I read the blogpost last Wednesday. The post with all the beautiful pictures and holy inspired ideas for creating Easter traditions. No doubt Ann Voskamp is gifted, and her life and her writing has changed me, compelled me to know Christ more, to love my husband and children more. For her, I am grateful.
But last Wednesday, I left more discouraged than encouraged. Maybe even a bit intimidated, and definitely sorrowful of my own lack. Reluctantly, I admit, we do not have Easter traditions, apart from a hunt of candy-filled plastic eggs. Over the years, the Easter egg hunt is what my children, along with millions around the country, have come to look forward to.
I am grieved over the years wasted. I am not sure why our Easters have lacked meaning, substance and Spirit. I am at a loss to how I let the days pass so quickly, wearing me out with busyness, instead of finding ways to cultivating lives willing to bear the cross — our own crosses. Or why I have no memories of how we used this Lenten season to prepare our hearts and turn our attention to tracing Jesus’ walk. Jesus, Who exchanged streets of gold, for the Way of Suffering down the dusty Via Dolorosa.
Where have the years gone, void of Christ-centered traditions that bring life and sow to the spirit — traditions that we as parents practice for and with our children in order to leave them a godly heritage?
I have sorrow over the answer.
For too long I have let so many temporal things of this world creep in and steal us away from things eternal. My soul weeps in repentance. Easter is upon us, and we have begun the recounting of His story this holy week, leading to His glorious, death-conquering RESURRECTION. However, I have no beautifully creative pictures to share of holy Easter traditions. Not from this year or years past, unless it involves a plastic candy and coin filled egg.
Not that I think anything is wrong with this sort of simple joyous fun, as his delight makes my heart warm, but I am hungry for so much more. Hungry after God Himself, longing for spiritual realities in my family, for my family, and not just for Easter, but for everyday. I yearn for the Spirit of God to permeat our lives so there is evidence of a difference between us and the rest of the world. That we, as the salt of the earth, would make the world thirsty to drink deep at the only fountain of Living Water.
These words of A.W. Tozer, I weave in with my own. Not for the taking of credit, but because they bear witness with my spirit, and they draw out a deep cry from my heart.
As I am unable to reconcile myself to the continual absence of fire, I desire God above all, in my home. I want the family to taste for themselves the “piercing sweetness” of the love of Christ. And it is a solemn thing and no small scandal to see my children starving while seated at our table. Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
I want my children to really KNOW God — to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to have an insatiable desire for the Word, to want to offer their lives surrendered to Him and walk with Him all the days of their lives. I want to feel the heat of their desire after God. This is my fervent prayer.
I am not sure how else to say…
“I want MORE of GOD in our home,
and I want EVIDENCE of HIM being here.”
Revive us. Oh, Lord, Awaken our hearts to Your Kingdom.
I know I am hinging the spiritual climate of our home on the traditions of Easter, and do so in error, for the walk to the cross must be a daily pilgrimage. But, the absence of them in our home is revealing a deficiency. In this I am not condemning my own heart. How can I, when not even the Lord Jesus condemns my heart?
With this, my heart is broken and laid open-wide before Him, so that He may fill it anew. That with beautiful traditions or not, even my own children will be able to know that I have been with Jesus, and that I would somehow inspire a craving in them — that the mainspring of their life would be a burning desire to know Him more. Yes, this is my cry from the depths of my heart.
Fire of God, come, consume this living sacrifice I leave upon the altar for you,
God help me: I want to take my everyday, ordinary life—my sleeping, eating, doing-house-work, and walking-around life—and place it before You as an offering. I don’t want to become so well-adjusted to my culture that I fit into it without even thinking. Instead, I will fix my attention and devotion on You, and as I do I’ll be changed from the inside out. I want to readily recognize what You want from me, and quickly respond, with heart yielded to it. Not conforming to the external, superficial customs of this world, but being transformed by the renewing of my mind. So I will be able to test and approve what Your will is for us—Your good, pleasing and perfect will.
And help us create beautiful traditions
that draw our hearts closer to Yours, in the process.