Celebrating our Risen Lord

I have many fond childhood memories of Easter–our family of seven rising before dark to prepare for the sunrise service; “suffering for the sake of beauty” headache after wearing sponge curlers all night; donning the annual new Easter dress, complete with the carefully redecorated hat (to match the new dress, of course); finding our lovingly arranged Easter baskets on the kitchen table (jelly beans, chocolate rabbits, Reece’s eggs, oh my!…and theological books when we were older ha ha); glorious church service overlooking a beautiful lake, followed by the most amazing brunch spread that I have ever experienced; joining my mom’s family for a scrumptious dinner, preceded by all of the cousins gleefully participating in the Easter egg hunt on my grandparent’s lush lawn.

I truly believe that family traditions are important, even more so after reading Edith Schaeffer’s book, What is a Family, and her emphasis on creating special memories for the little ones. As a relatively new mom, it’s been an interesting journey to decide the holiday traditions that I want to carry on for my own children. There are so many factors. For instance, I want to take into consideration Nate’s favorite childhood traditions and my own, and blend them into something that works for our little family.  Another huge factor is that we live in Cambodia. American/Western holidays are largely unknown here, although Christmas is catching on due to its commercialism value. Many Cambodian Christians don’t even celebrate Easter because 1) it usually occurs around the same time as their most important national holiday–Khmer New Year and 2) it’s not mentioned in Scripture as a specific holiday to be observed. It really is more of a Western tradition, so unless a foreigner has introduced it to a Khmer church, the congregation is unaware of the “Resurrection Sunday”/”Easter” significance. This is not to say that Christ’s resurrection is not celebrated in the Khmer church–just that it’s celebrated every day, not necessarily on one specific day.

As a family, we do set aside this time to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord. We see it as an occasion to bring more honor and praise to His name and to pointedly worship Him for His hell-defying sacrifice on behalf of our souls. As of this year (since Ava is old enough to appreciate the memories), we also do Easter baskets, egg hunts (thanks to my brother Johnny who brought over a bunch of plastic eggs in January!), and “Resurrection Eggs” (several plastic eggs containing progressive pieces of the road to Calvary…coins representing Judas’ betrayal etc.). If you’re curious about the history behind the Easter egg, click here.

Here are some memories from our Easter this year. It’s always difficult to be away from family during holidays (especially with all of the nephews and nieces) but we are grateful for the “family” that God has provided for us in Cambodia. Thanks, Kit and Avery, for hosting this wonderful celebration!

The kids’ table. Ava seemed so proud to sit with the big boys.

The adult/older kid table. These are some precious gals sitting across from me.

Ava’s first Easter egg hunt.

Paton’s first one too!

The boys were pretty excited–so fun to watch them!

Ava and Jodi intently observing something

Our little family