Although we will all be celebrating Resurrection Weekend very differently this year than we have in past years, we can still celebrate what Christ did for us in His death and resurrection! Here are some ideas of activities to do with our children to help remind them of what Christ did for us.
1. Bake Resurrection Rolls
Making resurrection rolls is a fun, delicious and memorable way to share the Easter story with your kids. These are super easy to make if you choose to use croissant dough from the grocery store (see first link below). However, if you don’t have access to croissant dough you can also make the rolls from scratch (see second link).
Google has a ton of Resurrection pictures you can print for free if you simply do a search.
3. Create a Playlist
Gather songs and create a playlist of music themed around Christ’s Death and Resurrection.
4.Make a Shoe Box Tomb
Decorate an empty shoe box to represent the tomb – use construction paper to create stones, grass and flowers. Allow your child to scrounge outside for a special rock. Make a pipe cleaner stick figure to represent Jesus. Put Jesus inside the tomb and have your child place the rock on top. On Easter morning let them come downstairs to find the lid off and the “tomb” empty with the rock set to the side.
5. Create an Easter Tree of Promises
Find a large branch to represent your Easter Tree. Search the Scriptures for promises of God. Cut out Easter egg shapes to write down the promises and then hang them on the tree. See how many you can hang by Easter Sunday.
Laughter is good medicine for the soul. And recently a lot of the laughter in my life has come as a result of the funny things my young children are saying. I love seeing life through their eyes! While I could share many hilarious quotes I’ll stick to sharing just a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Scene: Mommy is diving/maneuvering in order to get away from a bee, while a neighbor works in the yard.
Mommy: Agh! There’s a bee chasing me!
Seth: That wasn’t a bee! That was just the neighbor weed whacking!
I’m always telling the kids that they need to stay little forever. One night Seth was taking too long to eat his supper so Daddy took it away to save for later. Seth came over and said to me “That’s how I can stay little for forever! When you make recipes I don’t like and Daddy has to take my food away, that will make me stay little forever!”
Grandma was stopping in to take the kids to the park so I told the kids they needed to clean up the toys first. They weren’t quite done when Grandma got there so Seth ran to the door and told her “You can’t come in! We’re not done cleaning up yet and Mommy doesn’t want you to see it!”
One day Seth was”reading” bible stories to Kate. When he reached the story of Jairus and his sick daughter he told her “He ran very quickly! They didn’t have police cars back then.”
Daddy: Seth, do you see that bird up there?
Seth: Uh-huh. Is that an eagle or an ostrich?
Grandma was over to help Mommy out one day. Mommy went to put Seth down for his nap and he wanted to know if Grandma was still going to be there when he woke up. When Mommy told him “No,” he responded “Well, we could lock that door so she can’t get out!”
Scene: Seth and Kate are snuggling in bed with Daddy and Mommy early one morning.
Kate: Daddy! Mommy! (And points to the wedding picture on the wall as she recognizes their faces.)
Mommy: Yes, Kate. That’s a picture from when Daddy and Mommy got married.”
Seth: What DID you guys do before you had kids?!
Mommy: We slept, my child. We slept.
Seth: I can’t find my shoes. They’re hibernating!
Seth: When I get big like Daddy my cheeks won’t be as kissable!
(It’s true. We don’t call him our muffin for no reason!)
One day I was feeling extra creative and made the kids bear shaped pancakes. Seth informed me “Daddy is really good at making circle pancakes!”
Seth: Some people call you Mommy and some people call you Chrystal. When they call you Chrystal it sounds like you stole something so maybe they should just call you Mommy. Or they could call you Stauffer instead of ChrySTOLE.
Scene: Discussing possible baby names for a future baby.
Mommy: How about Ted?
Seth: (laughing) That’s like Teddy the Bear!
Mommy: Ok, what about Joel?
Seth: I don’t think so, because that sounds like he’s going to drool!
What have you been up to lately? This extroverted girl has been learning just how hard it is to get along without her routine people around. And I think I’m pretty normal for struggling through this.
God has designed us to need community. If you were to look in scripture you would see over and over that He has not designed us to do life alone. He has created marriage, the family, the church; all different forms of community. And yet, because God has temporarily removed the broader community from my life, I am becoming increasingly convinced of an even deeper truth: He has designed us to need Him more than community. In fact, often the very point of community (marriage, the family and the church) is given to direct us and others back to Him. Any time these relationships take a higher priority than God Himself they are being taken out of context.
I didn’t realize just how greatly I can depend on these relationships, looking to them for my source of fulfillment instead of God. Can you relate? Have you felt discouraged because you haven’t had a fellow sister to pour your heart out to in person? Have you felt depressed because you haven’t had anyone to do a game night with in order to take your mind off of a stressful life situation? Have you found yourself wishing desperately for a coffee date with your spouse just to get a break from the mundane tasks of daily life? Me too!
Honestly, as an extrovert, I kind of found myself believing the lie that I can’t/won’t survive this quarantine well, because… I need my people! God has graciously shown me some good news though! People, while good gifts in and of themselves, aren’t my source of satisfaction in life; God is.
Psalm 107 is just full of all the beautiful things God has done, but one thing in particular that we read is “he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (vrs.9)
What? You mean, it’s not my friends, a good book, projects, Facebook or Netflix?
And there’s more…
Let’s keep going.
Psalm 16:11 says “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
What good news for extroverts! Even in the absence of friends there is joy for us to find; in God’s presence!
