Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sins Exchanged For Blessings!

Yesterday I decided to explain to Tyson that the Easter bunny is not real. It's a topic that I've never felt conviction over, and still DO NOT, but keeping up with all the "extras" at Easter and Christmas were stepping in the way of keeping the focus on what's MOST important when we celebrate these holidays. As a family who loves the Lord and desires to raise our children to know of Him and love Him too, I needed to find a way to make it 100% possible to eliminate distractions, at least on my end. I won't deny, seeing the disappointment or "let down" on his face hurt me. I was disappointed in myself for not letting the tradition remain. It used to be that we placed our empty Easter baskets outside, along with the empty, plastic Easter eggs, and the next morning, the empty Easter baskets and eggs were filled to the brim with goodies from the Easter bunny. What now? How would traditions still take place?

I explained to Tyson that his daddy and I were really Santa and the Easter bunny. I wanted him to know that WE were the one's who picked out these special gifts for him and his siblings.

A close friend of mine shared an idea with me that she was going to try this Easter with her children. She got the idea here. This was the pivital point, the confirmation, that giving my children an Easter basket was OOOOOOOOKay! It was the most beautiful way to give them an Easter basket too because we gave ALL the GLORY to God for the gifts they received.

FIRST, we went on a rock hunt. Each child was asked to pick out three rocks.
Jax knew right away how this was done! He and his brother do this all the time for fun.

Tyson finished quickly, so he helped his sissy!
Lilah was having a hard time finding "big" rocks. She kept bringing me pebbles. So cute. Such a girl.

Then, we came inside and talked about some sins that we struggle with. The kids literally spoke of three individual sins that that each felt they struggled with and we labeled EACH of their rocks, representing their sins.
Tyson's sins are "fretting" his brother and sister, not having patience, and saying bad words (poop, fart, etc...).

Lilah's are "crying" (for no reason), yelling, and hitting.
Jaxon's sins are not listening the first time, whining, and scratching.

We placed their "sins" in a basket and left the basket outside before heading to church.

Upon returning home from church, the basket was GONE! We explained to the children that in return for our sins, God was going to give us a basket of blessings, just like He did when he gave us His only son Christ. Christ paid it all. In exchange for our sins, God gave us life in Christ Jesus. That is the greatest blessing we could ever receive. I really think this is an amazing tradition that will bear much more meaning and weight than anything the "Easter Bunny" could bring, do, or say. It will produce greater thoughts about our sin, it will plant seeds, and it will keep the focus on the true meaning of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ultimately and hopefully bringing them to salvation. BUT, please know, I do NOT look down upon or judge a soul who enjoys some Easter bunny imaginative fun/traditions.

Here are the baskets of blessings God gave to the children this Easter.