To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Time for DIY Resurrection Eggs

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: ~John 11:25

With Easter just a few short days away I thought I would share with you how I made my own set of "resurrection eggs". This is the activity we will be doing with our Good News Club kids on Friday. Each of them will make their own set to take home and share with their friends and family. This is a fun, interactive way to share the Easter story with young and old alike.

To get started you will need an empty egg carton and 12 plastic easter eggs. Take a permanent marker and give each egg a number starting with 1 and finishing with 12. Next you need to decide which verses you will use to tell your story. There are different versions of resurrection eggs, each with small differences. I will give you the list of verses that I used for each egg and which object I chose to put inside the egg to represent what the verse is speaking of. You can tweak your set however you see fit. I needed enough supplies to make 21 sets so some objects that others use were not going to work for me because it was either too costly or I couldn't find enough of that object, in the size needed to fit inside an easter egg.

Egg 1: Matt. 21: 8-9
This is talking about the triumphal entry. I could not find donkeys to place in the eggs so I instead put a large leaf in the egg to represent the palm branch. 

Egg 2: Matt. 26:14-16
This is talking about what was given  to Judas to betray Jesus. I used two real dimes to put inside the egg but you could use plastic silver play money too.

Egg 3: Matt. 26:26-28
This is talking about the last supper Jesus had with his disciples. I used a sponge and cut it into small squares to represent bread. It actually looks a lot like bread. I suppose you could use a cracker and just replace it every year. Some sets use small goblets but I couldn't find any. 

Egg 4: Matt. 36-38
This is talking about when Jesus was praying in the garden before he was arrested. I put a small fake flower in the egg to represent the garden. Some sets use praying hands but I was not able to find that either.

Egg 5: Matt. 27:2
This is talking about Jesus being bound and handed over to Pilot. I used twine to represent this (about a 6" piece). 

Egg 6: Matt 26:75
This is talking about Peter's denial of Christ three times before the rooster crowed. I used a computer image of a rooster. I cut them into small squares.

Egg 7: Matt. 27:26
This is talking about Jesus being beaten. I used leather string to represent the whip. 

Egg 8: Matt 27:28-30
This is talking about Jesus being mocked by the soldiers. Most sets use a crown of thorns for this egg but I could not find anything that would work so I cut up a red t-shirt and put strips of red fabric in the egg to represent the scarlet robe they put on him. 

Egg 9: John 19: 17-18
This is talking about the cross Jesus was nailed to when he was crucified. I used a small wooden cross to put in the egg but many sets use a cross made from nails. 

Egg 10: John 19:32-34
This is talking about Jesus' side being pierced. I could not find small spears like most sets use so I used a toothpick to represent the spear. I had to cut them in half to make it fit in the egg.

Egg 11: Matt 27:59-60
This is talking about Jesus being laid in a tomb made out of rock. I used fake rocks (used for flower arrangements, etc.) and put one in each egg. I would have used real rocks but ours are currently all under snow. 

Egg 12: Matt. 28:2-6
This is talking about the resurrection of Christ. This egg is empty to represent the empty tomb. 

Once you have all the verses printed out and all your objects ready to place inside the eggs here is what you want to do. Print out your verses with the reference, label the verses 1-12 so you know which verse goes in which egg, identify which object is in the corresponding egg and what it represents. I typed out the full verse for this so when you are telling the story the verses are right there for you. Here is an example of what one strip of paper looks like:

#4 Flower represents Jesus praying in the garden before he was arrested. Matt 26: 36-38
 “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”

Once it's printed you will cut each verse into strips and place the strip of paper in it's corresponding egg along with the object. You can paint your egg carton and decorate it if you want but you don't have to. We won't have time to do that part at Good News Club but I will encourage the kids to do so at home. 

