I don’t know about you but once we had children special holidays became magical all over again. The joy of Christmas and Easter stirred up something within me. I was adamant to make new traditions as a family and keep them for their entire childhood. Hopefully to pass onto their children.
Every year I seem to add a new tradition to Christmas and Easter. And the lead up with activities, crafts and books is all part of the excitement for little children.
Sounds pretty perfect right?
Ah, but this year for Easter Sunday we experienced things a little different. Things went terribly wrong. Our human nature took course and man oh man did we have a parenting fail. Sin was most defiantly crouching at our door- it was as though it took James and I by surprise. We opened the door and the floodwaters poured in like a tidal wave that wipes through a village.
My kids are very good sleepers, with daylight savings clicking over the children now wake between 6:30am to 7am each morning. And that’s fine… however, the night before Easter Sunday James and I weren’t wise and we decided to binge watch a series on Netflix. I know, I know, for all you mums and dads out there. It was the wrong move!! The next morning you feel like you’ve been hit by a train. So, that being our first unwise move. Noah came into our room just after 5:30 in the morning, standing next to James’ side of the bed began spelling out in a whispering tone, ‘D.A.D.D.Y’ … and again… and a third time. James was out cold. I snapped at my son and told him to go back to bed. I was shocked at the time of the morning (forgetting it was in fact Easter and that was the reason why he was up so early.) I tossed and turned in bed on minimal sleep… it was torcher! The the girls woke, again, excitement filled their little hearts.
Sleep had left me, I threw off my covers, crawled out of my bed and as my feet hit the floor I became a mutated monster, something out of the movie ‘Aliens’…. my war path was in full fury… I was a beast not to be reckoned with. I lead with my hunch back, teeth gritted, smoke coming from my ears, grunting. Lasers from my eyes hunting anything that moved to prey on. Yes, sin certainly had its way with me.
I came out and the children were bouncing around ‘can we look for our eggs mummy? Please mummy? I’m so excited…’ were just some of the sentences I remember as I cringe thinking back to their little full hearts.
Yes, yes my friend- am I making you feel like you got this parenting thing in the bag? Especially compared to us! I assure you we certainly aren’t winning any awards.
I hear a noise, from upstairs, it’s the ‘other’ he too looks like the mutant monster, only bigger, stronger and louder. And he’s faster than the mother, to paint the picture further he had hurt his leg so the limp only added fear to the hearts of the little people. His steps seemed to resemble rigid, stiff like surges. Every step would inflict a distress, a panic, a horror like a nightmare that not even the valorous could shut their eyes to.
The little people frightened and not wanting to make a sound sat quietly eating their breakfast. The ‘others’ began bickering with each other. It appeared that they had turned on one another. Trying to prepare the eggs that they should of had organised the day before (instead opted to watch a mini series) and spitting fire from their mouths at one another in front of the innocent.
After some time of arguing we (the others) parted ways to try and look semi decent for church…. my goodness. If this isn’t a parallel I don’t know what is?! From demon to angel.
Still, waiting…. the children sat…. I glanced over and saw their downcast faces. That’s when I stopped- the monster in me literally stopped in my tracks. There it was. God pressed on my heart and showed me the truth. What was I doing? At this point I was in the girls bedroom when I called everyone in for a family meeting. We had to pray, right then and there. We had to get rid of this and make it right. We couldn’t do it without God changing us from within. You see, Satan knows when to attack. He knows when to strike.
Think about this reader, this was the MOST PIVOTAL DAY OF THE YEAR. The day all Christians cry out in joy, with tears streaming down our faces we uplift the Lord Jesus and say ‘thank you, thank you for what you have done for us, for me.’ This is a time where we reflect upon His pain. There has never been anyone in all of history who has gone through this depth of pain and suffering for no reason. He did nothing and yet suffered so that we might have SALVATION! This is the day the Lord has made! We fall to our knees in adoration and worship.
And it was as though the tiredness (the feeling of that train hitting me) left me… well maybe it didn’t, but I didn’t notice so much anymore. I wasn’t self focused but rather looked up to heaven and the to my little ones. My heart softened, my anger left. My sin was thrown onto that cross, He took that burden and all my others. Everything that I have ever done and will do in this lifetime, I was so overwhelmed. A gentle reminded and a great sigh of relief. Tears flowing down my cheeks we embraced. We held our babies tight and asked them for forgiveness. I explained in my utter state of depravity “today, this morning, daddy and I sinned and hurt you. We do things wrong too. Adults do wrong and children do wrong. Will you forgive us?” (there were more beautiful words in exchange, words I will cherish in my heart forever. I don’t need to share them here but you get the gist.)
There is something we can learn from children and the way in which they love and offer forgiveness. There is no conditions, there is no discussion or judgement. They throw their little arms around you and say ‘of course I forgive you!’ The same love we were supposed to be remembering that very morning. Jesus’ love and forgiveness without conditions.
That right there reader, is children displaying the love of Christ. Their hearts are filled with love and tenderness.
And so, after rebuking Satan from our home we invited the King of Kings to rule. And the Holy Spirit to reign in our home once again.
And I did friends, I felt His Spirit dwelling with us again. I called out to the children ‘take two’…. ‘Happy Easter Scarlet, Happy Easter Noah, Happy Easter Aquila, Happy Easter baby Selāh. Yep, we hugged, yep we had a brilliant Easter egg hunt, yep we went to church… James and I still felt rubbish. And that’s going to happen sometimes. God isn’t a quick fix. We stuff up again, we fall short, we sin, we are lead and convicted ever so gently, we seek forgiveness, we know that sin is nailed to the cross with our Saviour, we lay our heads on the pillow, we wake and start all over again hoping, praying we are better for Him.
A family centred on Christ,
The Son has set us free. We are free indeed!
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25.