It seems like at least once a day at some point I’ve been drilling the kids to remember what Easter really means. It feels like an uphill battle where every sign, commercial and display is about bunnies and colorful eggs. One time after I quizzed them on what Easter really means Silas asked, “Then why are there so many Easter bunnies if that has nothing to do with Easter?” I said, “I guess it’s because there’s always something else that seems more colorful and exciting to take away from Jesus.” He looked thoughtful then ran off to play. I hope he gets that even though in so many ways Jesus and His truths are unpopular, they are the only way to peace, contentment and true joy.
Just yesterday, the kids came home with a huge bucket filled with candy. They had an Easter egg hunt at school. The amount of candy was almost like Halloween- ridiculous amounts. My kids never looked so happy as they trotted out of the school building proudly swinging their heavy buckets filled to the brim with everything deliciously desired in their little minds.
Even at age 31, I still really enjoy a good Snickers, Twix, Reece’s peanut butter cup, etc. I have gone on a long journey with food to come to a place now where I am no longer ignorant about the dangers and realities behind the food industry. I have gone from no awareness, ‘ignorance is bliss’, eat-whatever- I-want-without-a-care-in-the-world, to very much informed, knowledgeable, cautious and a proactive advocate for a healthy, natural, eating as close to God’s green earth as humanly possible kind of gal. We have no allergies per se but we live like we do. We cut out modern hybridized wheat, genetically modified foods, most processed sugary foods, and grain fed beef. This list seems small but it’s basically everything they sell at the store. This has been very hard but I know it’s what we have to do as a family. In a sense, I know too much to just go back to the way we used to eat. As a result, we’ve all slimmed down a bit and I feel really good about feeding my kids knowing that I’m doing everything I can to fuel their bodies with what it needs to be healthy and to give them the best start possible in life. As far as perfection goes, we are far from it. Eating healthy in an unhealthy world is so hard. Parties, family functions, last minute meals are all temptations to slip up. We do slip up and have these forbidden foods on occasion but the next day we hop back on the healthy eating train and all is well again.
So, as the kids are getting in the van with their candy I am trying to figure out how to handle it. I want to just throw it all out in the garbage and give them a few treats I got them at Earthfare, where there are no GMO’s and there is actually a short ingredient list instead of the never ending chemicals on the traditional candy labels. But then the look in their eyes, I just couldn’t. So, I made them a deal. We would eat a few pieces today and then throw the rest out and not have any tomorrow. We did the same thing for Halloween and they took that okay. So we broke out the candy and immediately threw out all the Tootsie Rolls. I just couldn’t even go there. To be fair, all the candy is pretty much horrible for you, but for some reason Tootsie Rolls just push me a little too far. They are completely banned for us. So, for the rest of the candy we just ate a few pieces and a few pieces more and then before we knew it, all the candy was gone. I ate right along with them! Next thing I knew we all had runny noses… out of nowhere. I had a splitting headache and Cannon’s belly was hurting him. How this candy was affecting us was so telling.
It reminded me of the way we handle sin in our lives. It looks so appealing, it’s wrapped in such shiny, pretty packaging with bright colors and cute bows. It taste so good. We can’t have enough and we indulge ourselves as much as we can. Afterwards, we are hurting. That hurt can be emotional, spiritual, or directed at someone we love. Either way, we would have been better off to run away from the temptation, like when Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife when she was tempting him.
came home from work, the kids were jumping off the walls and I was feeling
terrible with a headache that wouldn’t go away.
I asked B, “Since when did Easter mean GMO partially-hydrogenated oils,
genetically modified corn starch, GMO corn syrup, GMO sugar, preservatives,
artificial dyes and a host of other unpronounceable chemicals? When did we go
from, “Praise God! Jesus is alive!!” to “Let’s fill our babies’ bodies with
everything that’s terrible for them and call that Easter fun!” I know I’m
probably the scrooge of Easter egg candy, but isn’t there a better way? They
actually do make candy that is not terrible for you. I had to search, but it’s
out there, for about quadruple the price… but it’s out there!
At night when all the Easter candy is gone and we’ve all recovered from our sugar highs (and lows) and refueled our bodies with vegetables to try and compensate for the day before, I’m going to sit down with my boys. I’m going to tell them that this is the best holiday in the world because we know that not even death can keep us apart from God. Jesus died and when He rose on the third day, that’s proof to everyone that not only is He God, but all of our bad stuff that was put on Jesus is now forever gone. Whenever you mess up, remember that Jesus already died for that and He’s alive now waiting on you to grab a hold of that forgiveness. I’m going to tell them that because of Easter we can live without worrying about anything. We don’t have to fear a thing because the same God that loved us enough to send Jesus to die on a cross for our sin is inside of us compelling us to live out this love to others. I hope they are amazed at the grace of God and how absolutely nothing, not even death, can keep us from the love of God.
I pray this scripture would be hidden in their hearts. No matter where they are or what circumstances come their way- that they would know that the love and grace of God is not earned or deserved. It’s not to be taken lightly or for granted. It’s a treasure, a gift, a mystery and a marvel. It’s everything we could ever hope for and everything we’ll ever need. It’s freedom and life, peace and hope and all that we can ever desire. It’s enough, more than enough... Thank you Lord for Easter, for this amazing miracle of grace. For taking every bad thing I’ve done and thought or will do or will think and sending it as far as the east is from the west. Thank you for the promise of heaven and for never leaving us alone. Thank you for the truth that sets our souls free. May gratitude reign in my heart today and tomorrow and all the days and years after. May my heart never grow weary of thanking You for victory over sin, peace for today and hope for eternity.