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Archive for April, 2014

Joseph and I sort of make it our goal to annoy everyone with our parenting.

Not really.

🙂 But around the holidays it may seem like it is that way because we’re all “down with the commercialism of Christian holidays!!!!! Say no to Santa! Ease off the Easter Bunny! ”

But you know, those things are for you and your family to figure out, so I’m pretty much unapologetic for talking about what my family is up to. Since it is my family.

Guys, my kids are gonna hunt ‘Easter eggs’ on Sunday, or Brooklyn will and Timothy will eat them. We’re cool with fun, just also want to keep it about Jesus first then fun second.

So, in an attempt to share with Brooklyn in a visual way about what Easter is truly about before she goes all egg crazy this weekend, I decided I wanted to think up a meal that might help to explain Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

If you’re on facebook you’ve probably seen these ‘Resurrection Rolls’, I’ve been wanting to make them with B but I wanted to start earlier in the biblical account than just the burial…so I thought up this meal. Some of the items you’ll need to use your imagination with, but the general story should still come across.

I tried to use practical, somewhat healthy foods. Brooklyn is a picky eater, but maybe she will at least try some of these things.

If you want to try this with your family, I suggest reading along in the Jesus Storybook Bible and pair that with a ‘adult’ version of scripture, we’re using an ESV study bible. The children’s bible will help your kids visualize through pictures, but don’t feel like you can’t read them a ‘grown up’ Bible. Let them learn, and let them ask questions if they don’t understand.

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Slice some zucchini – talk about how Jesus was betrayed by Judas, read the account of how Judas  betrayed Jesus for money {zuccchini – green -representing money Judas accepted in exchange for selling Jesus out… if you want to let me know of a silver vegetable to be more in line with scripture, I’m all ears 😉 ) Season and cook the zucchini to your taste.

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Chicken is our main dish, but before we get to that, we’ve made a sauce to baste the chicken in. Prepare in a dish any sauce you want, we are using BBQ sauce. It is deep red and has a saltiness to it. This represents Jesus’ sweat turning into blood as he prayed in the garden.

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Take some fresh (or frozen, thawed) chicken. Read the account of Jesus’ body being beaten. Pound out the chicken (let your kid help too!). I would say it’s important to not make this part seem like fun given the reason you’re tenderizing the meat in this way… although it is sort of inevitable that your kid will probably enjoy being given permission to beat on something. Given the stage of maturity of my little girl, I won’t restrict her from enjoying this but I would not initiate that mood, I’ll let her initiate it, and as she gets older I can see this leading to conversations about what Jesus’ beating was really like (not fun or enjoyable).

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Baste your chicken and cook it until it’s done. You’re capable of figuring out the type of cut and how long that’s gonna take, I believe in you.

While your chicken is cooking, prepare the side dishes for your meal. This is where things get ‘toddler approved’. As my children grow and their palates (hopefully) mature, we’ll change the sides here and there to something more grown up. For now, you’re gonna feel like you just entered snack-time at a 3 year olds play-date.

Read about how Jesus was mocked. Talk about the crown of thorns and how it was made out of sticks. Use veggie sticks (or anything else crunchy) to represent the sticks that made the crown of thorns.

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Jesus was also offered sour wine as he was being tortured. Prepare some grapes for your dinner plate. Please don’t give your toddler wine. 😉

 

 

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As you transition from such a hard to read story about our Savior being mocked, here is where you have a real opportunity to brag on Jesus. Throw in the details of what you’re doing on Easter weekend, and tell them that Jesus is sweeter than any candy they will eat and cooler than any bunny they will meet. Let them understand how much of a hero Jesus is and how precious his sacrifice was and still is to each and every one of us. Remind your kids of when he was praying so hard in the garden, that he gave himself up to God the Father’s plan, he knew he would be beaten, he knew he would be mocked, and he did this all for us to be saved from hell, where the pain and torture is eternal, never ending.

