Hello, from melting Michigan! It’s me Julie from redheadcandecorate.com where the snow is finally melting! I have proof because a big chunk of ice just fell off of our roof and scared the heck out of my cats. Okay, to tell you the truth it rattled me as well, but I am so ready for some sun, how about you? With Spring upon us that means Easter is quickly approaching as well, and many of us enjoy celebrating with a nice family brunch. Or, maybe you’re looking for the perfect dish to share at church or at a friend’s house? If so, you’ve come to the perfect spot.
A couple of years ago I wrote about how much spring reminds me of ‘tweens’. And, at the time, I had only experienced tween-dom with my son. But now, here I am again, right smack dab in the thick of the tween years with my daughter. Only this time around we have a teenager too.
Lord have mercy.
But, truly, with all of it’s ups and downs, sunshine one minute, rain the next, doesn’t Spring seem like it’s getting ridiculous surges of hormones? It’s so moody and unpredictable.
And yet, there’s something pretty amazing happening within all of that unpredictability.
And it’s in that growth where the magic really happens. Spring is the season of transition. There is this constant tension between the last remnants of winter and the first sweet glimpse of summer.
And so it is in this season of tweens and teens.
They’re experiencing the tension of this season where the comfort and security of childhood is still very real and yet they feel this tugging towards the future. Towards freedom and independence.
And while this stage of parenting definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, we’ve tried to embrace it in all of it’s craziness.
Just as we embrace the ups and downs of spring.
Because we know that even when those dark clouds roll in and the rain starts to pour, there is sunshine just around the corner.
And we know that the next season will be upon us before we know it so we won’t waste time wishing away the hard stuff that comes with Spring and the hard stuff that comes with adolescence.
Because the blossoms need the sunshine AND the rain in order to fully bloom.
And we are just so grateful for the privilege of bearing witness to the beauty that is found in all aspects of this season.
Thank you for meeting me here at the fence today dear friends,
Hey there, it’s been a while! It’s me, Julie from redheadcandecorate.com. I am so excited to be invited back today “At the Picket Fence”! Are you all craving Spring as much as I am? I bet you are. It has been a brutal Winter in the midwest (like much of the U.S.) and we are all craving the sun and warmth so badly. I was just speaking to my 83 year old Mom who lives in New York, and she said that she and my Dad feel like doing absolutely nothing, but sleeping and eating. That about sums it up for me, how about you? I told her to make sure that they are taking their vitamin D supplements, and getting a little exercise to get those endorphins moving. She agreed that was a good idea.
From Life in Season: Celebrate the Moments that fill your heart & home:
Yes son, I remember that one vividly.
“Here’s one I got when I was your age.” I pointed to my bottom lip. “I fell and bit right through it!” He was fascinated with is and wanted all of the gory details.
“…and see this one?” He excitedly pointed out to me, interrupting my own scar-riddled tale. “This one was from when I almost cut my finger off from slamming it in the door!”
Oh yes. That one I remember like yesterday.
Being an eight year old boy, he was all about one-upping, and being an eight year old boy, he had far surpassed me by now, in the scar department. He received some perverse pleasure in his scars, like they were a badge of honor from surviving his first years of life. To me, though, they represented fear. Fear and a melancholy, lingering sense of failure, as a parent. Failure that, in those moments, I hadn’t been watching quite as closely as I should have. That I hadn’t monitored these “situations” and the ending results had been many bandages and urgent care visits. They spoke to me and reminted me of my often-lingering sense of inadequateness my mothering.
Hi there! It’s me, Julie from redheadcandecorate.com and it’s great to be back this month at the Picket Fence with 6 clever, easy, and affordable repurposed wreath ideas from all over blog land. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all wreaths, but when folks come up with clever ways to repurpose items into a beautiful “wreath”, it inspires me to want to try it, too. By the way, if you’re really into wreaths like me, I’ve created all sorts of wreaths for all the seasons on my blog, so I hope you’ll join me there, too (subscribe here).
*Scroll to the bottom of this post to get a FREE excerpt from ‘Life in Season’ by subscribing to At the Picket Fence*
“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley
*We have some beautiful and affordable Easter table decorating ideas for you today!*
Good morning, friends! It’s me, Julie from redheadcandecorate.com. The weather here in Michigan has been so unseasonably warm, so I can’t help but think about Spring and begin to prepare for Easter early. Have you decorated for Spring yet? What are temperatures where you live? (Maybe I don’t want to know!)
One of my most favorite things to do for Easter is to set a pretty table for Easter brunch. So, today I decided it would be nice to share not only my “affordable” Easter table ideas, but some of our amazing blog friend’s ideas, too.
