Years ago Cody and I decided (I say “Cody and I”, but I am not sure it was actually a joint decision… I think Cody may have agreed out of self preservation) to boycott Easter church services, but instead celebrate Easter in a non-traditional way. Our, (my) reasoning was simple…I found myself too caught up in the holiday and had lost focus of the holy day… I had gotten so caught up in Easter outfits, Easter baskets, Easter meal, Easter eggs….the picture perfect family at the Easter service; I lost sight of the cross and of the meaning of the celebration.
The great awakening for me was the Easter when Jacob was about 4 years old and Lynnsay was 3. I had undertaken the job of making Lynnsay’s Easter dress. (And I HATE to sew…) It was adorable. Laura Ashley McCall’s Pattern #7113. I even had used Laura Ashley fabric, yellow print for the dress and a coordinating yellow floral for the pinafore apron… She was going to look like a doll. And what is more, is my mom had made Jacob a pair of adorable yellow seersucker pants with suspenders. They were going to be quiet the Easter pair! My two beautiful babies…until the Vaseline incident…
No need to go into detail about the incident…just saying that Easter I was certain that my beautiful daughter (who now has incredible hair) was never going to have anything but a greasy mess on her head. My Easter Sunday was spent full of emotions- but none of them was fixated on the actual meaning of Easter. I never once thought about the sacrifice of the cross. I never once thought about the price that Jesus paid for my sins. I never once thought about the miracle of the empty tomb. I never once focused on the new life I have in Christ. I was consumed with my failure as a mother…I did not have the picture perfect family...
The next year we had the opportunity to go to Lake Buchanan and “camp” with my grandparents, and we took it. My mom’s parents, my Mudgee and BigDaddy were retired and they would bring their travel trailer to Lake Buchanan for several weeks during the spring. Cody and I started the tradition of joining them at Lake Buchanan for Easter weekend. Over the years “Easter at the Lake” evolved and changed… we had all of our family some years, and we had minimal family some years. But it became a Crittenden Clan tradition…We had our own worship service. My parents and grandparents gave their testimonies. My BigDaddy made me a cross that we could “bloom” on Easter morning with wildflowers signifying the new life we have in Christ… Our Easters were focused on the holy day that we were celebrating, even though my kids were filthy, dressed in raggy clothes and usually barefoot.
Later, after my grandparents passed away, and the rest of our family began celebrating Easter at “home”…we continued to celebrate our Easters at Lake Buchanan with our “Temple Cousins” the Lucketts at their lake house… The time we spent at the Luckett Lake House cemented the bonds between our families… our children have made lifelong memories together at that house… and so have Cody, Bobby, Karen and I… that house, weekends there, Easter in particular, molded us into a family.
However, as time has passed, our children have grown up, most of them have married and all but one of them now have their own children. For the past couple of Easters it has been obvious that the Crittenden clan has over-crowded the Luckett Lakehouse and I am pretty sure, that we have overtaken the Luckett Easter… So after a couple of years of bringing tents, pop up campers and trying to “fit” in it became clear that the Crittenden Clan once again needed to make a change to our Easter tradition.
This year, for the first time in as long as I can remember- the we stayed “home” for Easter while the other half of our Temple family, the Luckett’s, were able to enjoy Easter in a not so packed and crowded Lakehouse.
We all missed being at the lake… we each missed being with the Luckett’s immensely… we are a family that does not let go of “traditions” easily so the weekend was under a shadow of “I wish we were at the lake” thoughts.
But God is really amazing…and our Easter weekend was pretty awesome. My parents were here, and they got to celebrate Easter with their great- grands in the same way that my Mudgee and BigDaddy did with our family at Lake Buchanan years ago. I was able to serve at our church during the Eggstravaganza which both of my grandbabies enjoyed, and, also, just happened to be Hudson’s first Easter Egg Hunt. We enjoyed a shrimp boil and games of washers with our family and friends in our back yard (first shrimp boil in our new house)… and we went to the Easter service at our church on Sunday with our family. Following our wonderful worship and celebration service at church, we had a great family lunch at my cousin, Kaylenn’s house with the Crittenden Clan, my parents, my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Mike and a new member at Foundation, Cederick… and (I think, thanks to Blythe’s prayers) there was no rain to keep another Easter egg hunt from happening! It was a great day and a great way to celebrate the miracle of the cross… it was full of worship, love and family. The miracle of the cross and the resurrection of our Savior was the center of my heart. My focus on Jesus and the Holy day was not overshadowed by “picture perfect” expectations. Maybe I have grown up a little and matured some in my faith...then again, maybe my children have just all grown up.... (and now that they have families of their own, are insisting we go back to the lake next year...so Pelican Pointe here we come!)