Gavin's first words to me this morning were, "Mom, are you and Dad the Easter bunnies?"
I said, "Um, what do you think?"
He said, "I don't think you could be."
I said, "OK, why don't you look for your Easter basket, then?"
And then he ran off.
Ten minutes later, the kids had discovered their sand buckets filled with candy and a sand shovel. Gavin chomped on a chick-shaped Peep and declared, "Marshmallow chickens are for eating!"
Other festivities this weekend included our annual Family Home Evening lesson about Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection; coloring eggs; drawing on the table; an egg hunt in the back yard (no snow this year!); and dressing all matchy-matchy for church (courtesy of Eric & Jen's wedding, The Matching Tie Guy, and Target).
For me, Easter preparations began in January when I joined the Easter Cantata choir directed by Sally DeFord. I have long loved her music, and it was such a treat to sing under her direction. The last few months have been pretty challenging for me, and I really looked forward to the spiritual boost I received every Saturday morning at rehearsal. And then, this weekend, our three performances were spectacular! The 100-voice choir was accompanied by three very talented musicians (an organist, a pianist, and a violinist). The music we all made together was amazing. I'm so grateful for the experience, and for Garry, who supported me in attending rehearsals while we juggled basketball games, birthday parties, and other weekend commitments.
Several songs in the Cantata especially moved me; it seemed the lyrics were written just to soothe my troubled soul. My very favorite is called "The Mighty Wonder of His Love." Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:
Oh, how He loved them, how He carried
every grief and pain they had to bear,
Oh, how He loves His children still,
And He will carry us until our faith
is grown to fit our need,
To heal our doubt and unbelief.
We cannot see, we cannot hear,
Until we reach and feel His presence near.
His pow'r will bind our wounded hearts,
And heaven's healing grace impart,
And grant us faith and faith enough
to know the mighty wonder of His love.
As I have studied the New Testament this week and reviewed Jesus Christ's last days of mortality, I have renewed gratitude for His service and sacrifice on my behalf. I am so humbled to know that He died for me, and that His atonement covers my weaknesses and emotional pain as well as my sins. I have the deepest gratitude that Christ also conquered death. His resurrection, which I celebrate on this Easter Sunday, is a bright and beautiful symbol of hope.