Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hippity-Hoppity, Easter's On It's Way!

Easter is just around the corner and it's got me thinking about this very special holiday.

Growing up, I always loved Easter.  It was a special day that I got to be surrounded by my family.  As little girls, my sister and I got a new dress with a hat and gloves from our Nana every year.  It always made me feel so fancy.  We'd have a special Easter brunch of eggs and sausage and hot cross buns when we'd get home from church where we'd have hard-boiled egg battles (it's called egg tonking and everyone takes a turn "challenging" someone by "tonking their egg on top of the other person's, end to end.  Whoever's egg cracks loses.)  My parents would hide our baskets and leave clues to help us find them.  It got more interesting as there got to be more kids.  I loved watching my little brothers get all excited when they found their baskets.  We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so it was kept simple.  A few Easter candies and a special treat for each of us.  I think that because my parents didn't go overboard with the commercial side of Easter, we were able to also remember what that day is really about.

I think it's easy to get caught up in the egg hunts and Easter baskets and bunnies and pastels and forget why we're celebrating in the first place.  Now, if you aren't religious, then Easter really is just about those things, but for those of us who are, Easter is the day that we set aside to remember the remarkable gift our Savior gave to us through His ultimate sacrifice.  Christ suffered pains we can't even begin to imagine in the Garden of Gethsemane and later, suffered more as He hung in agony upon the cross, where He drew his last breath.  Then, three days later, He triumphed over death and rose again.  When I think of the amazing gift of the Atonement and the power it has in my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my Savior.  One of my most favorite hymns, "I Stand All Amazed" talks about that awe and love.  For those of you unfamiliar with the song, here it is (you can also listen to it here):

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace which so fully He profers me
I tremble to know that for me, He was crucified
That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died

Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine
That He should extend His great love unto such as I
Sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify.

Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I think of His hands, pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion, can I forget?
No, no I will praise and adore at the mercy seat
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet.

Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

Now, I still love the pageantry of Easter.  We hide the little guy's basket Easter morning and help him find it.  I love seeing his little face light up when he finds his goodies.  But, I try not to let all of the candy and the hype over-take the true meaning of the day.  Of all the goodies and gifts we receive on Easter, the gift from our Savior of the Atonement is truly the greatest.

You can learn more about that awesome gift and what I believe about Christ here.

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I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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