Moving around to several locations puts a hold on “Family Traditions”. Living in these areas without family – makes it hard to pass down family traditional moments to the kids.
Thanksgiving and Christmas – we didn’t try too hard to recreate the American Cultural Holiday – simple food, simple times, being together.
The first week of January, both boys were quite sullen. After probing – they shared that they didn’t feel like it was the holidays. “We didn’t sing in the Choir, We didn’t attend the parade, We didn’t go to the finger food parties, We didn’t watch the right movies, It didn’t snow. . .”
What they related to the winter holy day season – new family traditions, created in Central Oregon. It is becoming clear to me, that I will savor my traditions in my heart, and realize that our life creates new traditions for the boys.
Fast forward to this week – Good Friday – well actually rewind the last almost forty years – I have never liked Good Friday. What’s good about it? He Died. It was AWEFUL. I get it. I don’t need to sit around washing people’s feet or sitting in the dark or crying at the alter, or watching an overwhelmingly graphic movie to get it.
Everything I do is because He made that choice.
Sorry – moving foward -
After reading so many posts this week –
I wonder if the boys “get it”. What this week is about. The things I ponder in my heart and remember and bring fresh into the forefront of my mind and thankfulness.
I have spent the beginning of the week talking to the boys about Christ, the lies of his followers, the accusations of the proud, the denials, the trial, the floggings and the Cross. We’ve talked on the beach, in the forest, in the car. I read this article by Anne as well – Click to read the whole amazing post
“Why? From the beginning I have watched and I have listened and I have pondered all these things quiet in my heart --- but now I have to ask: why?
Why didn’t You come down from that Cross in all Your power and Glory? Why didn’t You blind the chief priests with Your divine radiance? Why didn’t You still all their blasphemous tongues with the army of the heavenly host, with Your burning holiness, with Your flaming sword? Isn't that who You really are? Oh Son -- why?” – Holy Experience
We are going through many hardships in our family right now, our paycheck is less than our rent, our car broke down and drained what little we had saved, we’ve had unexpected medical bills, we’ve moved to a place where Christians focus on Churchianity and not on Christ, There doesn’t seem to be another unschooler around, There are few homeschoolers, and those with the third grade and under crowd, We haven't made family friends, no core groups, no Awana, no Good News Club – And yet, we moved here knowing this was God’s plan for our life. Pondering it in my heart.
When I read Anne’s pleading question to God, it struck hard. In comfort – of knowing what God can do – thinking we understand what God Should do – and seeing something vastly different. Wondering Why.
The day before I had read this on her site:
But You never called for admirers; You the Christ called for disciples, for followers, not the numbering kind, not the tribe kind, not the fan club kind, but the ready to walk The Way kind, the ready to be rejected, willing to suffer, prepared to die kind.
Am I a fan? Am I raising Fans? Or am I raising the pick up your cross and follow me kind of boys? They ask all the time – Why? Their cute child like faith always reassures MY tears that it is God’s Plan.
I learned that there was a Pioneer Cemetery at the top of Spanish Head yesterday. I loaded up the boys, packed my Bible, (my NLT, easy to read, familiar and loving, given to me by a great man, shared with great friends – the boys know I will read great things when this gets put in the backpack) and told them we were going on a weird field trip.
We drove up the hill, higher than the 101 route, straight up – to the Taft Pioneer Cemetery. I talked to them about Friday – and what had been happening to Christ on this day almost 2000 years ago. What he was going through. Of Peter’s passion and denials. Of being sold out. Of being falsely accused. We sat on the hill, in the rain, our unobstructed view giving us a scenic prize, visible as far as our eye could carry – and read out of John. What Christ went through. What he could have done. How he answered them.
Talking about the graves, I told them how thankful I was that these pioneers left their countries to come to America. So that we’d have the freedom to sit in our car on a rainy day and look out at the beach, free to be homeschooled. Free. How they each stood up for what they thought was right, and forged the path for us. But each one of these people each led to the same spot, physically, here on this hill.
(One of the first we saw was of Edward Easter.
Note that he was only 23 years old when
he gave his Life for our Country in WWII.)
And yet another came before us, set it in motion thousands of years before, to come to the perfect time, to take on everything that separates us, so that we will never need to be separate again. Taking on every doubt and selfish desire, every spark of pride and hard headedness, so that we can have His fruit of faith, peace, joy, self control, – love. So that we could really be like him. This one pioneer – was only in the grave for 3 days.
He is the only one that does not remain there.
It is one thing to have “Baby Jesus” in all the Christmas carols, or the cross as an ornament for all things celtic or christian – but another to understand that the Cross stands for death, and suffering, pain and transfer of sin.
The clouds broke up, and we walked through the pioneer graves -
talked about Mary and how startled she must have been that third morning, when the tomb was open and empty.
We will have chocolate bunnies, and brightly colored eggs, we will have too much sugar and a slow cooked brisket, we’ve all gotten hair cuts and plan to attend the sunrise service at the beach, we’ve picked which congregation to join to sing Up from the Grave He Arose! and He Lives! -
But for a few days – these three days – we will stop. Slow Down. Remember. Teach. Reflect. Try to understand – the significance of His Choice – and what our choice in response should be.
The incredible views gave way for conversation about what God can see, and what we can see.
Praise God – that It is Finished – That Death was not long – that He Is Risen – just as He said – written by witnesses – passed on – agreed in our heart by the Holy Spirit – Entrusted to us to pass on to our children. Sunday’s on the Way!