Happy Easter, everyone!!
I thought I would try to have some fun and make you laugh at my expense. Here are some pictures of my childhood! I grew up as the middle child of three siblings. On Easter morning my mom took great pleasure in dressing us all up in matching outfits. She was never shy on stretching the fashion boundaries and I just barely made it out of the 70s with my dignity still intact. I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed dressing like my older brother, however, I’m not too sure he enjoyed matching me. Pulling out these pictures reminded me of my childhood and looking back I need to give great thanks to my parents for making our home an environment full of FUN, LAUGHTER, and PLAY!
Easter was always a great day for my family. Mom and Dad made it an intentional family FUN day! I remember waking up with my brother, Todd, in our room and not allowed to come out until my sister, Brenda, was ready as well. Then the countdown, “three, two, one…GO!” The Easter basket hunt began! We would giggle and laugh hysterically, searching the house frantically for our baskets full of games and candy. I can still hear Dad’s voice taunting, “you’re getting hotter…no, now you’re getting colder.” We would look behind and under every piece of furniture in the house and in every closet. Inevitably I would find my brother or sister’s basket before my own. This would give me an advantage because now I had “basket intel” that I would hold over my siblings!! When we finally found our Easter baskets, my brother and I would compete against one another with our new paddle ball toy, something that always seemed to end up in our baskets. My dad would be on the ground with us seeing how many Jaxs he could pick up between every rubber ball bounce. And I haven’t even mentioned the hilarious egg hunt outside after church. The day was filled with laughing and playing. I loved it and remember it well!
Fun, laughter, and play mattered to my parents and it really mattered to us kids. They planned it for us and worked it into our weekly rhythm as a family. My parents were and still are faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The message of Easter was never forgotten in our home on those fun filled Sundays. FUN, LAUGHTER, and PLAY created an atmosphere of relationship and connection that amplified the gospel for us. So when our parents told us the truths about God and His Word, we leaned into it because we trusted our parents.
I’ve learned too as a parent that one of the most effective ways to stay connected to my kids and build trust is to have fun with them. Fun, laughter, and play doesn’t trivialize the most important event in the history of the world, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day is Holy and sacred but that doesn’t mean it should be absent of a fun celebration of the freedoms our Savior gave to us! We are called to raise our kids to obey and be selfless. God also calls us to celebrate together and enjoy our lives fully!
FUN, LAUGHTER, and PLAY in your family can foster resilience. I know we are in some challenging and difficult times right now. If you want your kids to grow up and push through tragedy, disappointment, and even COVID-19, then they need a collection of fun memories to assure them that life goes on. Reassure them that the joys of living, loving, and laughing together far outweigh the pain that will inevitably show up. Having fun together helps us keep fighting for relationship even when it’s difficult. Fun moves us to keep growing, keep caring, keep loving…regardless!
What you do today with your family matters. What you do this week with your children matters. This crazy time is a unique opportunity, take the time to have fun with your kids. Use it to build trust, have lasting influence, establish a deeper connection, and create an opportunity for their hearts to listen to the greatest story ever told. The story of Easter!
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Does your family have this type of strength?