads of pictures of the kids in their Easter garb. (3). Throughout the rest of the week God blessed us with gorgeously sunny weather and beautiful opportunities to explore and experience his creation. As I walked the dogs every day past the church we attend, I was reminded to reflect on the sacrifice made to atone for all of my shortcomings. (4) On Friday, Dan and Alaina came to spend some time with us ... I know it's no replacement for a Good Friday service and there was really nothing about their visit that reminded me of Jesus's death. But I know they'd agree that the giving up and sending away of your first born child takes on a whole new meaning when you have a first born child staring you in the face. Ryan and Kayleigh are precious treasures that both of their parents would die defending ... thinking of God's sacrifice to willingly surrender his first born, only son is incomprehensible. (5). This Sunday, when I discovered we wouldn't be attending church as a family ... Steve suggested I live stream Calvary's service. Since nothing spells Easter Sunday service to me like full choir, orchestra, and lots of joyfilled singing, I think this was a perfect suggestion. So, from the comfort of my own glider (now ready for little ____ in the living room), with my toddler snuggled on the footrest at my feet, I listened to the anthem with soloist Corey Niemchick (not sure he even goes by that anymore), sang along with the choir to Christ the Lord is Risen Today, listened to Jim's sermon and the powerful testimony of a brave couple, and watched baptisms along with their professions of faith in Jesus. I was blessed by the service in a way I didn't think I could be watching it on television! (It didn't hurt that Kayleigh was snuggling and dancing with freedom that only comes when you're home with Mommy.
Enjoy a few pictures from our Palm Sunday dinner, courtesy of my excellent photo taking sister-in-law, Alaina.
He is RISEN; He is RISEN indeed!