The Macs

Monday, April 11, 2011

be intentional {easter}

Last year I read Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper. I was just beginning to think through this idea of being more intentional with my family...and that included developing God-centered traditions. I loved this book. I might need to read it every year...just as a reminder. It is such a good guide as we seek to cultivate in our children a deep love for God in both our "everyday" and "especially" traditions.

One of the "especially" traditions that Noel talks about in her book is Easter. She has so many great ideas. Although Levi is still really young, I wanted to try to start our Easter traditions this year. Noel and her family have a Resurrection Tree at Easter. They hang symbols on the tree that remind them of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. My friend Julie is also doing a Resurrection Tree with her kids. She has a great post that includes passages and symbols to use with the tree. I thought that the Resurrection Tree might be a little over Levi's head this year, but I still wanted to try using the symbol idea. So, we are basically doing the same thing except with Resurrection Eggs.

I gathered up all my supplies today and got everything ready. I basically used Julie's passages and symbols (thanks Julie!) and tweaked them a little to work for us. I have twelve eggs, so we will start on Wednesday.

Day 1: Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-9)
Symbol: donkey

Day 2: Jesus washes the disciples feet (John 13:1-20)
Symbol: washcloth

Day 3: Passover (Luke 22:7-23)
Symbol: saltine cracker

Day 4: Jesus Prays on Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39-46)
Symbol: praying hands

Day 5: Jesus Arrested (Luke 22:47-54)
Symbol: flashlight (darkness)

Day 6: Peter's Denial (Matthew 26:69-75)
Symbol: rooster

Day 7: Judas Returns Silver (Matthew 27:3-9)
Symbol: 3 silver coins

Day 8: Jesus before Pilate (John 18:28-32)
Symbol: crown for a king

Day 9: Jesus to be Crucified (John 19:1-16)
Symbol: crown of thorns

Day 10: Crucifixion (John 19:17-37)
Symbol: cross/nails

Day 11: Jesus is Buried (John 19:38-42)
Symbol: rock

Day 12: Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10)
Symbol: empty egg

I know a lot of this will still be over Levi's head, but it is amazing what these young kiddos already understand. I think he will know what most of the symbols are. I want to read the passages together as a family, but also use Levi's Bible to show him pictures and tell the story of Easter.

I also asked my friend Jill if she had any recommendations for Easter books for Levi (she always has great ideas). She recommended What is Easter by Michelle Adams.
It comes in a board book which will be perfect! The last page reads:

Okay, now I get it.
The Easter Bunny is okay,
And Easter eggs are fun.
But Easter's not about that stuff.
It's all about God's son.

I am excited to be more intentional as Easter approaches this year. And what about me? I am working on memorizing Isaiah 53. I have been studying Isaiah in BSF this year and we studied this chapter a few weeks ago. Perfect timing with Easter around the corner. I have been thinking a lot about this question that was asked in my study notes that week:

How often do you stop everything you are doing to thank God for His incredible plan to save sinners through the sacrificial death of His Son in their place and on their behalf?

What about you? What are you doing to prepare for Easter?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. We own "What is Easter" We love it and read it all year long! Levi will love it too!
Great Ideas! I am excited you shared these and want to do something similar! I just love Easter... it's such an emotional, wonderful opportunity to be intimate with Christ!

-a regular blog follower :)

April 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I just love this idea. What a neat way to incorporate a younger child in this season (and a good reminder for us as well). Thanks for sharing! Hope you are feeling well. :)

April 11, 2011 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I love the idea of a Resurrection tree! All of your crafts always inspire me - I can't wait to use them someday with my family.

My preparation for Easter this year is all about preparing to become a family, as I'm due to have a little boy (he will be our firstborn, though not our first - I had a miscarriage about 2 1/2 years ago) on April 26th. I'm actually really hoping he'll come a couple days early on Easter Sunday. I think it would be so symbolic and beautiful for my little boy to enter the world on the day that we celebrate Jesus' resurrection!

April 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Street said...

Jess, I love this idea and I love your symbols and scripture references that tell the story. What did you find for the flashlight that will fit in an egg? I see all the other symbols in your photo, but not that one.

April 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

we do the resurrection egg hunt with our kids and they love it! Each year we have more questions and each year we get into deeper, fun conversations. I love it.

April 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger danielle @ take heart said...

thank you so much for sharing this! i will be doing it with my boys :)

April 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Allen and Debby Graber said...

We do the same thing here but we added extras and have a basket with 16 eggs. We lost a couple of the eggs when the kids wanted an egg hunt. We have no idea where they went to. We love that one book!

