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Monday, April 17, 2006

The Day After

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that Easter as a “holiday” holds no special significance to me. It seems pretty lame actually to accept that some giant bunny delivers (actually hides) colored eggs and candy…and according to what my niece and nephew received...some really high end gifts akin to Christmas in April.

I don’t even “appreciate” the idea of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday because somehow it always feels undermined by the “Easter Bunny”. Besides who knows what the actual date of this historical occurrence was. It gets moved every year which begs the question did it initially get “moved” from its actual date for convenience sake by some King or Queen of yore like Christmas? Add to this, the fact that the death and resurrection of Christ is something I try to hold dear to my heart daily. This mentality I’m certain gets down to my NEED to remind myself that each day I must “die to my flesh”. I have to picture my sin putting Christ on that cross every single day!

Next…Easter Sunday means church is crowded with people you haven’t seen since Christmas. I wonder why people bother at all. Why only go to church 2 days a year? I know, I know, some would say “two days a year is better then none!”

My response would be: “Is it? Really?”

I volunteered to work in the nursery figuring it would be less crowded and we get to do a craft! The nursery was fun except for the coffee incident. You see I am a 42 year old CHILDLESS woman who doesn’t know all the “rules” yet. Even as I recall this now I cringe…it was almost in slow motion…one little girl reached up on tippy-toes to grab a bag from on top of the cubbies…I watch…as sliding forward…is my entire 22 ounce Styrofoam cup full of peppermint coffee with cream--sans lid. Sliding, sliding, sliding….I can’t get up fast enough and my mouth forms a large “OHNO” as these two darling children (cousins ages 2 and 3) are doused with (thankfully cool) coffee and it drips down their beautiful pastel dresses onto their darling cotton socks with ribbon trim.

The ‘lead teacher’ yesterday is the pastor’s wife and she takes it all in stride being the grace-filled, kind-hearted women she is…and begins to clean the little girls up. I run to get a towel and some water and start to work on the second girl and the carpet. It PRETTY much came out…but it soaked one child’s bag and one pair of ribbon trimmed socks are now considered “coffee socks”, not to mention these girls were scented of peppermint coffee with cream! I dreamed myself to the zoo where I could become a flamingo and entirely submerge my head in the dirt covered landscape!

Okay so with all that in mind, it’s also a day my mother stresses beyond words in trying to prepare the perfect dinner at a specific time so everyone can be included. She becomes so stressed in fact that I not only don’t want to go, but I would rather stay home and watch old movies or even do laundry for that matter. Plus…because of the ‘coffee incident’, I was running late to my mothers…not a good thing! I was explaining to the mothers of the girls what happened and why their daughters now smelled caffeinated.

I suppose I sound bitter and angry and to some extent I am. I am angry that my mom values getting some huge meal on the table by a certain time MORE than just sitting and relaxing and recognizing what this celebration is about. I am angry that the seed of bitterness is rooted in those ongoing memories each year. I am angry that the focus has become more about the new dresses, hats, baskets, etc, instead of what Jesus gave us. I’m angry that I fall victim to it too, each year.

Yesterday I came home from my moms early, after doing the dishes in an effort to “help”. I was exhausted from a weekend of church activities and regular household maintenance ‘stuff’. My husband had gone to work (this probably doesn’t help my ‘tude’ either). I needed to “rest”. My mother saw I was pulling myself up off the floor to leave and said; “You’re leaving already?”

I quietly said: “yes, I’m tired.”

I knew by the burning sensation in my eyes I needed to get out of there immediately. I didn’t hear any more salutations as I was leaving, so I made it out almost unnoticed. I went home, sat down, shooed the dogs, closed my eyes and rested. I felt on the verge of tears and I was certain it was just emotional and physical over-exertion.

Here is the good that came from it:
Recognizing my own weaknesses with childcare at church. Recognizing that adults don’t inherently know everything. Recognizing that children will find whatever contraband exists in their environment either willingly or by “accident”. Recognizing that I need a nap every once in awhile too. Recognizing what my stress “maximum” is. Hearing my mother admit she is getting “too old” to do this each year and asking my sister and I to consider doing it next year. Not losing sight of the fact that YES, Christ did die on a cross for ME and rose again 3 days later to sit at the right hand of God. All of this was good!

