Easter and Luke turns 5

This past weekend was beautifully rich and packed with family celebration. It began on Saturday morning with the remarkable SonRise pageant held every year on the campus of Southern Adventist University.

The weekend of celebration continued in the afternoon with a birthday bash for our very own Easter baby, my youngest nephew, Luke. The family gathered at the clubhouse in my parents’ neighborhood for Luke’s requested spaghetti dinner and Easter egg hunt.

Then came opening of the birthday gifts at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

And then came Easter Sunday, spent coloring and hunting eggs and eating pizza at my brother and SIL’s home.

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(Yes, that would be my son hunting eggs in a Rocket costume.)

The message of Easter is one of infinite hope, joy, renewal and life. As we spent the holiday weekend celebrating together, I was struck by how all of it – life and love, family and laughter and childhood joy — points us back to the God who gave everything for us and who continues to pour His gifts into our lives.

Easter in Georgia

We hit the road north from Florida on Saturday. Dayquil kept me going through the early stages of the flu on the nine hour drive to north Georgia, where we stopped at Mimi and Grandpa’s for the remainder of Easter weekend. Jon carpooled down from Nashville Saturday morning with his brother and sister-in-law, which allowed me, upon our arrival, to bury my chattering, feverish carcass under mounds of covers and not emerge for many hours.

A little more Dayquil, and the Easter fun commenced on Sunday. The kids always love a visit to Mimi and Grandpa’s house, and Easter is up there on Corin’s holiday list. It’s up there on mine, too, for a lot of reasons. It’s not hard, even with a chattering, feverish carcass, to find my gratitude for the hope that grounds every part of my life, thanks to the message of Easter.

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The Easter eggs say, “Aaaargh!!”

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Easter

Easter has become one of my favorite holidays. We keep it pretty low-key, but the kids have such a great time, and we have had some fantastic conversations with Corin this week as we’ve read Bible verses about Jesus’ death and resurrection and talked about what it all really means. He understands so much more every year, and it’s such an amazing thing to watch him take it in.

As a big added bonus, my cousin and her kids are here visiting on spring break. The weather was really pleasant for this first Easter in the new house, so we got to do a real egg hunt in the back yard for the first time. And the final icing on the celebration: Lina’s donor family sent us a box of cascarones (confetti eggs) all the way from Texas. We’re still dropping bits of confetti around the house, like a little party that just keeps going.

It was a fun day.

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Hard to believe that not long ago, this kid could hardly be bothered to look at a coloring book.

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“Hey, Corin,” we said, “come take a picture hugging Lina.” She was pretty sure he was trying to strangle her, instead.

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She’s coming for you, Chief.

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A blessed Easter

Today is a good day.

First, it’s Easter, the day we celebrate the fact that our God is bigger than death or anything else we face in this life, and that we will have a perfect future because of what He did for us. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Then, in perfect keeping with Easter’s message of hope and new life, our family celebrated the arrival of my newest nephew, precious baby Luke, this morning. His mama was an awesome soldier, powering through 16 hours of unmedicated labor, and now, her 8 lb. 2 oz. sweet reward. (That proud daddy is my brother.) I can’t wait to meet Luke this next weekend.

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Corin helped color eggs on Thursday, and today he had a blast with his Easter basket and our little indoor egg hunt. (Nature did not cooperate with our outdoor plans.) Our lunch of egg salad, berries and whipped cream and other sundries was the perfect wrap-up before Grandma and Grandpa headed out of town to meet their brand new grandson. Happy Easter, everyone!

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P.S. Lina’s first tooth broke through today. Just thought that deserved a mention.