Dawn sent us all some coffee to enjoy this morning while we chat about chapter 10. Isn't she the sweetest:)? I really needed some caffeine to get me moving this morning!
Speaking of my adopted big sis Dawn:), she wrote a great summary for us of this chapter. While you're checking that out, check out what she wrote about weight-training. Very motivational (and just what I needed this morning), but then hop on back over here because this chapter is chock-full of stuff to talk about.
First let me tell y'all that last Easter for me was so so similar to the Easter that Carol describes at the beginning of the chapter. We had a new baby and I was just starting to settle in to a new routine. Many family members and church family members were having health problems or one type of crisis or another. It just seemed like no one was in a worship sort of mood. And that went for me too. The night before Easter I was at Walmart (I despise going to walmart the night before anything - although it is a family tradition!) buying Easter clothes because it's always been our tradition to wear new clothes on Easter. But do you think I was enjoying myself? Do you think I was focused on the reason for those new clothes? Celebrating that we are born anew in Him? Not hardly. We made it through the next day - church service, sing all the Easter hymns, hurry home to finish making dessert and rush over to my sil's for dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the kids. When Carol writes "Today was another mad dash to get hats and gloves, diaper bags and Easter baskets. Once there, the music was stirring, the sermon impressive. But my spirit was flat. I feel flat...fat and flat," well that was me! I prayed and prayed over the next few weeks that God would never let me experience another Easter with so little attention to Him, so little praise, so little appreciation. I asked Him to show me how to worship Him and how to teach my children to worship Him. Reading this book has been one of His many answers to that prayer.
An idea that Carol heard from her friend Wendy (so glad that I'm not the only one with brilliant friends who don't mind sharing their great ideas!) was making an Easter tree. When I lived in Germany as a little girl, they had Easter trees - beautiful spring blooming branches tied with intricately painted hallow eggs and little wooden figures of bunnies and birds. Very beautiful, but not exactly what this Easter tree is all about. This Easter tree is a wonderful way to focus on God's covenant with His people throughout the season of Lent. Let me let her explain it.
"She would trace His promise, beginning with creation and ending at the empty tomb. She would trace His faithfulness and His children's unfaithfulness. Each night John and she would teach the children the biblical story, and then they would put an ornament on the tree to represent the story. She would begin the tree on Ash Wednesday and finish it the Monday after Easter."
This idea just really grabbed me. I was so excited when I read it - something we could do! I could just picture all of us gathered around, Casey reading the Biblical account, the kids solemnly taking turns hanging the ornament on the tree...Then I came back to reality and remembered that my kids are little! And we're all lazy! And no one around here ever takes turns! So perhaps my vision needed some tweaking. So I went to the Father and asked Him what to do about Easter (and about Christmas while I was at it:) ) and He's still telling me. If I took anything away from this chapter I hope it's forever chiseled in my brain to go to Him first and not just start making my own plans about how to worship Him or serve Him or even live for Him. So often I assume I know what He wants for me without even asking...
So let's talk some about how we can spend the time leading up to Easter focusing on Him and preparing our hearts for Him. Maybe for some of us, making an Easter tree is going to be a definite possibility - if so, how do you think you'll go about it? Or if not, what other things will you do? What kinds of Easter traditions do you already have that may need to be refocused? And, most importantly, what is our Father leading you to do to worship Him?