My Top 10 “Must Own” Easter Books!

10 "must-own" books for a Christ-Centered Easter

With Easter quickly approaching, I want to share my top 10 Easter books as well as a few recent flops...

In looking for Easter books (or any book for that matter), I look for ones that are well-written, beautifully illustrated, and give a clear message that supports what I want to communicate with my children.  Oftentimes, finding this combination can be a challenge.

I think it is especially powerful to read a variety of books from different angles in the weeks leading up to Easter.  It helps build anticipation and gets the kids thinking about it.

My Top Ten

 

On That Easter Morning1. On That Easter Morning ~ Stunning and uniquely illustrated, this book takes the reader through the events of Holy Week from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection. I just love how it ends:

“Jesus was alive again; not a king in this world, but the king of heaven. The dark power of death was defeated. God’s own love lit the world on that Easter morning.”

The Easter Story: According To The Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John from the King James Bible2. The Easter Story by Gennady Spirin ~ I love Gennady Spirin’s illustrations. His The Christmas Story is so lusciously illustrated, that I checked out ALL of his books from the library.

This one is beautiful in a symbolic way. Christ is always the focal point of each picture and depicted as the light coming to a world darkened by sin. The symbolism will probably be lost on the little one’s, but very enjoyable for you and also your kids when they are a bit older.  For any of you that have studied art, you’ll appreciate the detail and symbolism in this wonderful book.

3. The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith ~ Brian Wildsmith is another favorite illustrator of mine.  While the last book I described used dark and light in the illustrations to contrast how Jesus came as the light of the world, Brian Wildsmith paints a more luscious portrait.  I love how they play out when read during the same season.  One is nitty-gritty realism {not violent, but rather showing the depravity of mankind by creating a dark, somber tone to the illustrations} and the other fills you with the beauty and wonder of the glorious rescue.

The Easter Cave4. The Easter Cave ~ This is a perfect book for the both the preschool crowd and everyone else for that matter.  It is told in the format of “The House That Jack Built.” We love the repetition and rhyming. Even the 5-year-old, who has difficulty memorizing things, starts reciting portions of books written in this engaging style.  Those that have immersed themselves in the details by reading other books will especially enjoy this.
GRANDFATHER'S STORY
5. Grandfather’s Story ~ This was a favorite in my home growing up and I’m thrilled to own a copy now.  We read this last night to the kids at our small group.  I cried once again.  The story sweeps you up in the emotions that must have been felt by those that loved Jesus when He died and then the elation when they discovered that He was alive!   I’m a huge advocate of never leaving Jesus dead on the cross when explaining Easter to young children.  This book beautifully captures the sorrow and pain, but then immediately transfers to the glorious news! For a while, I wasn’t finding used copies online, but I’m overjoyed to discover that I clearly wasn’t searching for it right on Amazon.  There are ELEVEN used copies available for a penny!  What a steal.
I just love how the book ends:

“He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive in the Spring!

All glory to Jesus, our Savior and King!”

winebread
6. The Wine and the Bread ~ This is a delightful fictional tale about a boy who lived in the home where the Last Supper was held.  We see the events of the Last Supper unfold from this young boys perspective.  It is a great introduction to why we take communion and the connection between the old and new covenant.  This is another out-of-print book, but I just checked Amazon and there are FIVE copies going for a penny right now!
The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

7. The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale ~ This beautiful tale is perfect any time of year, but we especially enjoy reading it at Easter and Christmas. It ties both in beautifully!  The boys squeeled with excitement when I pulled it out last week.  I’m moved and inspired – not only for the connection to the birth and death of Christ, but also because it illustrates an important truth that while God gives us dreams, how they play out might look different than we expect.

Easter Eggs for Anya: A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ (Traditions of Faith from Around the World)8. Easter Eggs for Anya: A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ ~ I love how this beautiful story depicts this girls simple, honest faith in Jesus. I probably am most drawn to it personally because the girl in the story has a special “praying place” where she goes to talk to God. It brought back wonderful memories of a couple of my “praying places” that I had growing up. My favorite was up on our roof, leaning against the chimney. (Shhhhhhhhhhh. Don’t tell my mom or my kids for that matter – yikes…)  I love stories of ‘everyday faith’ because they inspire us to pursue that too.  When my niece read this book a few years ago, she quickly decided that she needed a ‘praying place’.  Isn’t it sweet to see young hearts pursuing God?  Isn’t it powerful to see how the books we choose can have a positive impact?

