Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Gathering Was Had! Update Post.

So blessed that our new home and property were used for the fellowship of family
on the best day of the year! Photos say it best, reflecting the things that define family.

Thanks to my brother Tim for some of the great photos.

Cousins played chess...older ones made moves while
younger ones observed and plotted future strategies.

The horses were more than happy to take the attention....and grass.

Easter dresses and cowboy boots. Of course they go together!

Even the dog was happy!

The front looked like a parking lot, which was a great feeling.
That meant lots of people showed up.

Coffee and smiles always part of the day.

Easter egg hunt! A tradition lives on, only this time it was on five acres.

Eggs were found in fun places!

Laughter was a given.

The infamous "Blue Lips" picture. It just gets better every year.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

There Shall Be a Gathering

So much anticipation for this weekend....Easter weekend.

A weekend of incredible significance for me as I reflect on the ultimate sacrifice and then celebrate the risen Lord!

Feelings of renewal, joy, excitement, and thankfulness are building. Building for an incredible time of fellowship at our home.

Easter has become "our holiday" to host and I am more than happy to take it on each year. The day, which was already "monumental" in my heart, is even more meaningful because I reflect back to the first time we "hosted" Easter. We lived in Indiana (2008) - close enough for family to travel down for the day. I remember the pouring rain. Sheets of rain which slowed travel. Siblings, nieces and nephews (lots of them!) ran from their cars toward our house, heads down and shielded as best possible.  Pellets of rain shook from their shoulders as they bounded onto the brick porch. There was no need to knock (is there ever?), as the door was open before they even had their car parked.

I have three other distinct memories of that day.

1) My brother Kevin wearing bunny ears as he hid the eggs for the children.
2) My brother Kevin playing my son's new guitar so Noah could hear "how it sounds when it is played really well." (my request)
3) My brother Kevin lingering in the foyer as everyone said goodbye. He was the last to leave.

I have reflected back over and over again to figure out if that was the last time I saw Kevin. He went home to Jesus days later. I met Kevin and Deb at Panera for coffee around that time too. Was that before Easter? Or was it after? For some reason, it still bothers be that I can't piece the timeline together, even though my head tells my heart "it's OK not to remember."

So, you see Easter is a time of tears and laughter; pain and joy; of sadness and celebration. Sort of like Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Both necessary....both so important. BUT....the good news is that joy prevails. The Resurrection is real and the gathering which will occur is going to be sweet and comforting. So as I prepare to have the family over at our "Double B Ranch" this Easter Sunday, I prepare my heart and home.

Preparations for:

  • A hurting heart, as I still miss Kevin terribly
  • Daughter's first participation in the Easter service (as a dancer). I'm so proud that she is willing and excited to dance for Jesus
  • Arrival of siblings, their children, and loved ones through my door. Once again, it will be open before they can even park their car.
  • Wonderful food prepared and shared. Family classics like "bunny cake", cabbage salad and deviled eggs (prepared by one sibling in spirit of another who cannot attend)
  • A circle of linked hands and authentic prayer around the table - usually offered up by an older brother (God gave me three because he knew how special they are to me)
  • Laughter and song (a given with this crowd)
  • Annual egg hunt
  • Weather permitting, pony rides (a new addition since our move to the country)
  • Annual "blue lips" picture, sent immediately to parents in Florida via iPhone

Those last bullets were left blank intentionally. It's a given that they will be filled with new moments and memories this weekend. May you experience the significance of this holiday.

In memory of Kevin.