Updated: Apr 18
Easter weekend had a whole different feel this year, didn't it?
We enjoyed a nice family hike on Saturday, taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Getting out in the woods for a while gave us a taste of normalcy. Meandering about in nature was just what we needed after being homebound together for weeks.
We missed getting together with the whole family, but at least managed a quick drop-in to say "hello from afar" to the grandparents and attempted an awkward family selfie, debuting an array of colorful face masks.
With phone calls and texts scattered throughout the weekend, we tugged family ties a little tighter however we could while also acknowledging it was okay to loosen our hold on expectations or preconceptions on how things were going to be.
We're all just trying to extend grace to one another in this messy new world we're all trying to navigate, right?
Our church community connected in a special way by decorating a cross together in a come-and-go event.
What started as a plain wooden cross in the morning gradually filled up with spring flowers as families dropped by throughout the day to add something to it. Most of us brought a clipping from something flowering in our yards... branches from azalea bushes or snippets of early-blooming perennials.
As we squeezed in closer for a quick pic, the fragrance was amazing! The variety of each flower offering was representative of all of our varied personalties. The collective beauty was a stunning array of color and texture.
The simplicity and the casual flow of this drop-by "gathering" of our church family nourished our weary souls and "connected" us in an endearing way. (We're hoping this becomes an annual Easter tradition!)
On Easter Sunday we pulled ourselves together for online church and then enjoyed a leisurely brunch made sweeter with some lovely baked goodies from a dear friend.
Nothing fussy or fancy - unless you count all of us managing a shower before noon?
No time pressure or elaborate menu... just our little family pitching in to cook and clear as the day unfolded - one blurry photo to document the day rather than posed pics all dressed up.
I heard from a friend that her granddaughter was delighted with a surprise Easter birthday parade and excited with her #biblequiltjournal goodies and t-shirt.
These simple celebrations remind us that even though we're apart, we are connected in deeper ways.
Some days seem like cooped-up craziness that will never end.
Other days seem like a slow simmering of family time to savor with all our senses.
With a college boy home for an extra couple of months and another one set to launch off to college in the fall, our parental reframe is to see this time as a bonus reinforcement of family connection.
We have a rare chance to solidify our family foundation, discipling our boys in new ways...shepherding them through household chores and responsibilities that otherwise have been taken for granted or overlooked. We have a front row seat to their online learning and more immediate feedback on the nuances of their days.
We're watching a wide range of movies that we've talked about but "never gotten around to" and playing new games that we're exchanging with another family in a weekly swap.
We're exploring a variety of topics over the dinner table without rushing off to the next activity. We've talked over and over again about the impact of Covid19 on our families, communities, and countries.
As we've watched nation after nation grappling with the coronavirus, the Lord has opened our eyes to other communities in new ways. This pandemic offers us a common experience despite our international differences. Our worldview is forever changed.
Our children will be the generation that has endured a global pandemic and witnessed humanity struggle on a worldwide scale. Their perspective will be forever changed.
I'm hopeful that each of our households will be able to keep graciously adjusting to these challenging circumstances and tenderly "tweaking" what's needed in our families to fortify us for the long haul.
I'm hopeful that our #stayhome discipling will impact the world in a meaningful way, empowering our children to more effectively fulfill whatever role the Lord has commissioned them to do.
May we all share the love of Christ as we find our way through this crisis, moving forward.
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28: 18-20
New template set: The World in His Hands
Related post: Bible Quilting through Crisis