April 11, 2009

Easter

I apologize for not posting yesterday; it was the first day of our Spring Break. If this alone doesn't explain things, I will say that I spent the hours between 7-10 pm eating my kids' Easter candy to the point where I have to go out and buy more. I spent the hours between 7am and 7pm trying to figure out what I am going to do with my kids next week when Philadelphia, along with Washington D.C., plays host to every eighth grader in the country.

Since middle schoolers will be climbing up, down, and around the Liberty Bell and every other point of interest in the city for the next 7 days, my friend suggested a different kind of "staycation:" we would check ourselves and our 6 combined children into a local hotel with an indoor pool for the night, and let our offspring swim until they collapse with exhaustion or throw up from ingesting too much chlorinated water, whatever comes first.

I liked that idea immensely and began calling for reservations. The vast majority of hotels were booked to the brim with eighth graders, the ones that weren't failed to meet our other requisite: they didn't offer complimentary continental breakfasts.

By 3pm, my friend and I gave up hope and went our separate ways; my friend took her girls to a movie and out to dinner at their favorite restaurant; I took my kids to the Good Friday Celebration at the Methodist church that houses my sons' preschool.

I learned a lot of things in my two hours at the Methodist church, including the fact that almost any household object with a straight edge can be fashioned into a cross. We made crosses out of uncooked spaghetti noodles and stacked sugar cubes. For dessert, we had cupcakes with pretzel stick crosses protruding from their centers. Everyone was beyond friendly and everything was very well planned...and delicious.

As I folded up tables and stacked chairs at the conclusion of the event, I thought about how different, and yet similar this church is from my own. The women's group at this church is making school kits for children in Peru; we are sending ours to Africa. This church is making hundreds of mosquito netting bed covers for orphanages in the Congo; a few months ago, our youth group renovated a park in downtown Philadelphia. Looking at the bulletin boards in this church--covered with solicitations for quilts and receiving blankets, for old washing machines and spare change to feed the homeless, help a struggling family who lost their home in a fire, or comfort a forgotten child--reminded me that my church isn't the only one doing good deeds in the world. There are thousands of religious organizations from all denominations and faiths who are actively engaged in helping others and, in many cases, are doing it better and more often than we are.

I am so proud to live in this great country and this wonderful world, where so many people are using their freedom to do good. The spirit of Easter is EVERYWHERE. It's taken me 32 years, but finally I got it.


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P.S. Today (Saturday, April 11) is the last day to get your discounted swimsuit from Modbe Clothing. After today, you can still buy a swimsuit, but you won't have the satisfaction of justifying your purchase by telling everyone that you got it on sale.

17 comments

Mindy said...

It's good to see outside our own personal "box" and see what other wonderful things are happening...there are a lot of good people doing good things. Doing what the Savior would want them (or us) to do! Good reminder, thanks! And, Happy Easter!

The Girl Next Door said...

One of the reasons I try to stay active in our church is to join in these good things. We have so much - too much we know - and we need to be reminded, constantly of those who have so little. And how we can help them.

Glad you found your Easter. Enjoy!

Oh and your easter candy thing? Precisely why I buy only candy I hate.

Nikki said...

You know - this year we did the unthinkable...we boycotted the Easter Bunny! We told the kids that the Easter Bunny was skipping our house this year - due to the fact that Easter was about all things religious, and no things sugar...I am actually feeling so good about all of this, I have no Easter Egg Hunts to worry about and no baskets to put together, tomorrow is all about Jesus (and the really big box that Grandma mailed to us three days ago)

Rachel said...

Sprind Break was a source of anxiety for me too. We were able to spend the week sleeping in, buying a new washing machine, visiting dad at the office, and hanging out with 30 of our friends for a picnic (BYOP) one afternoon. I am VERY glad that everyone is back on schedule Tuesday!

Babbel Family said...

Nice to know our church isn't the one trying to make a difference!

Ande said...

I'm not going there! My school is too poor! haha
and I'm in 8th grade

Nicole Jensen said...

I laugh and cry when I read your posts! I laughed at your issue with eating the easter candy early, though really, will they suffer with less for us to sneak back from their baskets? We don't do the Easter bunny here either, rather celebrate the season of new life. Enjoy your holiday Jana, thanks for the laughs every day.

kori bates said...

I went there when I was in the 8th grade...it was the greatest experience I have had. I think that I was there more in the summer time...it was so flipping HOT!!!!

Have a great spring break!

JoJo said...

I am LDS and I recently returned from a humanitarian expedition to Peru with mostly people of other religions. I am ashamed to admit how surprised I was by their goodness. We really are surrounded by wonderful people and I've vowed to be more aware and appreciative of them. Good for you for singing their praise.

LaRae said...

I am so happy to hear that I'm not the only one who forgets to stop eating the Easter treats! Thanks for writing about it on your blog!

Mach Momma said...

I missed you on Friday! Now that Easter is over, I did a post on our Easter Week under Traditions at my blog if any one is interested for next year. It included a family passover meal and reviewing Christ last week on earth.

Kris said...

What a great message to share today. Thank you so much.

And as far as the Easter grass goes...yuck. I'm finding it all over as well! :)

mamagale said...

Easter Grass: the bane of my existence! It's so cheap though, and makes the basket look fuller when I can't stay out of the candy.

Thank you for the Easter thoughts. I agree we are all in this together!

sam said...

ok

Anonymous said...

for the easter grass solution--i started using spring themed fabrics in the bottom of our easter baskets to make a soft nest to hold the goods. this has the added advantage of being reusable every year!

Holly said...

I nominated your blog on my blog as a blog I love. Thanks for filling my bucket!

drhollyoung.blogspot.com

Deborah said...

I love this post. I am a Catholic and several of my close friends are Mormon, and when our children were small, we had them all at the Lutheran Preschool. We adapted little traditions from one another, such as, I changed Easter baskets and the hunt to Holy Saturday instead of Sunday, they incorporated manger scenes under Christmas trees that the children could play with...tradition can never be to rich. You are ever SO witty. Seriously witty! **blows kisses** Deborah