Where are those Easter eggs?
*An Easter Repost:
It is Easter Week! I love this beautiful and contemplative Christian celebration. It is the season for believers to remember what God did for us and rejoice in the surprise happy ending! Would you like to see what happens behind the scenes on this High Holy Day? I will not speak for all ministry wives, but I will give you a picture of my typical Resurrection Sunday during my years as a pastor’s wife…
If you are at all involved in church-life…and there really is no such thing as “a little bit involved”, which is similar to saying “a little bit pregnant”. Because when it comes to church-life, you’re either all the way in or not. If you volunteer for one thing, you will soon hear your phone ringing for about fifty million other things. Churches run on volunteer help, so if we see your timid little hand even slightly twitch during a planning meeting; Ta da! YOU ARE IT! Yay you!
As I was saying, if you are involved in church-life you have no doubt seen your pastor’s wife standing next to her hubby greeting and maybe warmly embracing several different people following a beautiful and inspiring Easter service. From a distance she looks so serene, cool and collected. You may even feel a twinge of jealousy as you recall your crazy, difficult morning getting your young family to the early sunrise service and then pulling the kids away from their Easter baskets in order to go to the special church celebration on time. I was that calm, cool and collected pastor’s wife. I loved my life and chosen path, but I was jealous of you.
I loved Easter (still do!) and all it stood for. Hubs and I had decided that it should be as wonderful and full of life as Christmas, so we planned many special things for that one day each year. Our town, like many communities then, offered an Easter Sunrise Service where all the churches in town that could agree on at least one thing, got together to greet the rising sun with songs, scriptures and freezing people in the local park. So our church happily took part in the planning and organizing of this once-a-year gathering. That meant I was dragging my two boys out of their cozy beds at crazy-dark-o'clock and bundling them up to go stand in wet, soggy grass for an hour.
After the sunrise service I got my kiddos back home and packed up to return to the church for the annual pancake breakfast before the actual Easter service began. In between each of these jaunts my boys are running back to their sweet-filled Easter baskets that they found at the foot of their beds when they woke up. The sugar rush is beginning to catch up with them, it will manifest itself later on when the real service is about to begin and the whole church is very quiet.
Our little church was excited to hit the 100 mark one day each year!
So, there I am, all dressed up and working in a tiny old-fashioned kitchen with an ugly apron over my pretty new spring dress as we pile pancakes on plates.. The boys are now sliding out of my sight whenever possible to do who knows what on the blackboards of the Sunday School classrooms. The fellowship hall of our little church was packed to over-flowing (literally) with happy, dressed-up families and many families who only came to church on this one Sunday each year. It was loud, fun and full of life, I loved it!
Towards the end of the breakfast time I would sneak into the crowd and quietly gather the teen-agers to put them to work hiding plastic-candy-filled Easter eggs all over the church lawns. A few of the ladies in the church and I had spent several hours earlier in the week stuffing these eggs with non-melting, paper wrapped candies. While the grown-ups were eating the breakfast we also somehow managed to get the little ones to decorate pastel colored paper lunch sacks to collect their eggs in.
Keep in mind that during all this activity I am also being the gracious and inviting hostess to new people who were being brought up to me for introductions all morning. Because we were a small church, I literally had my hands in on every single activity that happened. I'm sure it will not surprise you to hear that the beginning moments of the actual Easter Service were my first chance to sit down all morning and even though it was not easy to keep a couple of sugar-wired boys in control, it was beautiful to sit and watch someone else, my Hubs, take charge. For some reason we had decided that it was important for the kids to be in the service instead of going out to the kids service on that day. Of course it was probably ME that made that decision because I was the Kids Church Director too! As I write this I have absolutely no idea how I did so much!
I don't believe my sons would say that they were cheated by this life. At least not in a huge degree, but I know that I feel like I may have robbed myself of enjoying them more, rather than taking care of everyone else. We had wonderful Easter afternoons with my parents and siblings who lived an hour away. After church we changed into more comfy clothes and packed ourselves into the mini-van.... hmm, I need to interrupt myself there and correct that statement. I changed into comfy clothes, but KEPT the boys in their nice outfits (such as they were by that point) so that Grandma could see how cute they looked. Ha! Sorry guys! I let them change after Grandma got her pictures taken of them! We got to watch the boys and their cousins do another egg hunt in Grandmas' yard and sit down to an amazing meal with tons of laughter and teasing. The drive home late that night would be a very quiet one as the boys snoozed with candy wrappers and plastic green grass in their hands.
I am hoping that this post is not sounding bitter or regretful about my days as a busy pastor’s wife. And I had plenty of help in all these activities. Actually, I don't think I would change very much about those days if I had the chance. But as you enjoy the amazing celebrations that happen in your church, it may be helpful to know all that went on behind the scenes to make this a sweet and joy-filled day for everyone.
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