Easter and it's traditions have changed for us since we have moved to Oregon. No fancy new clothes. No large family gatherings. Things are different here.
I miss a lot of our old traditions, but I have realized that I need to make new ones.
I started thinking about making new traditions when we first moved here and it overwhelmed me. How do I let go of the past and embrace the present?
I have found that this move has been refining me. Hopefully, it's a process of sanctification, if I will allow it.
I have had to focus on the REAL meaning of the holidays. Not that I didn't before, but in my search for what should be emphasized in my family, I found that I had to get real with myself.
That is absolutely terrifying and disgustingly ugly. You know what I found....I'm not really a nice person.
I desire to focus on God and His love for us and how he sent his one and only son to die a horrible, humiliating death for us. And Jesus did all of that then He rose again. He beat death!!!
Not only did He do ALL OF THAT, he taught us so many things in His short time on this earth. He taught us to love everyone. Not judge and condemn (that's not our job) but love, help, and invest.
I have a hard time with that. Loving others is messy. It takes time. I will probably say and/or do something stupid or offensive and mess it all up. Why put myself out there like that?
But.....if I REALLY BELIEVE then I will. I will put my money where my mouth is and try to know people and love them.
That has become EXTREMELY hard for me. I don't like the risk that relationships involve. There inevitably will be a goodbye involved and I am terrible at saying goodbye. I would rather chew my own arm off than say goodbye to someone I may or may not see again.
However, that is the price of love. I imagine that Jesus felt the same sadness of goodbye, even though He knew the outcome, He understands our feelings. I imagine that Jesus' mother was distraught as well as His disciples.
Understanding that I have to live out the gospel, love others, and invest in them no matter where I am is tough. Risk is always involved. Someone may want to take more than I can give or I may be a total let down to anyone who gets to know me, but the effort must be given in order to have life and have it more abundantly.
That's the new tradition that I desire for my family. A tradition of discipleship, really knowing and studying the Gospels and prophecy in the Bible, serving and loving all of those around us. No matter the differences or the risk of investment.
"Love alone is worth the fight."