Celebrating Easter holds some of my favorite childhood memories. Every year Nanny would buy us girls a new dress and usually new shoes to match. I always felt so beautiful in that mass of lace & ruffles, though, apparently not everyone felt the same way.
Every year we would stand outside in the cold on Easter morning and take a picture in front of a spring background. Usually we would gather in front of the ginormous azalea bushes that surrounded our little green house. I preferred the purple ones.
Some years we would go to the sunrise service at our church in Rockwell. I remember sitting on cold metal chairs in the dewy field beside the cemetery, singing “Up From the Grave He Arose” at the top of my lungs and wondering if it was a “morning like this” that Jesus rose from the grave. The best years were when the sunrise service was followed by a pancake breakfast. The men of the church would whip up some batter and fry hundreds of pancakes for the starving children who had to wait until after the service to eat breakfast. It was always special if you got a pancake with “puddin'” in the middle. 🙂
After church on Easter I remember going over to Mawmaw & Pawpaw’s house for our egg hunt. Aunt Termey was always there and she would put quarters and silver dollars in the eggs instead of “just” candy. All the cousins would race around the house trying to find the eggs that jingled the most. As we got older the egg hunt became a mixture of hide & seek, capture the flag, and tackle football with a touch of survival of the fittest…. Ah…good times.
Now that I’m grown with a family of my own, part of me wants to re-create these memories with my daughters. I want them to experience Easter the same was I did as a child. But being in a pastor’s family means things are going to be different. Easter is one of our biggest weekends of the year at church. We decided early on that we could not add hours of travel or packing to our busy schedules during this holiday. We often don’t have time for lots of family celebrating on Easter morning due to extra responsibilities and finalizing details for the church service. This used to bother me. I worried that our kids would grow up resenting being a ministry family because of all the things they had to miss out on.
I talked with them the other day about this. They are 12 & 15 now and have been in ministry with us their whole lives. I asked them if it bothered them that we can’t celebrate Easter the way other families do. They responded with a list of all their favorite things about Easter. They love that we get them a new outfit and some candy- even though we have to rush through some of the enjoyment of it. They love singing the songs and helping the little ones at church learn the true meaning of Easter. And they
love tolerate being the only young people at the 6am sunrise service because they LOVE having breakfast at Cracker Barrel afterwards. 🙂
God has called us-our whole family- into a life of ministry. Our whole family is called to serve Him in this way at this time. I love that we’re making memories as we serve Him together. And I love making memories as we celebrate these special days together, too. Whatever you’re doing this weekend make sure you celebrate, serve, and love together! Happy Easter, y’all!!!