We had a different kind of Easter this year. We intentionally tried to spend time serving others the entire Easter weekend. I asked the kids if they would be willing to forgo getting Easter baskets from me and Cody and instead make gifts for some single women we know in our neighborhood. They enthusiastically said yes!
We hit the dollar store to buy pots, yard stakes and garden gloves. Then we stopped by the nursery to choose flowers. The kids planted the flowers and arranged the other gifts. They each made a card for one of the 3 neighbor ladies. (I realize I'm biased, but these were the cutest, most precious cards ever.)
Then, we took the gifts to each porch, one at a time, rang the bell, and ran! That part was pretty crazy.
On Saturday morning, we had a big breakfast out then went to a stretch of road by our church that is always filthy with litter. Ava missed out on this one (she had a previously planned event), but the rest of us worked hard for an hour and a half cleaning up along the fence that runs between 635 and our church building.
It looked so much better after we were done. This area is right behind our church, where many drive into the parking lot. The boys were so proud of their work as we drove to church Sunday morning and gazed on the clean place. And I was really proud of them for wanting to do that and for working so hard.
For our Easter lunch on Sunday, we invited several people to join us (and one did) so our focus could be less on our own family and more on getting to know other people better while sharing a meal with them.
For many years my focus for Easter has been on finding cute matching new clothes, filling baskets for my kids, egg hunts, and the like. (I don't think that's a bad place to be. It's celebratory in nature and can be intentional and family-building, too. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed that my focus was here for years.) For some reason this year, I felt called to try something new. I felt deeply aware of the sacrificial nature of God's love for us and wanted to mirror his generosity in some small way. And I wanted to include the whole family, which was great because they were all totally on board with the idea. I think we are on our way to a new Easter tradition that fills me with excitement and joy.