Sunday, March 27, 2016

Finding God in Easter

We're still figuring out what Easter means to us, as the grownups in our house. We know we have our little girls looking to us for guidance in setting traditions, offering explanations, honouring the religious foundation of the holiday and forging our own path. I think we struck a pretty good balance this year, in a way that left us all with something to think about, lessons to inspire us, celebrating the undeniable feeling of renewal and awakening that comes with Easter Sunday. We found God in many places: some obvious, some hidden, but all beautiful.

We also found Easter eggs. I followed some of my mama friends' advice and left a couple Smarties in each egg. Then, rather than explain that we would slowly eat a massive haul of chocolate eggs over the course of a few days (which never goes over well with excited young children fixated on treats), we let them have at it, finish them off before breakfast and be done with the whole business. Besides, there were treats from the grandparents to ration over the next few days.

Some of my favourite memories from today, that I don't want to forget (because that is really why I write here): 
- Snuggling Abby in church, just us two, listening to a beautiful choir sing the hymns I remember from my childhood.
- Smiling under a warm spring sunshine, holding Summer's hand on a walk along the bog boardwalk in the woods. She told me she loved me, unprompted, and leaned over for a hug.
- Sitting around our big dining table with family for dinner, saying grace, and hearing each girl thank our family for being with us to celebrate. 

This year for Lent I endeavoured to give up complaining. If I'm being honest, I would say I probably stopped myself 80 per cent of the time. It was really tough, especially when my reserves of self-control, patience and optimism were running low. Complaining felt like such a go-to response, especially when poor Rich came home from long days at work. Being aware of it, and really trying to catch myself, was helpful. Even though I wasn't a total success, I created enough of a habit avoiding complaints to teach me the value of "don't say anything if you don't have something nice to say." No one wants to hear me complain, it rarely helps me feel better anyway, and kicking the habit has helped me keep a more focused, lighter perspective. 

These mini egg blondies helped steer me from complaining, too. They are a whole other kind of religious experience. Try them and see. I also tried making a brown rice crust for our quiche on Good Friday. It was pretty tasty to me, but my poor husband always wonders why I try to take a good thing and make it "healthier". Part of the deal of living with me, I guess. The mini egg blondies helped make things right with him again.

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