The Legend of the Easter Egg

9. The Legend of the Easter Egg ~ We discovered this one at the local library a few years ago.  Our oldest was mesmerized with the story of this little boy. I think we read it at least a dozen times that first week.  My amazing mother-in-law sent us a copy for our permanent collection and we couldn’t be happier.

petook
10. Petook is an AMAZING book.  Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated. Have you read any of Tomie dePaola’s booksClown of God, The Art Lesson and The Baby Sister are some of our favorites.   This whimsical fable’s rich words are masterfully woven to draw you into a beautiful tale.  I was just telling a friend tonight that I don’t generally like Easter or Christmas books that anthropomorphize animals.  But in the case of this book, I make an exception.  You’ll need to look carefully to find a good deal on this book since it is out of print and in high demand.  I had to laugh when I saw that you could purchase a brand new copy for only $899.95.  I guess that puts the $35/used price in perspective.  If you find this at a thrift store, snag it.  If you don’t like it, you know you can always make a killing selling it online.
A Sense of the Resurrection: Perfect #Easter experience for families!

I’D PASS ON THESE:

One of the most frustrating thing about children’s books is the huge disparity in quality.  My mom ordered a few books recently and we were pretty disappointed with them.

The Donkey and the King ~ Although beautifully illustrated {yes, I’m a sucker for great illustrations}, this story rambles – horribly, the point is too obtuse and the resurrection is sort of thrown into the end of the story almost as if a little ‘Jesus’ makes everything better.  It was random and seemed a bit trite.  We were disappointed, especially knowing the author’s reputation.

The Parable of the Lily ~ Overly saccharine, no clear story about Easter/ the cross/resurrection, corny art work – a triple blow.

The Story of the Easter Robin ~ I liked the art work, but didn’t care for the graphic picture of Jesus’ crown of thorns and then only a very small mention of resurrection.

Do you have any favorite Easter books? 

In your opinion, what makes a ‘good book?’

For my thoughts on how to make the most of Easter with our children, check out my post on Easter Ideas for Little One’s.

You can also check out my Easter Pinterest board!

A Forest Walk

Through a cacti forest that is…

The desert lured us out.  It is in full bloom – greener, with tiny splashes of color.  We ran, poked the dirt, inspected scat, played in dry washes and admired God’s creation.  Greta managed to sleep through it all securely snuggled up to me.

This was a particularly windy day. It was fascinating to walk past soaring saguaro’s and see them sway as the wind whistled past.  It was the most beautiful sound.  I’ve noticed the wind in the tree’s when we escape up north to the pine country.  But I’ve failed to notice the sound of wind whipping past a statuesque saguaro.

It is so nice to slow down and use our senses to take in everything.

As little fingers gently touched these thorns thoughts turned towards the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head.  Oh what He went through for us…

Spring makes many antsy to get outside. For some it is because they have been home bound because of the cold. For us it is the knowledge of impending heat that limits our summer outdoor hours…

Have you had any outdoor adventures this week?

Looking towards Calvary and the Empty Tomb…

Easter is a little more than a week away.  Are you looking for some inspiration as you prepare your heart and the heart of your children over the next week as we remember the events leading up to Calvary and then the glory of seeing God’s redemption plan unfold in the Resurrection?

Taking some time out of our ordinary day-to-day to build anticipation for this important time of remembering communicates volumes to our children. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be something that you prayerfully consider. Whetting the appetite and cultivating anticipation goes a long way in sparking curiosity and understanding the central importance of what we celebrate this next week.

A few years ago, I compiled a list of resources and ways to make the most of remembering and celebrating during this season with our young children. Check it out!

Last year, we loved getting to the heart of why Jesus died and the power of his Resurrection.  It is a simple and yet powerful lesson.  My boys, specifically that precious middle child of mine, mulled this message over and over.  It was beautiful to watch the gospel penetrate his heart and bear fruit this last year.

On Palm Sunday, last year, we made simple handprint palm fronds and re-enacted the Triumphal Entry.

Janna, over at Mustard Seeds, has compiled a great list of worship songs for this time of year.  I sent an email request to our worship leader for the songs we’ll be singing next week.  The kids love listening to them.  In addition to preparing our hearts now, they will be ready to celebrate and belt out the good news in song on Easter morning!

Oh Amanda has put together a beautiful sensory approach to this week with activities related to the 5 senses.

(photo credit: Joyful Mama)
And I love Joyful Mama’s thoughts that she shared her along with her color countdown to the Resurrection.

