Easter

it is Easter week.  i love this time of year for many reasons. having lived in Montana for a few years now, i have had the extreme pleasure and privilege of experiencing the dramatic change in the weather leading up to Easter.  the snow just about gone, the rain, the new green grass, the anticipation of flowers blooming...a beautiful sight.
but of course it's not just the anticipation of a new season that i love, but the anticipation of Easter Sunday itself.  ever since my early days in my dad's church in Anaheim, Easter has held such special memories.  from the getting ready for church that morning,  to the days' festivities that followed with family and friends. those moments always brought joy and a true sense of a what a truly special day Easter was.
later in life, as an adult with a family of my own, Easter held new, but familiar, feelings.  watching as my own children enjoyed the beauty of Easter for themselves brought a new joy to my heart.  realizing, as a parent now myself,  how my parents must have felt... that joy of knowing your children are experiencing EASTER!!  the meaning of it is staggering really!  Jesus.  Savior.  King.   killed for me.  tortured for me.
RISEN for me!!!
please, please, please.... i beg you... keep the meaning of Easter pure.  sure i've done the 'Easter basket' thing for my kids over the years, but we never gave the baskets on Easter sunday.  they were completely separate things. unrelated, almost.  make sure your family is fully aware of what Easter is.  and what it is not.  it is not simply an opportunity to buy a new dress or suit.  it is not a time for eggs and bunnies.  it is not a time for gluttony and indulging in chocolate and peeps.
it IS a time for celebration.  it IS a time to recognize and remember what Jesus did for you, for me.  think about it. talk about it. meditate on it.  CELEBRATE IT!!
HAPPY EASTER!