|After our retreat, we re-hide the kids' eggs in our|
backyard for another egg hunt.
Around Easter each year I always marvel at the way childhood traditions form us. Easter weekend was always a family time for us growing up. Easter baskets were opened, candy eaten, pretty dresses put on, church attended, and grandparents came to visit for a big meal. Usually on Easter the weather wasn't really warm enough for the spring dresses and sandals that we really wanted to wear.
Our children here in Texas as part of Hope Fellowship will have a totally different experience of Easter to remember. We spend the weekend with church family at a retreat center out in the country. It's amazing to me that we can even make this work. Maybe we have enough people in our church who aren't really from Waco and so family obligations and traditions are less pronounced and easier to change. However we make it work, pretty much everyone makes the Easter Retreat a priority every year--we can sit around and name the few people who weren't able to make it and know their reasons why.
|love the awesome hand-me-down dresses Eliza has|
We arrive on Friday evening for a Good Friday service. This year one of our teens put together the service with his mentor. It included original art work he made of the 12 stations of the cross.
On Saturday, the children run wild up the trees, over the fields, and through the hills. Ben looks forward most of all to spending the day climbing everyone's favorite tree. Eliza spent pretty much the whole day running around with her little friend Dot. Community prayer time in the afternoon, a variety show in the evening and fresh cooked meals all day long.
Easter morning starts with the Easter service and flowering of the cross, followed by a big brunch and Easter egg hunt. The Easter Retreat is both a highlight of the year and an exhausting undertaking. But it seems like an excellent way for our kids to know the joy of Easter. We do of course miss our families on Easter and would be happier for them to be closer, but its also meaningful to be able to celebrate the most important day in the church calendar with our church family.
|Eliza and her fairy garden, about a year after JB made it. We've|
loved seeing how its grown and changed over the year.
|Jumping the hay bales at the Easter Retreat|
|Our first carrot!|