Leading up to Easter, in our culture that creates Easter to be another Christmas, I have wrestled with whether or not to do an Easter basket for Mazy this year.
Last year, I remember going to the dollar store and buying a bunch of toys. They were great and were all played with, but giving it to her, felt empty. My heart felt empty. I felt I wasn’t teaching her about the true meaning of Easter. Just like the message and meaning of Christmas, it can get lost in the gifts too. What faith lesson do I want to be teaching Mazy?
Now let me say this. One of the reasons we also decided not to do an Easter basket is because she also gets amazing baskets from her grandparents! They have been so thoughtful and are the best gift-givers! So I want to leave the Easter basket thing to them because they sure do it well. We’ve received such great books about Easter from them! So thank you, grandparents! You are amazing!
I’ve realize since last year’s feeling of emptiness in giving her a basket, I want to teach her that Easter IS about gifts – that gift being salvation. Let me share a little story:
A little over a week ago, Mazy and I were headed to an ear appointment for her. We ended up talking about the dog I grew up with, Coco. She asked where he was now and I wasn’t sure what to say, but I said oh probably in Heaven. Mazy asked if she would see him in Heaven and I said yes (not being sure myself if dogs will be), but do you know how to get to heaven? Do you know what it takes to get to heaven? She knows in her own little words and faith, but I again described to her that we have to ask Jesus into our hearts. Mazy told me she has Jesus in her heart (how precious)! Even though I’ve told her before, I took the opportunity to tell her we need to pray to God and ask Jesus into our hearts and asked her if she wanted to do that? She excitedly said yes, so I simply stated the prayer of salvation and she repeated every word I said. My heart just wept tears of joy.
I know her little heart of faith doesn’t fully understand what it means to ask Jesus into her heart, but I prayed after we said Amen, that God would hear her heart of faith and her love for Him. A moment I won’t soon forget!
Every day we have the opportunity to help our kids take small steps in their faith walk and journeys – whether it be talking about Jesus or God themselves, about the beautiful weather, or simply talking about what we are thankful for. But all I know is that the older Mazy gets, the more I see those conversations coming up and her asking questions. Though the questions are so hard to answer at times, I know it’s God working in her heart.
That whole experience really made me realize that I want Mazy to have the right impression of Easter. That it isn’t about us, but about Christ and what HE did. And we have the opportunity to accept that gift of salvation – the best gift of all.
Trust me, I’m pretty certain we will do an Easter basket again – I have no doubt about that. And the same goes for Christmas – I don’t plan on giving up Christmas gifts. But I want to make sure that when we/she starts to lose focus, that we bring it back to the true meaning!
What do you put in your Easter baskets for the kids?