I love the Easter season. Finding little treasures for my kid’s Easter baskets, participating in egg hunts, picking out pastel-colored dresses and white sandals, and thinking about the perfect Easter Sunday meals all bring me a lot of joy. The crawfish boils, the azaleas blooming, the mostly (sans Tornados!!) perfect weather, it’s just a happy season all around. But beyond all of these external things to enjoy, there is something internal heightened in me as we prepare to celebrate Easter: refocusing my mind and heart of the reality of life in Jesus, His presence in my life, and enjoying friendship with Him. All of this is made possible because of the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.
Leading up to Easter, we will take time as a family to reflect on Holy Week. With the kiddos, I enjoy using this Resurrection Egg Set to simply present the events of Jesus’ life leading up to His death on the cross and then His resurrection. I have various devotional books like Living the Christian Year, Bitter and Sweet, and Bread and Wine, that help engage my own heart with Jesus in this season.
But ultimately, Easter isn’t just a one-and-done thing. If we’ll allow it, Easter permeates every aspect of daily living.
When Jesus offered salvation through His death and resurrection, He also extended His hand of friendship and companionship in everyday life. Probably more than anything in my life, motherhood is teaching me how to find God in the mundane. God cares about every tiny detail of my life as a mom. And He cares about me beyond motherhood as well, the burdens of my heart, the passions of my soul, the intrigues of my intellect: all of this matters to God. Scripture tells us in Psalm 139:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
This past year has been the hardest of my life. But in my darkest moments, I have known the nearness of God. Before Doctor’s appointments when my anxiety was through the roof, I would turn on worship music to sing and dance in my kitchen, often twirling one of our little girls around with me. In moments when I feel myself losing patience with my kids, I often say a breath of prayer or even get on my knees: “God, you’re with me, please give me patience at this moment.” When I can’t sleep at night, I pray through the list of needs in the lives of friends and family. And in times of feeling low, I’ll reach out to a friend and am met with encouragement and compassion, reminding me of the truth that God will never let me go.
As a Lenten practice, I’ve been reading the Gospel of Mark and one of my favorite stories is the healing of blind Bartimaeus. In this story, Jesus is traveling with a large crowd. On their way out of a city, Bartimaeus is sitting by the road. When he hears that Jesus is passing, He calls out to Him. Many around Bartimaeus tell him to be quiet and to stop, but he continues calling for Jesus. Even surrounded by crowds and seemingly busy, Jesus hears him and asks what he needs. Bartimaeus says: “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus immediately heals Bartimaeus and they both go on their way.
This is my Easter prayer: “My teacher, let me see again.” A simple yet powerful prayer. Yes, Bartimaeus was asking for physical sight, but maybe also spiritual sight as well.
Praying for the ability to see God moving in my life. Praying for the ability to find friendship and companionship with God in hard circumstances. Praying to be able to look around and notice His presence in a real and tangible way. It’s a prayer for us as moms. Praying that in the midst of raising children, working, caring for friends and family, and dealing with all the plates we’re spinning, we’d be able to see God and know Him in our day-to-day lives.