I was determined this week that I would write words to you which are very spiritual and very uplifting and very Easter-y. I would tell you about what Holy Week means to me and how I’ve spent it in God’s word and doing all kind of resurrection crafts with my children and then they listened to me with unwavering attention as I read the story from scripture.
But, as I sit here staring at a blank page in front of me, I’m struck by the fact that it hasn’t really felt like that holy of a week to me. It’s felt like spring break. My kids are out of school and we’re sleeping in and hanging out with friends and binge watching the Kids Baking Championship which has then led to quite a bit of our own baking sessions. I wish you could smell the blueberry muffins my son and I just made!
But waking up this morning I had this nagging feeling that I was missing something. Wasn’t this week supposed to feel like…well…more? Wasn’t it supposed to be more reverent and more ‘set aside’? Wasn’t I supposed to be feeling sorrowful as I think about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross? Feeling it way down deep in my soul and allowing it to change the way I approach each day this week leading up to the glorious time of celebrating His resurrection?
Can I experience Holy Week when I’m not feeling very holy?
And friends, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I think the answer to that question is ‘yes’. Because here’s the thing. My relationship with Jesus cannot be condensed into one week. It doesn’t suddenly become stronger and more vibrant around Christmas and Easter. And I’ve spent too many years feeling guilty when I’ve found myself sitting in church on Good Friday trying to conjure up emotions that for whatever reason simply would not come. I’ve spent too much time thinking that it must be a reflection of a shallowness in my faith.
Because I know that’s not true.
I know that this past year has been filled with moments between me and my Savior that are too sacred to even try and explain. Ones where I have known beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was giving me His words when I had none of my own. When He was pouring strength into me when I was completely empty. When the words of the Bible became more real to me than ever before. When He revealed the truth of His love for me through gentle whispers which could only have come from Him. I believe that the enemy of my soul wants me to question the fact that I’m not feeling extra emotions this week. I think he wants to use my deep, gut-wrenching need to please and to want people to know just how solid I am in my faith to trick me into believing that it’s a reflection of how much I’m lacking.
Oswald Chambers (of course) describes it best:
“Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.”
So often we believe the lie that there is nothing holy about the shallow end. There are entire worship songs dedicated to going into the deep waters with God but I think we might all squirm in our pews if we saw the word ‘shallow’ pop up on the screen in a song on Sunday morning. We have been led to believe that honoring Christ’s birth or death or resurrection has to look a certain way.
We have to have BIG feelings, BIG thoughts, BIG revelations.
For me, it’s similar to the feeling I have on my birthday. Or should I say the non-feeling. When we’re children, there is so much anticipation and excitement leading up to our special day. The minute we open our eyes we just feel the difference in that day, the special-ness of it. And I don’t know about you, but I do NOT have that same feeling on my birthdays now that I’m an adult. Those days mostly feel like every other day with maybe the slight exception of (hopefully!) not having to make dinner and getting to have my favorite dessert afterwards. But, that’s ok. Because, as an adult, I know that one day out of the year doesn’t define me. I know that this one day out of the year isn’t my only opportunity to feel loved.
1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I acted like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
As we grown in our faith, we should come to a place where although we follow the Lord with childlike faith, we live for Him with maturity.
The reality is that on our faith journey we will experience great moments of depth. Times when we are taken to new levels in our relationship with God. And sometimes those will occur in conjunction with the special days we celebrate as Christians. Sometimes we will feel all of the feelings about Christmas and Easter.
But, I think it’s safe to say, that a great deal of our faith journey will be spent in the shallow. I want my kids to know that a solid foundation in Christ is built day by day, minute by minute. It’s not wrapped up in a holiday. Yes, we will honor this time. Yes, as a family we will reflect on it’s meaning and talk about it with our children. But we will not pressure them to feel certain feelings about it. We will not have expectations of there being some sort of divine revelation during the Easter service.
Instead, I will do what I do every day. I will pray that they will know how very much they are loved by their Heavenly Father and that depth will be added to their love of Him and their understanding of His character and will in their lives. I will pray that He will give me the wisdom and the grace and the strength to be the mother they need me to be. And I will pray that the message of Holy week will be real to them all year long.
Thank you so much for meeting me at the Fence today,
Lately I’ve been having a lot of what I refer to as ‘Twilight Zone’ moments. I’m pretty sure it was just Christmas and yet here I am today sharing Easter Recipes and Table Decorating Ideas with you. How did that happen?
If you’ve spent any time over here you know that I love words. I’ve tried to do one of those blog posts where it’s just pictures but it ends up being about the same as when I’m having a conversation with someone and there are big, long pauses. I can’t do it. I simply MUST fill in the gaps! It’s a sickness, I tell ya.