Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tara's Corner: Easter

Hello again!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holy Week and are looking forward to Easter as much as I am. Holiday's are always so fun and interesting in my family, and most definitely religious holidays. It's a very different experience for me now that I am a mom and my kids are getting older. What I often find myself thinking of is that I want to make sure my kids fully understand the true reason and meaning behind holiday's like Easter and Christmas, while still preserving the magic that comes with such things as the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause. I do everything I can to make sure there is room for both sides, but I would often wonder how much was reaching them..then there's been the last two years.

Now last year, I took my oldest son, Talon with me to, for lack of a better description, a reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus. The Nazarene Church in Nampa, Idaho puts this on every year and they do a beautiful job. It is one of the most touching things I have ever seen. I have been many many times since that first year I went with my dear friend Angie and her family.  It never fails to have me in tears and to the point of bringing me to my knees in worship. Taking Talon with me was a big deal, because even though I've discussed with my kids the fact that God sent his only Son to save us, actually seeing the man portraying Jesus being nailed to the cross and his weak voice begging his Father to forgive us as he dies, well, I wanted to wait until I felt each of them was at an age were they had the ability to sort their feelings about it and could find the words to ask the questions I had no doubt would be there. Talking about it is one thing, seeing it portrayed is another. Not to mention that he would be witnessing the wreck his mother looks like afterwards, and I wanted him to be able to understand that in the end it is tears of joy, praise, and thanks for this beautiful gift.

I was so proud how much Talon took in, how much he understood and how well thought out his questions were about the things he didn't quite get. To a young child of 9 it is so hard to imagine anyone not loving Jesus. I am looking forward to sharing this with my other 3 children in the coming years. My ultimate goal is to one day be a part of the cast that shares this beautiful message.
Resurrection scene from No Greater Love at Nampa First Church of the Nazrene

This year, just like every year, I was preparing myself for what I was going to give up during Lent. For the last 6 years I have given up ALL meat for the full 40 days of Lent. I have talked to my kids about this and of course they notice, us being a fairly carnivorous family and all. Imagine my pride when all on his own, Talon tells me that he would like to give something up for Lent. Following him, were his younger brother and sister who said they would like to give something up too. I was bursting with pride at the fact that they felt led to do this and completely on their own. I have only told them that I do it and my reasons why, but have never suggested that they should.

Talon and Chloe decided that they wanted to give up pizza and Hayden decided on soda. Now these things may not seem like a big deal, but in the minds of a 10 year old and two 8 year olds, it is. Especially when we have many birthday parties serving pizza and pop during Feb and March, and every Tues being pizza day at school. I was very grateful to the Parma School lunch staff for supporting Talon and Chloe in their decision by offering an alternative lunch for them on Tuesdays.

Several weeks into this we were at my parents house and my brother had gotten pizza for everyone for dinner. Not only could Talon and Chloe not eat the dinner, but neither could I since all of them had some sort meat on them. As the first one was pulled out of the oven and the second one was cooking with the yummy pizza smell filling the house, Talon says out of no where, "You know what mom? This is really hard!" Right there was the recognition and the opening I had been waiting for. I of course told them the reason I did this every year, but right here with the smell of the food and knowing he was making a choice to 'give it up' I was able to drive my point home. That yes, I'm sure it did feel very difficult to not have pizza with everyone. And that there are times when I am so hungry for whatever meat product I am cooking for them for dinner, but not able to enjoy because of what I gave as difficult as this feels for us, imagine what it must have felt like for God to give His child, His ONLY Son, to die for our sins. Now that is sacrifice. Seeing the full understanding in the faces of my 3 young children, seeing them really 'get' why we do this every year, was such an amazing experience.

So this weekend as we dye the eggs and fill little plastic ones with candy, money, and trinkets and wait for the Easter Bunny to hide them, I will enjoy watching my kids running around, filling their baskets knowing, with full confidence, that they understand the TRUE meaning of Easter.

I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this long winded post, letting me express something that is so dear in my life; my faith, and my children. I wish each and every one of you a blessed Easter spent with those you hold most dear.


  1. beautifully done. <3 Bless you, Tara. <3 And those children always have such beautiful, sweet smiles on their faces- kinda gives me the impression that you are doing something right! Happy Resurrection Day! Praise our risen Savior!

    1. I agree with you! Keep up the good work Tara!