Friday, March 29, 2013

Building a cross with Daddy

We knew this year that, above all else, we wanted our kids to know the reason of the Lenten/Easter season, and NOT that it is about a rabbit giving gifts or getting candy in eggs.  That's just our opinion, but we feel like there is too much richness, too many great opportunities for deep spiritual traditions to dilute them with other things--we're choosing the BEST over the GOOD.  We'll still do some of the "springy" things--and may even paint eggs, etc., but AFTER the Easter season.  We want to keep our kids focused.  Especially on Easter morning.

However this year has looked a little different for us--Matt and I will be out of town at a sibling's wedding this weekend, so we'll spend Easter apart from the kids--who are hanging out with relatives.  So that made some of our Easter traditions non-applicable this year...however we've rolled with those punches and I think we've adapted our Easter season to a way that fits us in this time of life perfectly. 

Above all I want to be MORE INTENTIONAL in developing my children's spiritual development during this Lenten/Easter season that worrying about clothes or eggs or baskets or dinners, etc.  And that hasn't always been the case for me, so this is a growth point for sure.  I want my kids to look back on Easters past and see straight to the cross. 

A tradition that came about on its own this year is building a cross with Daddy.  There was a new, beautiful cross made out of simple 4X4's hanging up at church this month and Quinn asked Daddy if he could build her one, too.  We happened to have some scraps around that Daddy and the kids fashioned into a cross, over the course of 2 evenings. 

Here they are nailing the pieces of wood together.  Daddy predrilled the holes and got big nails for the kids to work with.  Real nails, real hammer.  They were eating this up. 

Then it was time to put the nails in the places where Jesus' hands and feet went.  I took a minute to show Q the nail in detail and explain to her how it went through his hand and how it held him up there.  I know my daughter and I knew that she was ready for this and she could handle this.  Obviously it depends on the kid when this kind of imformation should be shared.  She was stunned and very sober as she put it all together in her mind.  She's referred back to the nails and the holes many times over the past few days. 

Each kid nailed in a nail where Jesus' hands would have gone.  I plan to save the cross and re-nail the hand nails as part of our Easter tradition through the years.  As the kids mature we may nail written or symbolic things to the cross as we think about what the cross really means to us. 

We shrouded it in purple, the color of the Easter season, so that we remember that Jesus is the King of Kings.  Today I spent time with some of my favorite kiddos in a Good Friday time and we talked about our King--a king who was so very different from what was expected of a king.  I'll share those photos soon.  Our cross marked the entry way at the park where we held our ceremony today. 
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