My Mama came bearing gifts for the kids. I feel the obligation to eat ALL of the candy tonight so that we will not be tempted for days to come. :) She also brought me beautiful yellow tulips. I love tulips and the color yellow so I thought they were perfect. After dinner we loaded up and headed to the beach to fly kites, play in the sand, and even in the water. I didn't play in the water because I thought it was freezing. And I don't have a swimsuit right now. I'm sure my swimsuit issues will become a whole series of posts on this blog. Aren't you excited? :) I couldn't believe the way my kids enjoyed the water! Sarah and Eli used to be terrified of it and besides it was FREEZING! Did I mention that? So, Josh and Phil flew the Barbie kite (don't ask) and Mom played in the water with the kids. I pretty much laid on the blanket and told them to wake me up if the kids fell in. At one point I had a towel over my face and when I took it off the sun was too bright for me to see. I said, "I can't see!" and Eli answered, "You have a towel on your head." What did I do before kids?
I have to admit that the last couple of days I've felt spoiled rotten. Friday Josh kept the kids so I could do the shopping for their Easter baskets. I also worked in a haircut and it was so nice. Do you know you're a mom when you consider going to Wal-Mart by yourself to grocery shop being spoiled rotten? Well, anyway, I was thinking about how spoiled I've felt and started feeling guilty about how excited I've been about the kids new Easter clothes. I was starting to feel like I've become one of those people who becomes so caught up in the meals, and baskets, and clothes. But, I felt like it was okay. For some reason I have just been extra excited about this Easter. I really expected it to be hard, our first one without my Dad. But the truth is that the fact that Jesus gained victory over death is the only hope I have. I had a new reason to celebrate this Easter. Because He lives He fulfilled His promise to go and prepare a place for those who believe in Him. (John 14:2) Because He lives, my Daddy lives with Him. Y'all I can't explain the joy that filled my heart today.
In addition to that, I felt His presence in a fresh way while all 5 of us were gathered in my bedroom getting ready this morning. Everybody had new clothes. The girls had new shoes and gloves and hairbows. As we took off price tags, tied shoes, and fixed hair I suddenly felt like God was giving me a picture of what this day means for those of us who believe. It's a new life. As exciting as new shoes and dresses and lacy socks are, how much more exciting is it that He promises us a new LIFE! A fresh start.
20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24
In the words of Paul and Patti Labelle, we need a new attitude! And Jesus offers it. But first we have to be willing to take off the old life. This morning Kate was desperate to put on her gloves and her shoes. With her soaking wet pull-up and nightshirt. I kept telling her, "You have to take off your pajamas first!" Her gorgeous dress would have looked pretty funny with her t-shirt underneath it. And let's not even talk about what would have happened if I had left her in her "stinkin' wet" pull-up. The truth is we do the same thing spiritually. We want the new life Jesus offers, but we try to put it on top of our old life and it just doesn't work.
Colossians 3:12 tells us what our new wardrobe should consist of:
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
How I pray that not just on this Easter Sunday, but on every day that I would wake up ready for my new "clothes"!