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Easter glory

My favorite part of Easter morning is putting the flowers on our crown of thorns (a tradition we have done now for 10 years).  It is a reminder to me that no sin is greater than God's love and that no matter what our past has been, we can begin anew. 
God continues to journey with us today, and this journey comes to fulfillment in the Resurrection. All the pain, suffering, mistakes, sins, successes, and failures of the human family are brought to new life in the risen Jesus. “To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future.”  (Pope Francis, Homily at the Easter Vigil, 30 March 2013) 

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the gift of chalk

Epiphany is a day I look forward to every year as I need to hear these words  in this liturgy again and again....  O God, you once used a star to show to all the world that Jesus is your Son. May the light of that star that once guided wise men to honor his birth, now guide us to recognize him also, to know you by faith, and to see you in the epiphanies of the daily experiences of our lives.

 the gift of chalk... 
pictures from Knoxville, 2011 

pictures from Seattle 2019 

Frivolous Necessities

The night after Anna's 16th birthday, I was tucking her into bed, and I said to her, "Thank you for being such a good sport with all of the birthday festivities and silly antics with all of the frivolous....."  Then Anna added the word "necessities...." to finish my sentence. 
Yes, that just about sums up how we celebrate. They are indeed frivolous necessities.  So grateful that we can mark these times and make a big deal about little things. It's one of my favorite things to do around here. 
Below are pictures of the chocolate fountain we got for Anna's sweet sixteen  (one of the best frivolous necessities! ) 

Taylor's Crossing

Our boy is turning 13 this month so we've been intentional about trying to create something that would fit his personality and that would speak to his heart to help mark this "crossing" year.  We did a more elaborate version of this for his sister, Anna, but he made it very clear that he did not want the same kind of pageantry.  
As we thought about how to tweak some of our ideas that we'd put in place before, we still had some of the same goals that we'd had for Anna.  The ultimate message that we wanted him to hear and remember was that he is loved. One small thing we did in preparation to drive this home was that we had him memorize Psalm 139 over a period of a few months as this passage is a beautiful reminder of God's love for us and His presence with us.  
We also wanted Taylor to know that as he turned from 12 to 13 into the realm of being a teenager that he was not doing this alone. We wanted him to know that he has a team of people who are with him, ch…

resurrection cookies- the tradition continues

Last night (the night before Easter) when we normally make our resurrection cookies was quite a full night. Taylor and I went to see Anna perform in her dance performance.  After the show, I took Anna to the tail end of one of her good friend's birthday parties and then picked up a few things to make some desserts for an Easter brunch today.  All of that to say, I did not get home until about 10 p.m.  Taylor was hanging out watching a show in the basement while I was in the land of the sweets in the kitchen.  There was no way our schedule would allow it to be like old times when they would both be in the kitchen helping me out to make the meringues on the night before Easter that we have made for the past 11 years.  So, I decided to divide and conquer. 
I simply asked Taylor to come up and measure out the sugar, and then when Anna got home, I asked her to tape the oven shut as we've done every year. 
She came home from the party around 11:30 with a fun crown her friend had give…

It is never too late to begin

When I went to visit my friend Heather last weekend, she had their family's Lenten wreath on the table with a little frame that says, "It is never too late to begin." 
Having Ash Wednesday the same day as Valentine's Day this year along with an extended visit from her mom, sister and nephew, she reported that they had just not gotten into a rhythm.  While she was not sure if it was worth it because of the lost time, she decided she would dust off her Lenten wreath even though it was already halfway through Lent. 
In some ways, this is the most honest approach we can bring to Lent. We set out to practice certain disciplines, and yet, we falter and get off track so easily.  Our intentions are good, but our distractions get the best of us. We need God's grace for each day, and this is a reminder that His forgiveness is the fresh start we are invited to embrace. 
May this Lent continue to be a reminder to you that it is never ever too late to begin again.