You may have gathered that life has been a bit hectic around the Hacienda lately. I am guessing that is really not surprising as life these days is hectic for most of us. We understand over-committed, over-taxed, way too busy, spread too thin, wearing way too many hats, just hangin’ on. And somehow, we just keep piling it on.
Doing, doing, doing, to the point of exhaustion.
Going, going, going to the point of gone.
The craziest part is, we do it to ourselves.
We do it with the best of intentions. We say yes before we even take a moment to think or breathe or be realistic. Before we sit quietly with the Lord and ask Him, “is this what you have for me?”
Yes, I can do that. Yes, I’d love to help. Yes, I can write that, make that, bake that, decorate that, plant that, plan that, chair that. Give it to me, I’ll do it.
I have done it. And I have done it to myself. No one expects or demands it of me, it does not happen without my permission. It is all me and I just keep heaping commitment on top of commitment. All good, important, worthy things.
But at the expense of what?
Quiet, still time with my maker and savior and sustainer?
Peace of mind and rest and perspective.
Patience and focus and stillness.
He has given me a servants heart and that is a good thing. But I have weak boundaries and that is a bad thing.
And all of the “yeses” have left me undone or overdone – as in stick a fork in me ’cause I’m done.
So what does all of this have to do with Easter? Well, pretty much everything.
Normally at Easter we have a house full of loved ones; those born to us and those gifted and chosen. We prepare for weeks and then we gather together, serve a huge meal, hide dozens of eggs for a dozen (or so) kids and I truly love it. Every bit of it.
But this year, I must be honest, this year I just wasn’t feelin’ it. And it kind of caught me off guard. All of the “yeses” finally caught up with me.
I’m weary and spent. So this year, I said to my husband “do you think it’s okay if it is just us”.
“Just us”, as if that were inconceivable, unthinkable, unimaginable. As if there were something wrong with “just us”. As if “just us” weren’t enough. He immediately said YES! But I had to give it some time to sink in. It is hard to let go of self-imposed expectations.
Easter is a celebration that matters deeply to me and while I am not feeling the big production, I am feeling something that means more. I am feeling the need to renew, reflect and be still. And I’m feeling okay with that.
So this year, it is going to be just us. Enjoying a very intentional, very quiet Easter.
The house is decorated, but it is just for us.
I have menus planned. But this year, they are just for us.
For Good Friday …
- Rack of Lamb Persillade
- Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
- Greek Salad
- Steamed Haricot Vert
- Grandma Ibby’s French Strawberry Pie (I will share this recipe with you tomorrow)
And the “agenda” …
Well, this afternoon, Nathan and I will head to the market to pick up our groceries. And there will be no rush or stress, we will enjoy our time together. This evening, we will sit down to a wonderful meal together and bow our heads to thank our savior for the blessing of His sacrifice. This morning I asked Nathan what “Good Friday” means and his sweet simple answer was “God wants us.” And so He does. He wants us so much that He bore all of our sin on that cross that we would be washed clean, forgiven and redeemed.
And while Easter isn’t about baskets and bunnies and eggs, there is value in the joy of these family traditions.
So, tomorrow, we will color eggs together and attend Easter Services (yes on Saturday – our church is big so we will save five seats Sunday for the many visitors we are sure to welcome). After the kids go to bed, Gary and I will sit together and stuff plastic eggs with scripture, hand written love notes, candy and coins for Sunday’s Easter Egg Hunt.
And Sunday, we will hide those eggs and breathe easy, relaxed and happy as our kids hunt excitedly for their tiny treasures. The day will come all too soon when their enthusiasm for such things wanes. We must put the bustle aside once in a while and take the time to enjoy it now. And so we will.
A bit later, we will sit down to brunch together at the picnic table under the Palo Verde tree. Just us. And we will linger, the rest of the day ahead to be still.
Easter Brunch …
- Ham with and Orange/Fig Glaze
- Deviled Eggs
- Asparagus with Hollandaise
- Coffee Cake
Yes, this Easter, I hear him calling me to slow down and to proceed with intention.
There will always be big gatherings at the Hacienda, big Easter. We are encouraged to gather and it is wonderful. But there must also be “just us”.
And so it is of our relationship with the Savior who draws our hearts to seek Him. To find time with Him. To make time for Him. Just us. He and I.
On this Good Friday, may you find that time with Him. May you be reminded of what has been done for you. May you hear Him whisper “it is done and you are worth it. Let us be, just us.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-16