This was a little time consuming because of all the steps and planning that goes into it but so worth it. You can buy these sets for about $10-15 but I was able to make each one for just under $1 because the majority of the items I had here at home. The only things I had to buy were the plastic eggs, one bunch of artificial flowers that had 25 buds on it (I paid $0.69 for it) and a branch of leaves that had more leaves than I needed on it for the same price. I love the idea of these sets and what a great way it is to teach our kids how to learn the Easter story and also to retell it. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Time to Look Back- My Struggle with Colic

Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~II Cor. 1:4

I remember when I had my first baby like it was yesterday. There are some of my kids whose infant days are a blur to me but I don't think anyone ever stops seeing clearly the days when they were taking care of their first baby. Some people have really great experiences with their first baby. Ours was not so wonderful. I went into labor on moving day, 5 weeks early from complications with toxemia and having been on strict bed rest in the hospital for a week. It was a difficult delivery. Noah was in NICU for 10 days with jaundice. When we were finally released we immediately drove 3 hours south to our new home where we knew not a soul, had not one familiar face to bring a meal or even stop by. The next day Ben started his new job and I was left alone with a colicky baby who seemed to never sleep and ate in hour intervals because of his premature belly not being able to eat too much at each feeding. IT.WAS.AWFUL.  We had started out in our marriage thinking 4 kids was a good number, totally cocky and totally clueless as to just how hard raising a child could be. By the time Noah was 5 months and not really over the colic Ben had firmly said, "NO MORE". I convinced him we needed one more because we didn't want an only child. So we agreed we would do this horrible thing called having a baby one more time but then we were done! 
I remember during those days people not understanding how hard it was for us. I remember people telling me it was normal that my baby cried ALL THE TIME. I remember spending 3-4 hours a day standing and rocking my baby in the football hold while he relentlessly cried and nothing could sooth him. I remember so many days sitting on the couch crying because I felt so lost and like a failure. I was more tired than I ever knew I could be and did not enjoy being a mom at all. I didn't understand the moms who only had flowery and wonderful things to say about motherhood and that "magical experience" they all talked about never made it to my front door. And that made me feel like a down right horrible person. 
It's always interesting to me to meet other moms who have had a colicky baby because all one has to say is, "my baby was colicky" and you know EXACTLY what that means. Unless you have had a colicky baby you cannot understand just how hard it is. People can try, people can think they "get it" but unless you have walked that road you just wouldn't understand. Like when I said to a friend a long time ago that I never used to understand how a mom could shake her baby until I had a colicky baby. She looked at me like I was psychotic because she didn't get it. Not that I ever came close to shaking my baby....but I get where those woman are at mentally to be able to do that. Because mentally I was a wreck. I would go to sleep at night and even if the baby wasn't crying I still heard him crying. I couldn't get away from the crying. I used to have to put him in his crib sometimes during his "fussy time" and  go in the basement and turn the dryer on for 20 mins. or so just so I could get away from the sound. And I still have residual effects from it. I have not had another baby that I would say was colicky but our 3rd was definitely on the fussy side and every time he would start crying I would get stomach aches because the stress of Noah's colic caused me to have severe stomach pain when he cried. And that still happens when one of my babies cries and I can't make them stop. It's awful. 
Why am I telling you this? Because I know I am not the only mom who has ever felt this way. Because I know how important it is for other moms dealing with colic to know they are not alone. Because I know there will be women who have similar thoughts and feelings someday and maybe they will read this and it will help them. Help them to know that the feelings they have don't make them a bad person. Help them to know that it does get better. 
Now that I have had more kids I know that not all babies cry all the time. Now I know that many babies are happy, smiley, cooing kind of babies who take 3-4 naps a day and who eat every 3-4 hours. I know this now because I've had babies like that. Now that I can look back I know that it does get better. Babies don't stay colicky forever and now I know that I can have more kids who aren't colicky and actually enjoy the baby stage.  When I look back I am so thankful for where I am today and for the trust that I learned to have in God, that he could get us through some difficult times. Now I know He will continue to do so regardless of what life brings us. Now when I look back I can be thankful for those trials because I am able to have compassion on moms who are in similar situations because I was there, and I know exactly what it's like.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Time for a Vacation: Part II

Well we are back from San Diego and I am just so thankful for what a fun and relaxing time it was. Can you imagine looking out your window and seeing that view every day?! I'm not saying that's what I did. Our view was a take out taco stand, not quite as romantic. But someone get's to look at this everyday! 

