Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pondering Easter

Easter week.
I can't believe we are here already!
A full season of Lenten reflection and activity coming to a climax with the resurrection on Sunday.
For Lent, I've been reflecting upon my gratitude for family.
The Holy family was such an example of love and simplicity and I can't imagine how Mary felt as she watched her Son crucified and killed on a cross.
Oh, her heart must have broken into an inexplicable shatter.
But three days later, there was lively celebration that He was risen and renewed.
A promise that they would be together forever in heaven one day.
That joyful scenario has played over and over in my mind this season.
Losing my Dad was epic, but healing has started for our family and I realize how prominent and precious our upbringing was.
I am so grateful that the Lord so graciously shows us that there is hope eternal...gently through the Easter season.

 {Kids fetching the packer for Dad at the bottom of the field.}

Growing up, we had parents and grandparents who made time for us.
Lots of time to talk and pass on morals and values, skills, full of praise as well as heed.
They weren't rich monetarily and didn't give us a lot of material items, but what they did do was create in us a sense of value, worth, and confidence.

Life was simple and Darren and I hope to follow that example with our own children...

Things weren't always perfect or smooth, but I am grateful for each experience God allowed.
Just like the Holy family, there were trials and tribulations, but God's plan painted a beautiful portrait of togetherness.
Each day is a gift...
 My parents followed our "gifts" and nurtured our God given talents.

 {Tim's calves are gaining weight and growing nicely.}

We spent ever so many days just tromping through the woods and building forts.
My Dad would bulldoze us trails and my Mom would make new little paths for us to explore even deeper.
 Dad was always working on something and he was never alone...we were always by his side.
This is something he forever practiced with his grandkids, too.
We could do anything...and were so capable in his eyes.

 {Look at those eyelashes!}

We were blessed with grandparents who dedicated copious amounts of time thoroughly interested in just being with us.
They unabashedly talked and listened and passed on memories.

{Tim building a new rabbit cage for his future rabbits...he is in the business now:).}

Their faith and TIME in us was immeasurable.
Time was worth more than any extra curricular activity {although we selectively had those, too} or new toy that they could give us.

{We dyed eggs with natural dyes this year...but aren't the colors so pretty straight from the hens?}

Faith was nurtured in our hearts as well as our souls and I believe my loved ones heartfelt praise helped to shape us into who we are today.

{Getting ready for a shower to welcome a new cousin into the family...}

I am ever so thankful this Easter season for the simplicity and lack of material possessions that we were blessed with as kids.
It allowed us to create.
It allowed us to grow and have quiet moments to ponder faith.
Simplicity cultivated many opportunities to focus our attention on things of value in life: God, relationships, forgiveness, and joy....and hard work.

{Jack is building planes...and selling them. His price was $90,000...whew...but I chewed him down to $10...hehe.}

There is an exceptional closeness between us.
We are forgiving and encouraging...and I love that those qualities are being passed down to the next generation.
The cousins are more like brothers and sisters:).

{They love art!}

 I am grateful for the TIME my parents spent with us... and the time we have together still.
For family closeness and ties that bind.
My thankfulness runs deep for the precious family God has given me. 
My husband and children make me want to soak up every last minute with them.  

{I promise...they all wear helmets when they are riding! Aren't they darling?} 

 {My boys helping their cousin get his 4 wheeler running :).}

{My Dad gifted me these little chickies on my 10th birthday.}

I whole heartedly wish you the very best Easter this Sunday.
I hope it is a day filled with sweet memories, joy in our risen Lord, and pirouetted with the cheerful serenade of family.

Happy Easter!



Valerie said...

Oh, Julia! Thank you for this post! I needed it...for some reason especially today. So.Much.Noise these past few days...and then to read THIS brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you, dear friend, and a very Blessed Easter to you!!!


Erika Roberts said...

As usual, a beautiful post! You were one of the lucky ones growing up in a family who chose to put time together first. Your children will be part of the even fewer lucky ones of this generation. Keep up the good work! Thank you for another wonderful reminder! Happy Easter, sister-in-Christ! ~ Erika @ MishMashedMe

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Happy Easter to you, too!

I love naturally colored eggs.

so pretty.

Bonnie said...

What a beautiful post. And a reminder to be grateful to the Lord for everything. I love Easter and the time of renewal of our souls as well as the earth itself.

Jacqueline said...

I absolutely love this post....makes me think of how lucky I am to have had the childhood that I did and for my parents (who are now wonderful grandparents to my daughters.) Great reminder of what is important in life, sometimes we all need those little reminders. Thank you. Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family.

fiona said...

Thank you Julia x
Blessings to you and your lovely family


Judy in Carefree said...

What a beautiful post! May your Easter be filled with love and family.

Carol Blanchet said...

So beautifully said, Julia. May the joy of our Risen Lord permeate your every fiber this Easter!
You are a sweet encouragement and inspiration to me.

P.S. Your chick display is quite tender! A very sweet way to remember your dad. :-)

Gumbo Lily said...

Wonderful postful of loving memories and cherished family. I've been thinking about Jesus. Thinking about his life as a child with parents and siblings and all the little things that go with being human.

You've been blessed.

Julia said...

Hope grateful for that. Knowing someday we will be reunited with those we have loved, who have gone before us, that great cloud of witnesses.

Lovely post.


Michele said...

Have a blessed Easter, Julia!

connie said...

Happy Easter to you...

This was a wonderful post and so refreshing to bring back the same type of memories of my grandparents and childhood..
I am so grateful that I was able to have Grandparents that were simple loving people. I recall playing in the creek, collecting rocks, and leaves and creating natural toys from branches and flowers, now those were the days.
God Bless you and its so nice to know that others cherish their childhood like I do.. and I have to say, I think by his quote of price of the plane shows how much he was in the imagination field.. lol...

Keep Home Simple said...

Great post Julia! Family is the greatest blessing on earth! Happy Easter to you and your family!

Theresa said...

Beautiful post. I just found your blog and have to tell you that your oldest son and mine could be twins. It is freaky actually. Had to show my kids because the resemblance is astonishing.

Can't wait to read back through your blog.

JaneA said...

Happy Easter! Oh, how I long for Time and Simplicity, and that slow pace. And I long to feel a baby calf's nose in my hand, and her raspy tongue licking salt from my fingers. All those things I miss about my childhood in the Midwest. It all seems so far away here in Africa!

Christi said...

What a lovely post.

From time to time the Lord will bring you to mind, and I will think about how your heart must still ache and I pray for you and your sweet family. You are so very rich. The Lord says he will bless those who love Him to a thousand generations! You are blessed, indeed.

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