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Thank Goodness It’s Good Friday

I have strict holiday rules.

I mean, I’m not some Martha Stewart-esque holiday girl. But there are certain things that are just important to me.

For example, no one plays Christmas music in my house until the Day After Thanksgiving or I will hurt them. All members of my family must wear appropriate festive clothing for anything Christmas related, such as seeing Santa, baking Christmas cookies or setting up the Tree (except my husband, because I can’t tell him what to wear). We do not open ANY Christmas presents until Christmas morning. Not even if my husband tries to melt me with pleading looks. (OK, I’ve caved on that one, but I’m not proud of it.)

It’s not just at Christmas. Easter has its fair share of important things. Children in my house must be dressed up. Floral for girls, ties for boys, etc. And pictures will be taken. Many, many pictures; before church, so that nothing gets spilled or smeared on Easter finery. And they’d better not even think about taking off those Easter clothes until after any potential Easter egg hunts.

And then there’s Good Friday.

I’m very particular about Good Friday weather. I don’t appreciate sunny Good Fridays. No, Good Friday should be rainy, foggy or at the very least, cloudy. And people should wear black. All black, preferably.

In all seriousness about Good Friday (not that I was joking before), I really do feel that there is an epic solemnness about this day that should be observed.

I grew up in the Charismatic church culture, where Good Friday was kind of passed over as a dreary inconvenience. At least that was my impression as a child. Maybe I’m wrong and everybody LOVED it. I don’t know.

But typically, all we did to “celebrate” was a prayer meeting over the lunch hour. And then, when I got immersed in the “revival culture” (if you don’t know what that is, you can message me and ask… or something), Friday night services were already the norm, so we pretty much did business as usual on Good Friday. And honestly, many churches don’t have any type of Good Friday gathering.

And I just don’t get that.

Good Friday is one of the most important days in the whole Christian calendar. I mean, we do realize that without Good Friday, there is no Easter, right? Without Good Friday, there’s no lily filled sanctuaries, no Sun-Rise Services, no chocolate bunnies, no egg hunts, no forgiveness of sins.

Without Good Friday, our whole faith ship is sunk. So why don’t we celebrate it? It seems like it would be normal to embrace the wild wonder of a Life sacrificed, revel in the mournful awe of Holy death, embrace the momentary gloom that will be replaced with resurrection splendor. Is it really so inconvenient to halt our normal routine and reflect on the fact that Jesus died so that we can live?

So I’m so excited (in a calm and mournful way, of course) for Destiny Church’s Good Friday Vigil.

We’re going to have a candle-light gathering in our living room, where we’ll sing about the beautiful cross, meditate on Jesus’ great sacrifice, share Communion and embrace the deep darkness that preceded the light.

And yes, a couple of kids will probably have a jumping contest in the playroom immediately above our vigil or wander through making car noises. But you know? I don’t care. I’m going to fully delight in Good Friday. You can count on it.

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Easter Finery

We had a wonderful Easter! Our church had a massive egg hunt with about 700 eggs hidden around the building. Our kids loved it! Of course we expected Isaiah to be excited, but were surprised to watch Leah go after those eggs as well! Click here to watch a video Chris took of them!

And here are my babies all dressed up in their Easter best:

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Life NEAR the Big City

Leah is growing too fast. It’s hard to believe she’s already 6 months old. She tried her first solid food about a couple weeks ago. She was not impressed. But I kept shoving rice cereal in her face every day. Finally, a couple days ago, she decided she liked it! Since then, she’s also tried a little banana. She liked that a lot! She also rolled over from her back to her belly a couple week ago. I actually missed the first time she did it. She was laying on the floor in her room. I had my back to her, putting stuff away in her dresser and when I turned around she was on her belly. So I got the camera and waited for her to do it again. She did, but she was so laid back about it, it didn’t look like the big event it was. Now she rolls over all the time. She’ll roll over in bed and then fuss because she’s still all wrapped up in her blankets.

We are enjoying our new house in PA. We’re only 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, and about 5 minutes from a major shopping center, but we also get quite a taste of the country. One night I got up to feed Leah and my half asleep eyes saw something standing in my neighbor’s yard. I did a double take, thinking that it was awfully big to be a dog. It was actually a deer!

We have a couple friends from CA staying with us. One of the girls was looking out my kitchen window and she said calmly, “You have a beaver in your backyard.” I freaked out! I’ve never even seen a real beaver, much less had one wandering around my yard. It was about the size of a big cat and the fattest little guy you can imagine. He was waddling around all cute. I was surprised by his tail. I always thought they had leathery tails, but his was furry. So our theory is that they just look all smooth when they are wet. We saw the beaver again today, so think he’s taken residence in our area, which makes me happy. I hope he’ll build a dam in our creek. That would be exciting! Yes, I am a city girl.

Tonight I was putting Chester outside and he saw a deer in the woods behind our house. She saw him too, and took off running. Chester almost dragged my arm off as he tried to chase her. He did not appreciate having to share his yard with another animal. He’s a city dog, too.

We had a nice Easter! Our church had really pretty services to celebrate. Both our Good Friday service and Easter morning were a delightful blend of traditional and modern, tastefully woven together. Like I said, we have friends visiting from CA, which is a big treat! My children both looked adorable in their Easter clothes. We had a fun little Easter egg hunt with Isaiah. And we ended the day with a fabulous meal over at Pastor and Clara’s house.

Speaking of our church, one of the things that really blesses us is how much Isaiah is learning in his little classes. The other day I heard him making a lot of noise in his room, when he was supposed to be napping. I went in to lay him back down and he defended his actions with “But, I say ‘Jesus!'” And then he demonstrated how he had been jumping on his bed shouting, “Je-sus! Je-sus! Je-sus!” How can you correct him for doing that?

Then, a couple nights ago, I told him he couldn’t have a toy in bed with him. He was unhappy about my decision and then told me, “Jesus help me.” I said, “Jesus helps you?” He responded, “Yeah, Jesus help me when I’m sad.”

We have videos of Isaiah hunting Easter eggs, Leah rolling over, Isaiah singing, and Leah eating. You can view them by clicking here: Videos of our kids!

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