One of the things I was most thankful for about this trip that I did not mention in the last blog post was the fact that we were going to San Diego. My sister has lived there for several years now and if I am lucky I see her once a year. Ben could have gotten sent to several different locations but San Diego just happened to be where he was needed and I was so thankful. My sister and I have always talked about me going out to visit her but I never thought it would actually happen. A trip to San Diego isn't exactly in our budget so I can't express how much I have thanked God for allowing this trip to happen, and at very little cost to us. 
My sister took 2 days off from work (unpaid I should add!) to spend time with me while Ben was at work. If she had not done that I would not have seen nearly as much as I did since I was on foot and I'm not the most adventurous person on my own. The first place she took me to was Lego Land. I'm not exactly a fan of legos but the boys like playing with legos and I knew they would enjoy seeing all the sculptures made out of them. It's about $100 a person to get into this place, so likely not something we'll ever be doing as a family unless we are willing to spend $1,000 to do it! My sister, being a local, knew about a shopping pass we could get, which would allow us to get in and see the park for free. The catch is that we only had 1hr to do it...if we didn't get back to the gate in 1hr they were charging us $150!!! So we zoomed through that place like crazy ladies taking pictures and getting a few things for the kids at the gift shop. It was worth it because the kids LOVED the pictures I took. She then drove me around the coast, took me to places like Little Italy and the Old Town, took me to lunch at some of her favorite places, we did a little shopping, went to Point Loma to see the view and the lighthouse. She took me to the ocean so I could put my feet in the pacific ocean for the first time! She drove me downtown and showed me Petco Stadium (we were there out of season so couldn't go to a game), and showed me the new library they are building....I don't think Maine has a building that big anywhere...and that's just a library! 
On the weekend Ben was with us so we saved the stuff he wanted to do for then. We went to the zoo, which I am glad I did but really wasn't that impressed with. I did get to see the panda though. We also took a drive up to the mountains...we had planned to take a hike but we couldn't find it and it was super cold that day! That is one thing that surprised cold I was when I was there. The days weren't too bad with the sun out. I was still in long sleeves and jeans but it was warm. The nights though were another story. Still better than Maine but not what I was expecting. One of the highlights of my trip was on Sunday we went to Pastor David Jeremiah's church. You might not know who I am talking about but he is a well known Pastor and is on the radio and television and has written several books. When I was newly saved he was the first preacher I started listening to on the radio on my way into work. I have just always enjoyed his preaching so I was really excited to get to go to his church. This was also my first time ever attending such a large church. It was a cool experience for sure, and big churches have their place but I am a small town girl and I really love my small town church! I got to meet him and shake his hand....that was so cool! I'm really not a star struck person at all. I could see someone famous on the street and really not care. This man is just someone who has taught me a lot through his preaching and it was a real honor to be at his church and meet him. 
And God works in really cool ways. As I was standing in line, waiting to meet Dr. Jeremiah, I noticed the man in front of me and felt like I knew him from somewhere but could not place him. Finally it hit me...this was the man that was sitting next to Ben on the plane ride to San Diego. We had talked to him a little and learned he was from Boston and would only be in CA for the weekend. When he was out of the line Ben went over to talk to him and sure enough it was the same guy and he remembered us too. Imagine that! This church has 2 services a day where thousands attend each has a huge campus and we just happen to end up in line right behind the person we sat with on the plane. I thought that was really cool! 
It was really such a great vacation for us and we are incredibly thankful to my sister for planning so many things for us to do and for setting so much of her time aside to be with us. It was a really fun time, we got to try all sorts of new things. It really felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity...because lets face it, I don't know how we could ever afford to fly a family of 9 to CA and then pay for everything once we're there. I am continually amazed by Gods over abundance of blessing in our lives and this trip was no different. I came back refreshed and rested and ready to get back to reality...and what a reality it is!