Our Messy Church crafts and my Easter Cake.
For the last 4 months I have been off work after asking for 6 months unpaid leave. That left us in a bit of a difficult place as I work for the church where we have been worshipping. It is not a place that we really feel is 'home' as churches have in the past and therefore has made us feel quite liberated. We have taken the opportunity to worship at a lot of different places, friends churches, old churches we have attended in the past, other local churches, which has been a good experience for us and the children I think. We have also taken the opportunity to not doing any 'formal' worship on Sunday mornings, choosing to stay as a family and make our own 'church' for a half hour at home some times.
We attended a lovely 'Messy Church' at our local Methodist Church on Good Friday. This was not particularly aimed at the age group of our children, however our eldest was running a small craft group and doing her first public 'puppet' show, so we all went to give her our support.
our Motley crew how have we grown from 4 adult friends to 10?Easter Saturday we met up with an old Christian buddy who I have not seen for 2 years we spent a wonderful day eating together, walking together, talking together (and later the men kids watched Dr Who giving me and Naomi a chance for a good girly chin wag).
Easter Sunday we had intended to try and go to the 6.30am Sunrise service in our near by town as the children have never experienced one of these. However we got back very late from our friends on Saturday and made the agreement that if our puppy woke us up early we would go, if she didn't we wouldn't. Low and behold for the first time in a very long time she did not wake up until 6.20 - too late for us to get to the service. Instead we all stayed in bed until each one of us was ready to get up (in my case 10am - very unusual!). When we had all wished each other a happy Easter morning and breakfasted my husband and I did a small easter egg hunt in the garden for the children. As they are getting older and enjoy a little quiz, they all had to answer questions on the Easter story before they could go off and search for something! This was great fun and the girls enjoyed it so much they did one for me later in the day! My husband took the quiet opportunity to go and take some photos of the beautiful flowers in our garden, I spent some time looking over the budding and flowering garden and came across a butterfly I have never seen before.
After a light lunch of hot cross buns we met up with some friends (a work pal of my husbands and his wife and dog) and went for a walk on the beach near where they live. This was very very liberating and gave me a chance to privately worship with the wind and the sunshine.
It is probably the first time I have ever really completely been bowled over by the concept of the Ressurection on easter Sunday. That might sound so daft considering how many of these services I have been to. However, for a good many years now I have usually been working in one form or another during the service with the children. This has meant I have focused on different aspects of the Easter story - and never gone into any great mature depth of the Ressurection. However, when I woke up I was thinking/dreaming about my late sister and I had the most distinct picture of her dancing with Jesus. This is when it struck me, if it hadn't of been for what happened on that cross then my sister would not have been with Jesus - we would have stayed seperated from God - that is just the most unbearable thought.
We returned home happy, healthy and ready for a lovely meal together - a very enjoyable but very different Easter Sunday, the first since being a Christian when I haven't been to formal 'Church'.
174. Our beautiful home, our safe haven.
175. Friends who let time go and just enjoy the moments we do get together.
176. Nourishing food on our table.
177. God speaking to me through my own experience to deepen my understanding.
178. Children happy to go along with our flexible 'church' approach at the moment.
179. Fairtrade chocolate!
180. My eldest showing great maturity and self-constraint in conversation with her natural father.
181. My body, allowing me to walk, especially those knees.
182. The opportunity to go away on a Christian conference this week - Spring Harvest here we come.
183. Watching a film with a glass of wine in the evening.