Talk about hell and how it is a place where death would win, where after we die we would be consumed in a forever burning.

Talk about how this selfless act from Jesus changed our very outlook on death. He has made earthly death sweet for those of us who choose to follow him.

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What once destined us to a fiery eternal misery, now has been redeemed to the sweetest of all gifts. Use sweet peppers to draw this parallel. Peppers are used in dishes to spice things up, they create a fiery burn in your mouth, sweet peppers are encased by what to the eye looks like will light your world on fire but it actually tastes of sweetness.

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When your chicken is finished, assemble your plate and reiterate what each thing represents.

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Everyone knows the meal is just an avenue to dessert, and Friday is just a precursor to the main event: SUNDAY IS COMING, and so is dessert . On to the good stuff (and the greatest part of the story)!

Remember my link to Resurrection Rolls? Here is what you need:

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Take the marshmallow and talk about how it is white and blameless, just as Jesus was, which is why his sacrifice was the only one that could save.

Dip the marshmallow in melted butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar to represent the burial spices used on Jesus. Arrange on a cookie sheet and follow baking directions on crescent roll package (or click link to read more).

Open your (preheated) oven tomb.

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Place the representation of Jesus body into to oven and close the oven. Tomb. You get the idea.

As you are waiting for your dessert to bake, read about those who came to the tomb and saw that it was empty!

 

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When your rolls are ready, check for “Jesus’ body”, is it in there?

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Hope you enjoyed learning about our meal and thanks for letting me share a new tradition!

Happy Easter, friends, He is RISEN!

 

*adding this pic just because it’s so cute*

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I’m rocking Timothy and he’s fallen asleep. I’ve moved him twice but he’s woken up each time.

He sleeps better these days, and it seems like the farther removed you are from the sleepless newborn days, the more difficult middle of the night wakings seem to be, for me at least. 🙂

As I’m sitting here rocking him, though my body feels tired and is ready to go back to bed, my mind and heart feel at peace that this little being finds comfort in me.. If only for this little while.

Romans 12:1-2 have long been favorite verses of mine, you can find them scribbled in old journals of mine.

“1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Verse two has always been a verse I’ve repeated to myself or dwelled on when I felt the weight of peer pressure or the worldly invitation to cast off a biblical world view.

In these late night moments though, I really feel the weight of verse one and how it frees you to live out verse two.

When God’s mercy on my life is put into perspective as he laid down his wrath because my ransom has been paid, what response could be greater than to lay down my agenda for my life and offer up whatever willfulness and energy I would put towards those things and fuel them for the things God has placed before me in my calling of being a mom? No other response seems fitting.

Motherhood is almost secondary work to the world. We’re taught to strive for our dreams, get the big job, make the money, travel the world, then… When you feel like you’ve accomplished all the “you” stuff, then go for that motherhood stuff but make sure you don’t lose sight of yourself because you’re still #1 in your own life.

This is backwards, and as a Christian mother it can seem difficult to find peace in your role as a mom when the world is saying “well yeah, motherhood is admirable and sweet, but it doesn’t define you.”

But friends, it does. It really does.

It doesn’t wish to rob you of your identity and strip you from your worth, but to create an identity that frees you to feel so worthy of this calling.

If your mind can’t be freed from the shackles of finding your self worth within the boundaries of motherhood, it might be that you have the verses in opposite order. Our minds won’t be free until we commit every breath that our body can breathe to the Lord.

Offer your bodies {your talents, your energy, your know-how, your ability} to the Lord first, then you will find your mind renewed {at peace, worshipful, embracing the role}.

So as I sit and rock, in a role that doesn’t hold much weight in society, my mind is at peace because my body is in service.

I am worshipping the Lord in these moments as I was created to do and there isn’t a higher calling than being in service to him.

Whatever the Lord has called you to, allow yourself to give yourself wholly to it – no matter how big or small the task may seem – then and only then will you know the peace of God as you were made to know it.

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