Do you have any plans for this week or have you blogged about what your family does during this season?  I’d love to hear about it!

Easter Roots

Picture a little girl with two blond braids twirling, dancing, singing – heart bursting with joy! 

I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn’t eagerly look forward to celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.  This has always been a special time.  Perhaps nothing takes me back to my childhood celebrations like this classic written by Keith Green.  Enjoy and celebrate!



I also loved hearing Keith Green’s own commentary on this song from this video clip of a live concert where he sang it.  His message is so timeless.

Memories like this make me thankful for the privilige of raising this next generation of children!  I wonder what will be among their favorite childhood memories of this most special time…

Have a wonderful weekend!

Why Easter: A Heart Lesson

Why Easter - A Heart Lesson {hands-on look at the gospel}
I am so very excited to share this idea with you all since I’ve seen so much sweet fruit from it in just the last 30 hours!
We’ve been reading our favorite books, acting out the story and doing a craft here and there from my archives of ideas on Easter as we prepare our hearts for the celebration on Sunday.  But I wanted to do something which really got to the heart of why we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Why is it a big deal?  Could my kids know it well enough to explain it back to me?  Do they know how important it can be to them personally?  My oldest has turned his life over to Christ (He actually did two years ago on the Saturday before Easter!  It is just the sweetest story ever.), but the other two haven’t yet.
And really, don’t we all need a good reminder of WHY this time is so important?
So I pulled supplies for this idea that had been brewing in my mind yesterday afternoon.

Supplies: glue, sand, a set of hearts for each child (black, red, white), pipe cleaner (we had pretty gold one’s lying around) and a hole punch.  Optional: plastic egg and candy heart for each child.

After naps, we found a shady spot on our back porch where we plopped down and I handed each of them a black heart and let them spread a bit of glue on it and then sprinkle sand.

We reviewed how God created the first people, Adam and Eve, to have fellowship with Him and how their hearts were pure.
But then what happened?  My children reminded me of the fall when Adam and Eve disobeyed God.  I held up the black, dirty heart and explained that from that point onward, every person was born with an unclean heart and that we couldn’t have the fellowship with God that He created us to have.

Due to the copious amount of glue used, we cut our object lesson short to let it dry and I went in to fix dinner.  At dinner that night, Keegan (my 4.5 year old) was unexpectedly kind to his younger brother.

As we thanked him for this kind gesture, his eyes lit up and he asked if this would help make his heart clean.  As I whispered a thanks to God for this wonderful opportunity, I explained that no amount of good works on his part could clean his heart.  Only Jesus could do that because He took the punishment for our sin on the cross.  A flash of understanding flickered across his face…

The next morning we picked up where we left off and lined the hearts up to punch holes in them.  I cut the pipe cleaner into thirds and let them thread it through each of the hearts and we twisted it into a loop.

And the object lesson picked up again as we reviewed the hearts while the kids added more illustrations to the cards…

First up:

All of us are born with an unclean heart.  (Romans 3:23) They were also reminded that the cost for our sin was death. (Romans 6:23)  This was sad news.
But thankfully, not the end of the story.

Jesus came to rescue us and clean our hearts.  Nothing else, but HIS perfect sacrifice by laying down his life could clean our hearts and bring us back into relationship with God.   We can’t do ANYTHING to clean our own hearts.  It is only Jesus.  He’s the only way.  (This was a great opportunity to talk with my oldest son about how we are called to obedience and genuinely want to obey because of what Jesus has done in our hearts, but that it actually has nothing to do with our standing before God and how freeing it was to not have to worry about being good enough, but instead focus on loving and being loved by Jesus.)

And once we’ve asked Jesus to clean our hearts, God doesn’t see our imperfections, sin and dirtiness anymore.  That has been replaced and the only thing our heavenly Father sees when he looks at us is His perfect son, Jesus, and counts us as His children.  We are in His family, forever.

The best news ever!

There was sweet follow-up when each child received a plastic egg with a chocolate heart as a reminder that Jesus came to give us a new heart!   Although in hindsight, this would have also been a great introduction into this activity as well.   {I’m definitely stashing away some Valentine’s candy next year so the kids can share this truth with their friends and family!!!}

Throughout the rest of today, it was clear the kids were processing this news as they asked more questions and thought about things from various angles.

The beauty of this hands-on activity is it really helped them to visualize WHY Jesus came to earth and how significant this weekend is to humanity.  We do not have to be stuck in despair, lonely, without hope, full of guilt or lacking purpose.  God loved us so much, He wouldn’t give up on us and sent His own Son to rescue us.