April 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I bought the "What is Easter" book right before my little guy was born last year. The "What is Christmas" & "What is Thanksgiving" books are really good too! I saw one at target today that was called "The Story of Easter" too. I love books that explain how the secular part of a holiday is fun, but not what is is all about! :-) Looking forward to doing the Resurrection Eggs with my Munchkin next year.

April 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger The Muncies said...

I posted a while back with a few ideas -- maybe they'll help! I'm a big believer in starting early -- gives you a few years to get your routine down and build the tradition before they realize you're new at this parenting thing! :)

April 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Sadie said...

Great post! I love this! I have been thinking of some ideas, and this is great. Thanks for posting!

April 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

My family and I have the book you mentioned and we love it!! They pull it out to read it year round. Love the idea for the resurrection tree!!

April 11, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Thank you! I have been wanting to do this with my children - this is just what I needed to get going on it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

April 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love Michelle Adams books. I did a post a while back on her christmas book and she emailed me and sent me two books. one was what is Easter? love it. love the traditions

April 12, 2011 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the inspiration.

Would you share what Bible Levi has? I would like to find one with pictures for my two-year-old.

Thanks again for sharing your traditions!

April 12, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

We were invited to an egg hunt at our neighbors house about 5 years ago... She did the resurrection egg hunt and told all the kids the story of the resurrection.. It was such a wonderful and sweet idea! My kids remember it so well!

April 12, 2011 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger HannahM said...

I agree! We cannot do enough to communicate the importance of Easter to our children! Even while they are young. We did an Easter Tree too, this year. It has turned out to be a great thing for my little ones!!!

April 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a Sunday School class where the teachers gave each child a plastic egg on Palm Sunday.  The teachers asked their students to bring the plastic eggs back the next Sunday with something in their egg that represented Easter.  The two teachers encouraged the kids to do the assignment themselves - not to get help from anyone in their family.  They were worried about one little boy - he had special needs and they thought maybe he was confused by the egg that didn't have anything in it.  They planned to call his parents during the week. 

The next week the teachers realized they both thought the other would call the little boys parents. Disappointed in themselves, the teachers were soon distracted and thrilled that everyone had remembered to bring back their egg.  Kids were excited to show a bunny eraser, a piece of candy, tulip petals to represent Spring, Easter grass and finally one little girl had put a necklace with a cross in her egg.  After all of the kids had shared, the teachers looked at each, knowing that the kids had a lot to learn about Easter.  Then one of the kids pointed out the little boy they had worried about hadn't opened his egg.  He was sitting quietly holding on to his plastic egg with both hands.  When he opened it both of the teachers sighed.  He hadn't put anything in the egg.  One of them finally whispered, "Honey, did you not understand you were supposed to bring back something in the egg that makes you think of Easter."  He smiled and replied. "My egg is about Easter."  The second teacher said, "But your egg is empty."  "I know," he said, "it's the tomb." 

Happy Easter! 

April 12, 2011 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Al's World said...

I love this idea!!!! I am in BSF and I have loved that we are studying what have been during this season! It has made it come alive for me! Thanks for sharing! Hope you are feeling good!!!

April 12, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

I love that you are starting this with Levi while he is so young! My girls love the Resurrection Eggs and look forward to getting them out every year! This year, we are just using the entire set to tell the story over and over again during the weeks leading up to Easter and are actually doing our Easter Tree filled with God's Promises instead. Honestly, it was inspired by your post on The Shelter of God's Promises (haven't read the book yet, but it's on my reading list!). For the giveaway, you asked to tell of one of God's promises that you are standing under today. I wondered what my children would tell me if I asked them. They weren't sure what to say. And I knew more than anything that I wanted them to be able to call so many of God's promises to mind. So the eggs that we open daily are filled with one of God's Promises, a scripture verse, and an activity to do to share God's love as we prepare our hearts for Easter. Thanks for the inspiration! I love your blog!!

April 12, 2011 at 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We do the Resurrection eggs every year, too, and it's so interesting to see how much more he comprehends the next year. I think we started two years ago, when he was 2. By the way, thanks for the reminder -- I got them down from the cupboard today!

April 13, 2011 at 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great book! We love it. :)

April 14, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I love this! I made some R Eggs last week and little Weston and I have been doing them after breakfast each morning (he is Levi's age)
It has been wonderful and I have reaped joy fromit that I didnt expect!
Thanks for sharing

April 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Maybe you've heard of this, but I just thought of you when I saw it.

April 20, 2011 at 11:11 PM  

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