Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reflections on Easter

Happy Easter from the Hirsch family!

It may be a little late, but...I guess, better than never?! Well, the weather on Easter was cold and yucky, so our family picture was taken indoors- but our celebration was warm.
Well, not at see, we had big thoughts on preparing the family to celebrate what we consider the biggest holiday as a christian. Christmas, when we celebrate Christ's birth, and Easter, when we celebrate Christ's death and then resurrection from the dead, are the two biggest holidays for our family. While Christmas is a celebration of God sending His son to Earth, Easter is the celebration of His purpose fulfilled on Earth- to die on the cross and raise again to have victory over sin and death and thus saving His people, the Church, for Himself. Easter is SO exciting! And yet, we failed.
Here's how. And how, as a wife, God worked me through my husband's failure to lead us as a family  in really focusing on the meaning of Easter. Usually we'll do some sort of preparations towards Easter to get our minds and hearts set on why we're celebrating- reading through the Piper book, 50 Reasons..., reading through the gospel accounts during family worship, some activities like Resurrection eggs or making something together. I was waiting on Gary to lead us in what he thought best for our family. One of my biggest fears is if I don't do it, it won't get done. God's teaching me that sometimes, because I'll react in fear and make sure it gets done, my hubs doesn't have to- or think he doesn't need to- or whatever. Now, hear me. Gary is a WAY godly leader, wonderful husband, and is faithful to lead us. But he is human. So...Easter came quickly and nothing except our daily readings were planned. We talked about doing a couple things with the kids in prep for helping them to grasp why we celebrate Easter, as best as they can at a young age. After I'd suggested a few things, I waited. And the waiting turned to Easter morning...and I was way disappointed. Now, we usually do gifts for Easter, since it is big like Christmas. So, we had gifts like a worship dvd, journal, some outfits. Problem is, without them being taught why we're celebrating, Easter becomes about the gifts they get. I'm all for Easter baskets and things, as long as it's an overflow of joy in why we truly celebrate. If that's left out, all the kids remember or begin to think is that Easter is about chocolate and jelly beans. So I was hurt. Disappointed. 
This time, though, I went to God. Many times I get mad in my hurt. Want to hurt know, I've journaled on it here before. Thankfully, this time, Grace brought me to remember that Easter is about victory over sin and death, and to surrender my hurt to Him so that I can share in that victory, to not let it ruin the celebration. I can celebrate through the hurt. And so, there we were. I prayed quietly to the Lord as we went to join my parents at their church...and oh man, were we blessed. An awesome time of worship for us as we were reminded of why we celebrate- while surrounded by many people God's used very specifically in our family. God blessed us to have Dave and Amy here with us for 5 days, including Easter. Amy and I grew up together, and used her and another friend Tammy to deal with some specific sins that eventually caused my heart to turn back to Him. So we had them on one side, my family on the other, and surrounded by friends like the Igos, Scisms, Zellars...all of whom God's used in specific ways in our life. It was a joyful celebration, even in the midst of my hurt.

Dave and Amy

We enjoyed a big dinner and hanging out time that day. Later on in the evening, I was able to express my disappointments with Gary without anger, who was also feeling the same way. My words were- okay, so I was really hurt, because...and I need you to listen to me and believe me that I'm hurt. Just cause I'm not freaking out, doesn't mean I'm not hurt. It means God is having victory right now. So please hear me so I don't have to yell. :)  Really, there was some seriousness to that, but I know I choose to yell...
Anyway, so after talking through it, and forgiveness had, I was reading in Luke 24. I was totally encouraged by the story of the women going to the tomb to prepare Christ's body to find angels and the body gone. The one angel tells them to go tell the men...and when they do, the men basically tell them they're idle and don't believe them. My version- stupid women, you're crazy. But Peter went and ran to the tomb to see for himself. I was struck with the reality that it isn't bad that they didn't believe the women right away. It was wrong that they didn't go check it out for themselves after they'd heard. I realized I'm married to a Peter. He listens and goes back to check it out himself. Then he marvels with me. That's the sign of the Spirit. The other men who didn't go back and check it out for themselves could've been spared much depression, sadness, etc...over Christ not being the Messiah they though he was if they'd gone to see for themselves. BUT...the rest of the chapter is on Jesus going and revealing to the two on the road to Emmaus and then to all the disciples for Himself. So, they saw that the women were speaking the truth eventually. They just missed out in the meantime. 
All this has regrounded my trust in God. My biggest fear is being misunderstood. Even as I write this, I think, maybe I shouldn't, cause someone's gonna take it the wrong way or not understand what I'm saying. But I'm supposed to share what God shows me! I don't have to make things happen or get people to believe me or try to not be misunderstood. I just need to walk in obedience. Sometimes that means sharing what I've seen of God. And God will show who He wills to see it eventually too. My trust is in Him. Personally, for me, that's mainly with my hubs. God revealed the unfolding of His plans first to the women in this passage. Even though the men are the leaders. The women were to help point the men to the truth. The men didn't believe. The women didn't have to make them believe, just share. I am beyond grateful for a husband who is filled with the Spirit and runs to see for Himself. Who is humble and will allow me to help him. And for a God that changes my heart that naturally wants to take the lead to follow.
Praise God, He is Good!  And hopefully, next year, we'll be ready to get prepared to celebrate BEFORE Easter's here! Even if not, He is gracious!