That is what Easter is all about!

As one who is rescued, I’m once again filled with awe at how much God loves us. And I’m excited to give my children a peek into this reality as well!

May you have a wonderful weekend dwelling on the best news humanity has ever received!

Hosanna!

Play is such a powerful vehicle for learning.  We spent yesterday acting out Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is just hard to believe that a city that so jubilantly welcomed Jesus called for his death days later…  This will be a week full of lots of dramatic retelling of the final week leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
To start with, the kids prepared by making their own palm branches…
So simple – merely cut out hand prints taped to bamboo skewers and donning playsilks!
Even the youngest cousin was an eager participant!
Preparing the way into Jerusalem.

Shouts of
“Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”
An exuberant crowd.
It is just beautiful to behold children internalizing the most wonderful event in world history and re-enact God’s grand rescue plan!
So many wonderful gifts to continue to count…
cousins excited over playsilks…
a sister who gets us all exploring natural dyes for eggs!
Proud boy expressions…
knowing that God will never give up on you…
collecting fresh eggs with friends.
an offer to borrow an incubator and eggs to incubate.
online friends who become in-person friends.
smooth and easy pregnancy week!
clear signs of baby growing.

Gifts 739-752

Singing in Easter!

We are counting down the days until Resurrection weekend!!!
As you all know, we love taking time to prepare for Easter.  Last year, our church put together an Easter choir and handed out cd’s of the music line-up for the Easter morning service.  We were able to get a hold of an extra copy and all enjoyed learning the songs and allowing our time in the car to serve as preparation time for this special service.  Hearing them belt out the songs that morning under the bright spring sun was incredibly sweet!  It has been the most requested cd in our home.

There is something so powerful about singing out truth.  It has a way of sticking with you.

Sadly, this year there is no CD, but the worship leader graciously emailed me the lyrics for the songs that we’ll be singing in a few weeks.  Several of the songs are the same as last year.  For the rest, we’ll be pulling them up on youtube and hopefully also downloading the songs and making our own cd (if this non-techie can figure that out).

We’re looking forward to filling our minds with these beautiful lyrics as anticipation builds for this exciting celebration!!!

What songs do you sing around this time of year?  On the docket for us this Easter Sunday are In Christ Alone, There is a Redeemer (linked to the original Keith Green version), Stronger, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Happy Day (an absolute favorite over here), Forever Reign, Mighty to Save and Sing to the King.

Easter Prep

I love Easter.  From when I was a young girl, it has always been one of my favorite holidays because of what it represents.  With a little over 6 weeks until Easter, I find my mind going there once again.  For anyone who has been around for a while, they know how much I enjoy preparing our hearts for this celebration in the weeks leading up to Easter.

There is something so special about taking time, over a period of time to prepare.  I find that by spreading out our activities and preparations that it allows for these incredible truths to really sink into minds and hearts (for both the kids and for us) as we percolate and slowly absorb.

I did a post last year on the {possible} how’s in anticipating and preparing for this time with young children.  It is chock full of ideas on how to make it hands-on, real and special for our children.

Julie over at Faith-Filled Days has posted some ideas that she has done, both when her kids were younger and now that they are upper elementary/junior high age.

I certainly don’t do every idea, every year.  There are seasons that are busier than others.  Two years ago was a season of lots of hands-on activities, last year was a more reflective year where we read, prayed, but didn’t do a whole lot of activities.  So as you look forward to Easter, pray about how God would have you prepare and go with His leading. 

Here is a peek at what we are tentatively planning on doing this year:

Since we just did a unit on Kings and Queens, we are going to build on that and read through the book of Matthew and focus on Jesus as King and His kingdom.  I’m very excited and working on fleshing out a few activities to go along with this.

My Trey-Trey just turned three yesterday.  For his birthday, we gave him this incredible little Resurrection scene toy set.  I didn’t know what to expect since it was only $5, but it is just perfect for some hands-on re-enacting of the story.  (Oriental Trading Company is always sending out coupon codes for free shipping.  I recommend finding a friend or two to go in on an order together and saving on shipping! Coupon code: WCE1579 gives free shipping on orders over $49 until 3/22.)

Trey isn’t super familiar with the account yet, but his brothers have been snagging the set and retelling the story.

Trey is sure there were some squabbles amongst those guarding the tomb.
And the angels came with ‘trumpeting’ sounds…
And seriously, I have some major issues with keeping the house tidy.  So I’m excited that when they are done, it is super easy to put them all away in this nifty little box.