Psalm 62:5-8 says “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
These truths do not change, my friends. So, let’s trust Him. When our souls feel empty and we are tempted to look around for something to fill it, let’s run to Him instead.
During this time of social isolation, let’s continue to pursue relationships with people to the best of our ability. Let’s send texts/emails of encouragement. Let’s create unique opportunities to interact with loved ones from afar. God has called us to love, support and serve others and it is a good, good gift. But…at the end of the day, let’s not forget that HE is the best gift of all. And He isn’t going anywhere “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Jesus, lover of my soul, Let me to Thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high: Hide me, O my Savior, hide, Till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, oh, leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of Thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all in Thee I find; Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, Heal the sick and lead the blind. Just and holy is Thy name, I am all unrighteousness; Vile and full of sin I am, Thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound; Make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art, Freely let me take of Thee; Spring Thou up within my heart, Rise to all eternity.
Sometimes life consists of the mundane. Dishes, bills, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Our children learn from us just by participating in our everyday tasks. Sometimes, however, we need some fresh ideas for how we can interact more closely with our children in order to make memories they won’t forget…or we may just need some new ideas for how to keep them busy while we get a few extra chores done! Either way, today we’re providing a list of our favorite activities. If it helps you to structure your day, think in blocks of time, having specific activities assigned to each segment. For example: 9:00-9:30–Chores/clean up, 9:30-10:00 -Crafts/Projects,10:00-10:30 – Independent play and so on. The following activities are simple and don’t require a ton of random supplies so we hope that you find these helpful as you continue to love on your kids!
– When reading picture books, talk about what’s going on in the picture: count items, identify characters (mom, dad, baby, etc), identify attitudes.
-Turn on some music and sing together
– Build a fort out of couch cushions and pillows
– Bake something yummy together
– Assemble a puzzle
– If you have a little girl, paint your nails together
– Have a tea party
– Play musical chairs
– Facetime a friend
– Have your child pretend you’re a mummy. Tell him he needs to build you a great pyramid by covering you with toys/blankets, etc. Remember, mummies can’t move. You get a nap and your child learns some history. Win!
– Make crafts out of toilet paper rolls (a simple google search will give you hundreds of ideas!)
– Make paper airplanes
– Draw simple designs such as a flower, tree, house, etc., and then “color” them with rice (mix food coloring into the rice and let dry, then use glue)
– Make a mosaic using cut up pieces of construction paper.
– Make simple designs from construction paper and then have your child put together the picture. For example: cut out the trunk of a tree, the leaves, and fruit and then glue them together onto the tree you drew.
– For young children learning their alphabet, write out names of family members or friends for them to trace. As they trace the names, point out the different letters.
Not too long ago, I read two fantastic books on church membership: I am a Church Member by Thom Rainer and What is a Healthy Church Member by Tabiti Anyabwile. Until reading these books, I really hadn’t thought too deeply about the implications of church membership except that I knew it was important and that “it is imperative that I be involved and serve where I am able to.” However, after reading these books, I am more convinced than ever of a few things:
Church is a big deal. Going to church is a big deal. Being a church member is a big deal.
If these things aren’t a big deal to you, they should be, for Scripture has a lot to say about the function of believers within the context of the local church.
With only 79 pages, I am a Church Member is an easy read and provides a concise and practical discussion of what it means to be a member of the local church and not just a member of the Body of Christ.
But why church membership? Is it just a technicality that really committed Christians do? Is it an admissions ticket to special privileges? Does it bring us greater favor with God? Is this an issue of earning our salvation? Is it just for the sake of the church leaders to be able to report a growth in numbers? In fact, isn’t membership just an old-fashioned idea that people did in generations past?
I would say no, no, no, and NO!! Being a church member isn’t about any of these things!
So then, if it isn’t about any of those things, what is it all about? What are the Scriptural reasons for why a believer should become a member of the local church they attend?
Answering this question is the purpose of I am a Church Member. In this little book, Rainer endeavors to help us gain a better grasp of the importance of membership by discussing what it means to be a member and what it does not mean. In doing so, he outlines six key attitudes every believer should have concerning his responsibilities as a church member.
While clearly this is not an exhaustive list, here are six key attitudes Rainer argues that every church member should have:
1. I will be a functioning church member
2. I will be a unifying church member
3. I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires
4. I will pray for my church leaders
5. I will lead my family to be healthy church members
6. I will treasure church membership as a gift
Key to this entire discussion of being a church member is the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 where Paul lays out how the physical body has different members and then compares this to the spiritual Body of Christ also having different members. Each of these bodies desperately needs every member within the body to do its part so that it can function properly.
While in the broader sense this passage does apply to the universal Church–the collective group of believers all around the world that makes up the Body of Christ–the specific application of this passage seems to be for the local church, for Paul makes mention of specific roles that are set within the local church. While one could argue that “we are all working together, around the world, using our different gifts to further the cause of the Gospel” it truly is in the context of the local church that we see most clearly the various giftings of each believer: Susie loves teaching the children’s Sunday School class; John brings encouragement to the the sick and elderly; Amanda serves in the area of hospitality; Joe is particularly gifted in the area of preaching; Jennifer finds joy in keeping the church bathrooms and foyer spotless.
Yes, God has given each individual believer something to contribute towards the edifying and building up of the body and this happens as we interact on a more personal level.
So wherever you are in your journey, I believe I Am a Church Member will grow your understanding of why the local church is so unique and why every believer should be making it an intentional priority!
(A version of this post was originally posted on Angie’s personal blog)