Party at the Park and field trips...

April has been loaded with lots of activity already. The warmer weather has been a welcome change to get out of the house. We enjoyed another friend's birthday party, this time at the's always interesting for me to go somewhere by myself with all 4 girls. Thankfully, most all our friends are more than helpful.

Enjoying the park with friends.

We also got to go on a couple field trips, which are more frequent as the days grow warmer here and we're able to get out and about. Our home school co-op got to go on a nature hike at a nearby conservation. It was a long 1 1/2 hour hike, but all did very well. It was nice to be out enjoying God's creation and actually have someone there to point out different flowers and such that we may otherwise overlook. God truly made all things amazingly, pointing to His glory as Creator. We were even careful not to "kill the parents" as our guide said concerning not stepping on the plants. lol.

Our home school co-op group at the conservation...minus three other families that joined us that day

Bekah has read the first two of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy. She's in the middle of the third one now, Little House on the Prairie. We were able to go visit Laura's house in Mansfield, which is only about an hour from us, while Dave and Amy were here visiting. It was fun, and way more interesting than I'd thought it'd be. Bekah enjoyed seeing Pa's fiddle, which they annually take out and play at a festival. I was going to have her just read the first 3 books herself to expose her to the stories, but after visiting Laura's home, Bekah said she'd really like to read all of the series, which is fine with me! That same day we also went to Bakersville, a little old time village set up that is home to Baker Creek Seed Company, which sells seeds that have no GMOs, and are all heirloom seeds. After having done a 4 week gardening seminar, this was a cool place to visit. Really amazing, how many seeds they have- they had over 190 varieties of just tomatoes! Isn't God amazing?! 

The girls in their bonnets, enjoying the Little House

The amazing Baker Creek Seed Store- all those little bins hold packets of seeds

We also hit Silver Dollar City again, this time with Poppy, Gammy, and ChiChi. It was World fest time, and worked out perfectly with the geography we've been doing. It's a stretch at times to find some cultural things here where we live, so this was a welcomed event to expose the kids to other cultures, even if limited. We got to see a steel drum band from Trinidad- awesome!- and the Irish feet of fire dancers- pretty amazing. We all ate different foods from other countries and got to see a ton of flags and such. It was a fun, beautiful day of learning in a non-book form- welcomed any time!

We are in fact, part Irish- I am half Irish, half Korean, which makes our girls a 1/4 of each. 
You should see OUR Irish feet of fire! lol!

On the big 'ole rocking chair

This is a kid's roller coaster, with Poppy in the front, all by himself. haha. Bekah chickened out last minute and ran back out. Belle enjoyed the roller coaster with Daddy in the third cart. After riding a bunch of different rides for the first time, Belle said- Rides crazy! They're fun! Guess you know who will be our thrill seeker!

ChiChi was a good sport and was Bekah's riding buddy a lot.

All the family enjoyed a full day at SDC Worldfest!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

March Madness

A little behind on posts, but here's some of the Hirsch March madness. We enjoyed the start of spring with a few different Spring Breaks-

First Spring break was when Tiffany, Taylor, and Daniel came to see us. It was cold, nasty weather, but we were able to go to the library together and hang out at different times through the week:

Then, the next week, Jonathan and Christina came to visit, and it was beautiful. We hit the park and got to hang out for a few days:

Then we had our family Spring break mini vacation for the weekend. We went to Silver Dollar City- it was cold, but we had fun. Then we went to Springfield to shop and hang out with the Wallaces. We got to go to Jump Mania for the first time. It was so fun! 

1,2,3,4...Packed up and ready to go in the van.

Silver Dollar City, Daddy gathering the herd at the farm.  

It may have been cold, but Bekah was so looking forward to the frozen strawberry/lemonade!

The girls enjoyed the hotel just as much as anything else!

Bethany and Jude at Jump Mania.

Belle's face was priceless- she had that panic look every time she went down the slide...for like an hour!

The June girls, Haven and Belle. They're only a few days apart.

Bekah enjoyed the slide too!

Bekah and Jadon enjoying Jump Mania!

We also enjoyed celebrating Natalie's birthday with the chaos of friends at her butterfly surprise party, and the Nielsen's adoption with a baby shower. A few pics:

Natalie's birthday crowd

Baby Rachel!

I made the diaper cake...Leigh Ann made the pretty flower ball.

Lots of activity and celebrations in March...we've been busy! God's been good. The newness of Spring has often called to mind the newness of life in Christ. Feels like a reason to celebrate! More posts to come very soon!