Easter Ideas for Little One’s

Tips and creative ideas to make such a deep topic relate-able to young children!

I’ve learned in my 5.5 short years of parenting to never underestimate a child’s ability to understand.  Their understanding of something like Easter and the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf might look a little bit different than ours as adults, but it is no less genuine or deep.

My early Easter memories are so meaningful.   God got a hold of my life at a very young age and Easter was always a mind-blowing time.  I’m thankful for how intentional my parents were in celebrating this time of year.

I discovered three years ago that in these early years, I needed to put in some advance prep if they were to understand anything…  Life can get so busy.  And with a 2.5 year old and 6 month old, it seemed that in the time that I blinked, Easter had come and gone.

So I resolved to plan and prepare for following years, so I could slow my life down, reflect and share the joy of this time with my children.

There are some general principles that I’ve gleaned.

One of the most important at this age is to NEVER leave Jesus on the cross.  At this tender age, it is too difficult to deal with the brutality of the cross without the hope of the resurrection.

So as we talk about the cross and what Jesus did for us there, we always give the whole story.  Apart from the resurrection, there would be no good news.  They need the whole story.  And all in one sitting.

We need to make it concrete.

Before the age of reason, which occurs around 7 years old, it is challenging for children to deal with abstract truth.  Making our celebrations interactive and hands-on helps bring these great truths down to their level.

  • Act the story out What kid doesn’t like costumes?  Include Palm Sunday too!
  • Utilize paper dolls or figurines.  We had the coolest 3D paper doll resurrection scene as children.  I haven’t been able to find something like that, but Oriental Trading company has some resin sets for Palm Sunday and the Resurrection that could be equally powerful in the hands of a small child as she recreates the scene and acts it out.  They also have a very reasonably priced wooden set that we are in love with.  Play is, afterall, how children internalize what they have learned.
  • Prepare an Easter garden or some other recreation of Calvary and the Tomb.  I was inspired by the Easter garden at Holy Experience, but decided to do one that included both Calvary and the tomb.  Ann, calls it a visual parable.  I found another fabulous idea over at Mustard Seeds I love how she incorporated Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday together.  Her tutorial is amazing and black-thumb not withstanding, I actually think I could do it!

(photo credit : Janna at Mustard Seeds)

 

Emphasize Relationship! 

Easter is all about the Jesus coming down and dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin so that we can be restored to right relationship with God.  Even young children can understand the concept of being a part of God’s family.  We can utilize this opportunity to talk to them about how to relate to God.  We can point out that God speaks to us through the Bible as we read with them and encourage them to talk to God about anything and everything.

Get to the {heart} of Easter with this wonderful Heart Lesson.

 

Make it a BIG deal.

Advance preparations build anticipation.  Special activities and time spent reflecting and preparing for Easter build excitement.  This is a wonderful season to take stock of our priorities and enjoy special time with Jesus!

The cool thing about this is that there are so many ways to go about it.  Each family will celebrate in their own unique and wonderful way.  It has been such a joy to discover how families all over the globe celebrate Easter.

Building anticipation can even be as simple as getting new Easter outfits.  Growing up, we didn’t have much money, but each spring, my mom would take us out and we would pick out a beautiful summer dress, new shoes and frilly socks to wear on Easter Sunday.  In a house of little girls, the excitement was huge!  We couldn’t wait to wear our new outfits (not hand-me-downs).  It really helped build up for us that this was a very special occasion!

Here are some other wonderful traditions to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Read, read, read!  Read straight from the Bible.  Utilize a beautiful picture book.  I love having several books around the house this time of year.  Here are some of my favorites.  Taking time to read, reflect and talk to God about what you’ve read with your child is the most important thing you can do!
  • Encourage questions and talk with your child about what you’ve read.  I’m always amazed what comes up in conversation.  Bedtime seems to be a time when my boys really want to talk and reflect.  I never mind this time of delaying bedtime.
  • Palm Sunday – this helps set the stage for the beginning of Holy week.  We’ve enjoyed acting out this scene.  Grab a palm branch or make one using this super easy handprint idea or this cool tutorial.  We take turns having one ride in on the donkey (aka stick horse) while the others wave the branches, spread out the play silks and cry, “Hosanna, hosanna.  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

  • Water-color crosses.  This is the perfect craft for even those as young as one or two years old.  You simply place masking or painters tape down on card stock or watercolor paper in the shape of the cross and let your little one water color all over the paper.  Once it has dried, carefully remove the tape and ta da!