Next year, I’m spending Easter at a beach somewhere, even if only in the confines of my own bathtub!

Happy Monday!


Morning Glory said...

I am SO sorry your day was such a downer! It's amazing you found the good in all that. I'm afraid I might not have even TRIED to find the good. Hugs to you for what I hope is a better Monday!

I like the beach idea. My favorite beach is actually my bathtub, too!

Peach said...

So sorry about all the problems.

I grew up with that same mother who always put the event and the meal ahead of the relationships. I now live far, far away and avoid the "family meals" at all cost.

I did do some laundry yesterday, and my bed became my oasis after a haphazard meal with my Darling Prince and sweet children.

Hope your Monday far outshines the struggles of your Sunday.

kpjara said...

Thanks Morning Glory and Peach for your sweet comments and reassurances. I think tonight will be another nice quiet night of nothing more then 7th Heaven a bowl of soup and bliss-filled peace.

Claire Joy said...

I'm still chuckling... but it did occur to me that you have one golden opportunity with a whole year to plan... you could actually teach your mom how to do it differently: how to have a not-so-fussy gathering of family on a special day.

absonjourney said...

I too get frustrated with x a year people. Probably why I was more excited about Good friday than the actual Easter service. As usual, you give yourslef far too little credit. This weekend was awesome and you did a great job. Please don't let me overload you with stuff. "I thank my God daily at every remembrance of you..." and your amazing contributions to our church.

kpjara said...

Dear Claire Joy (Or should I say Sister Claire Joy...what's the etiquette on that?) anyway, you're right, I am going to be a bit more fervent about my prayer for MOm and upcoming holidays so that her peace = my peace.

Ryan, I am so very thankful that GOd has placed us at Journey where we can serve and you have opened up many opportunities to find our fit there!

God has truly blessed us with a Pastor and a Pastor's Wife who are both such wonderful examples of a servant's heart. You know my heart is that we would all walk in that spirit and I'm believing God for that infused servant's heart in each of us!

Shalee said...

Let me just say that you don't have to be single for that coffee thing to happen to you. I would have been really sorry about all that wasted coffee...

And it sounds as if God has given you some really intensive insight about yourself and your mom. Just think of it as practicing the same grace that God extends to you when you seem to be focused on the wrong things. I am glad that you are denying the devil a foothold in your frustrations with your mom. Prayer is the answer!

Oh, and your right... your coffee thing is definitely worse than Gibee's yellow stain.

GiBee said...

Okay ... YOU WIN. YIKES! You poor thing.

Worry not. The little girls will go home and get lost in their HOLY EASTER BASKETS (hey! it's in the Bible that we should give chocolate Easter Bunnies on the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection, right?) and will forget about the "Coffee incident!"

And I'll bet their moms were at Wal Mart on Easter Eve! maybe even buying those frilly dresses and socks! hehehehe

GiBee said...

P.S. -- I feel the same frustration and exhaustion each Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

Next year... we're going out. End of discussion. And I MEAN IT!

And I'm not backing out like I did this year. No. I'm going to be strong. WHY? Because I'm too OLD to be jumping through hoops trying to please every one at all times.

If they don't like it, they can sulk at home with their half-cooked turkeys and mountains of wraping paper.

Tis the season!

kpjara said...

I'm beginning to think it was called "The Last Supper" because Jesus was just about sick and tired of all the to-do each year!

Yes, I know I'm crossing over to the dark side now... I'm actually thinking now that Karin "Trade-Off's" story of the sewing machine tops them all!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Ah yes,,,,Holy Week! What have we done to the resemblance of His pain!

In St. Paul, we actually have a law suit going on because someone put up an Easter Bunny on their desk...and someone else felt it was a religious trinket and the first someone was forced to remove it! Go figure. My Bible doesn't have the reference to the Easter Bunny during the last days of Christ. Hmmmm!?

Enjoy your blog!