This weekend, we heard the news that the cherry blossoms along the waterfront were in full bloom. And we almost immediately piled into the car and headed downtown. Due to rain that ruined the blooms over the last two years, my excitement to see the trees this year was rather high. I can't tell you how beautiful they are and I fear that I can't even prove it to you through pictures either, even though I took over one hundred frames! (I hope to share those soon but for now I'll leave you with a few snaps of collections from our backyard.) This weekend I realized, fully, that spring has arrived, both in flower form and also in my heart. I'm looking forward to Resurrection Day.
But wait. How is it even possible that Easter is just a few days away? This holiday, this holy day, has completely snuck up on me this year. I think about how I planned, literally weeks ahead of time, for last year's Advent season, carefully choosing books and passages for Graeme's bedtime reading. We baked cookies, we danced around the living room to carols and Harry Connick Jr., we decorated the tree, we made pinecone garlands, we wrapped gifts, we wore Christmas pajamas, and we made Jesus a cake for his birthday and sang to him. We Christmassed and we Advented.
This afternoon, my husband and I sat and talked about teaching the meaning and importance of Christ's death and resurrection to our boys and how we want to teach Christ at Easter just as much as we teach Christ in Christmas. I was encouraged as I sat down a few minutes later and came across this article, by Noel Piper, on preparing for Easter with young ones and how she was able to do so during Holy Week as opposed to starting at the beginning of Lent. There's also a free download by John Piper, Love to the Uttermost-- daily readings for this very week! (Because I so need to speak Christ to my own heart too.)
(Lyrics in above photo are from We Have Been Healed || Risen) Last Christmas, beginning on the first of December, we read to Graeme (and sometimes to Jobie if he could manage to sit still!) a Christmas book each evening along with a portion of Lloyd-Jones' Jesus Storybook Bible. I've decided to carry on that tradition with this year's Holy Week. Tonight, we began reading R.C. Sproul's The Donkey Who Carried a King and plan to complete it over the next couple of nights. We'll also be reading Benjamin's Box (a book that comes with a carton of 'Resurrection Eggs'-- these are amazingly wonderful for little ones!), The Easter Story by Carol Heyer, and a couple of others.
How about you? Do you have any favorite books? I always love to hear what speaks to other mamas, friends, and little ones. Happy Easter!
p.s. We'll be watching this Jesus Storybook Resurrection video a few times too!