Good Saturday morning to you! It is a beautiful day here in Iowa ~ chilly, gray and looking like rain, but I am still choosing to call it beautiful! It is the end of the first week of April and tomorrow is Easter.
Speaking of Easter, it has always been a busy time in a pastor's family. Usually it meant Holy Week services on Wed., Thursday, and Friday, lots of preparations for Sunday and then of course a couple of services on Easter too. We always tried to have a new "church outfit" for each of the kids and often mom and dad too. When all the kids were home I would boil up around 5 dozen eggs to decorate, always remembering to put names of grandparents on them too. Easter baskets were filled with candy and books, and with so many kids it was not always easy to find places to hide them! Morning came early, usually around 6 and when the kids were in Junior and Senior high they also were involved with the Easter breakfast so when they were not singing in a choir or sitting in the pew they were working to serve breakfast. Easter Sunday came at the end of Lent, so Joel would be pretty tired after weeks of doing services every Wed. and Sunday and several times during Holy Week. We always had a ham dinner with a bunny cake for dessert. Most of the time it was just our family.
Things have definitely changed. For the first time in 34+ years Joel is NOT preaching on Easter. Last night he went with a neighbor man to services and tomorrow they are going together too! I will celebrate from home. It has been hard for me this year. I want to go to church so bad I can taste it. We are not decorating eggs, and there is no bunny cake. No new outfits :) Just the two of us will sit down to Easter dinner.
Yet, some things never change. We will still worship and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. We will still give thanks, rejoice, and reflect on the meaning of this day for us and the world.
Thinking back where of we have celebrated Easter, I can recall worshiping in churches where our family made up 1/4 of the congregation! Churches where members were in the thousands, outdoor worship at a stadium on Clark Air Force Base in The Philippines, and then all those churches where we were "the pastor's family". We have worshiped in Illinois, Minnesota, Utah, New Mexico, The Philippines, and Iowa. And for the last 8 years I have worshiped from my living room while Joel has gone off to serve the congregations alone.
On Thursday Joel went down to southern Iowa to attend our grandson's first communion. He was able to visit with the family during the day, and then they all went out for a family dinner before services. He drove back home that night. It was nice he could be a part of one of our grandchildren's special occasions once again.
Joel and I are slowly going through the office to get it organized and ready for his new job. He will work from home when he can. So much stuff we have accumulated over the years. We keep special cards and drawings from the family and grandkids...that adds up when you have a big family!
We have been watching The Frozen Planet on the Discovery channel and our usual shows. No movies! I have been reading the book, "You've Already Got It" by Andrew Wommack and Joel is reading a book by John Sherrill. What are you reading?