    • Paper-Mache Eggs-Tomb.  We did this last year and had so much fun with the process and then placing the angel in our empty tomb when we had completed it!  There is a link to the tutorial.
    • The Stone Rolled Away craft.  I’ve had this bookmarked for a while.  I just found another fun one here.
    • Resurrection Eggs – is a wonderful and simple way to count down to Easter while systematically explaining the meaning behind the events leading up to Good Friday.  You can make your own, or go to a Christian book store and buy them pre-made.

  • Road to Calvary banner and devotions.  We are enjoying doing this again this year.  This is not for the really young one’s, but some 4-6 year olds might be old enough to start understanding the symbolism.  We made ours out of felt, but it could just as easily be made out of poster board.  The book has the template for each symbol.
  • He Is Risen Rolls – given my boys penchent for cinnamon rolls, we’ll be giving these a try this year!
  • Teach your child an Easter related song.  If possible see if you can find one that you know you will sing at church on Sunday morning.  We lucked out and actually got a full list of the songs that will be sung and have already begun listening to them!
  • Jesus Is Alive finger play is a perfect way to review the account in a hands-on, moving kind of way that even the youngest in your family can participate in.  This active story takes children through Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension.

Jesus Is Alive

Jesus died upon the cross. (Rub your eyes as if crying.)

He was buried in a grave. (Bow your head.)

For three sad days, our Lord was dead (Count to three with your fingers.)

But then came Sunday morning.  (rest one forearm on top of the other.  Raise the top forearm to show the sun rising.)

When the women came to see (Have children stand up while holding hands.),

An earthquake shook the ground.  (Lean from side to side in a circle while continuing to hold hands.)

Jesus’ body was not there.  (Hang your head in sadness.)

He’d risen from the dead! (Jump and cheer)

He talked and walked with all his friends.  (Walk around and shake hands.)

He said: “Go tell the world. (Move your hands as if they were mouths.)

If the people will believe in me (Spread your hands to indicate all the people),

They’ll be my forever family. (Hug yourself.)

Then Jesus went up, up, up into heaven (stand on tiptoe and then jump up),

And we have a job to do.  (Have each child tell the child next to him that Jesus is alive!)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

For more great ideas, check out my Easter Pinterest board!

An amazing resource to help your children grow in their understanding of and relationship with Jesus!

A Glimpse…

A parent’s job is challenging.  You work so hard one day, teaching and training your little one’s only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.

Parenting is hard work...  But every once in a while you get a glimpse that it's working.

Your finger doesn’t go there.  Share your toys.  Don’t throw your food on the floor.  The potty is THAT way.  Let’s practice using kind words with our brother…

Sometimes, in my weak moments, I wonder if they will ever learn.  I am drained.

I know they will, but sometimes I can get pretty irrational about it.

Then God gives you a tiny peek, a glimpse of the progress that is being made.  A glimpse of the lessons learned, the words heard or the magnificient work that He is doing in their hearts.

Last week I was given the gift of one of these glimpses.

Keegan, my 3 year old, sat down with me to work on his verse that he needed to learn for the upcoming week of Awana’s:

“He is not here.  He is Risen!”
As I was starting the verse, Keegan jumped in and finished it.  The verse had been a central part of our Easter play and craft times last year and despite his young age (2.5) he had remembered it!

While some days it seems like he is not interested in doing much, he is still learning and growing.  I may not see all of the fruit now, but I am called to faithfully cultivate and be faithful to what God has called me to today.

In time I will see more.  For now, I’m content with the glimpses he gives me…

(For a list of ideas I’ve compiled on sharing Easter with our little one’s, go here!)

So I continue with others all over the world as we take time out of our week to count His many gifts!

150. God’s Word hidden in little hearts and bearing fruit

151. new life – both physical and spiritual.

152. The thrill of new discovered skills
153. Truth that breaks into my heart through music
154. singing truth and praise back to God with others

155. beautiful plants that should survive my black thumb
156. toddler toes speckled with black paint because he wanted to help dad paint chairs

157. fish lip kisses
158. clippers that can erase the effects of a 3yo self-haircut

159. brotherly affection  (oh the glimpses are more frequent than I could have imagined)
160. carcassonne game nights with hubby, even if he wins
161. sleep.  catching up on sleep.
162. conversations with my sister
163. making plans with my mom
164. tiny niece hands gripping my fingers as we walk down the stairs

165. acacia blooms that I am not allergic too!