All about the eggs

One thing I miss about living in Malaysia is the many public holidays we get there – anywhere from Chinese New Year to Hari Raya (Eid) and even Deepavali! Here in Australia, holidays are far and few, but Easter is one of them and is especially  meaningful to us.

We go to church on Saturdays and I am involved in something I’m passionate about – children’s ministry! I never used to be – in fact, I used to think I would be awful with kids and just felt awkward when little kids would talk to me and ask me to act in roleplay games or sing silly kids songs. And then I had a child, and I discovered the child in me!

Now that I have kids, I really enjoy trying to teach my children in creative ways (even though I am not exactly artsy and am nowhere near “Pinterest mum” standards). I’m also a bit frugal with my art i.e. I can’t justify spending a lot on supplies. Hence resulting in an art project like this – Jacob painting with homemade flour/salt/food colouring paint on the back of a nappy box! No art smocks in this house!

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Anyway, for Easter, I wanted to do something simple for the kids so I made a little Easter activity pack for them so they could have something to do during the sermon. I found a little Jelly Bean Prayer/poem that can help kids remember the significance of the event through colours. The word search was more for the primary aged kids, a colouring sheet and stickers, which are always well received. I also made a threading cross our of card and gave the kid some yarn to build their motor skills – sadly Jacob was more interested in tying it around his head and pretending it was a crown (still on topic I suppose, Jacob).

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I found a really cute video about the significance of Easter, which I don’t think Jacob really understands yet, but I do hope that in time he’ll be able to grasp it and also take it seriously. Sometimes I worry about his lack of empathy, or the fact that he finds it funny that Goliath got hit in the head and that Jonah got eaten by a fish. Hmm… another post about empathy for another day perhaps.

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We also listened to the Easter sermon about eggs – I mean resurrection eggs! You can buy them from Koorong or any Christian bookstore, and they’re fun for toddlers. The kids were called up to the front to open up the eggs. Here’s what the kids found in the eggs:
A little donkey, silver coins, chalice, praying hands, whip, rooster, crown of thorns, nails in the shape of a cross, spear, linen cloth, stone and the last one was empty.
Do you know the significance of these symbols in the Easter story?

And finally, while I know that it is more commercialism than anything else, but why not get in on the whole chocolate egg business? We had an egg hunt at church and also at my brother-in-law’s place – here are our munchkins feasting on their spoils (which we eventually removed from them before they ate their own weight in chocolate)!

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I hope all of you have had a blessed Easter and may we remember the true meaning of the season.

But He was pierced for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
and by His wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

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April.

Summer never truly arrived, and we are already into autumn. I have to say that this is one of my favourite times of the year because I love seeing the trees cloaked in coats of ever-changing colours, shedding them slowly onto the green grass. I don’t like the impending cold that is about to come, but I have some great memories to keep myself warm.20150322_080336Can’t have Easter without eating some hot cross buns! In all truth, we aren’t really into hot cross buns and Easter eggs; rather, we aim to keep the true meaning of Easter which resonates in the death and resurrection of Jesus. 🙂 20150405_123515During the Easter long weekend, we decided to head out to a kite festival at the beach. We didn’t buy a kite for Jacob but he had an awesome time looking at the kites, watching the steam train chug along and chasing the seagulls. 20150411_111833We had two weddings to go to recently – one was for a Uni friend of mine who was renewing her vows, and another was for Daniel’s cousin. On both occasions, I completely regretted putting Jacob in a white shirt due to the mess he made (though that is his only formal outfit – and you have to admit, the bow tie is cute!). 20150412_110753We took Jacob to the Baby Expo the other day and there was a petting zoo! Jacob loves animals and was squealing and stroking the little animals. He got to try out some Gymbaroo equipment as well, which he didn’t mind but was more interested in running away! 20150413_115946I love school holidays, particularly because we can all get up to mischief as a family! Whether it’s heading out to playgrounds or going shopping or merely sitting at home making a mess, it’s more fun when we’re together! ~~~ I’m having one of those nights where I’m listening to old songs and reading things I wrote a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not necessarily sad, more pensive and nostalgic. And I often wonder just how much has changed and how much I’ve changed as a person over the years. One piece of writing that seems to resonate with me tonight is a poem I wrote when I was like 14 or 15. I think it got published in a yearbook or something. I think that I was quite perceptive at this age, but I could also have just been a daydreamy teenager.

My beautiful star
Sparkling, shining, scintillating
Silver and golden embers
Suddenly falls on a night
The whole world remembers
It feels so lost, so sad and hurt
It stumbles upon the lowly dirt
The night is darker than it seems
The star, lost in a schism
Crumbles and fades away
No one knows
How it felt that day
Only me

Happy Easter!

Firstly, I apologise for the hiatus – I should have given some notice as I knew I would be busy! We’ve actually been away for a week-long church camp and it has been amazing! I was involved in the Kids Program and helped out a bit with Women’s Ministries too, so was really busy but enjoyable all the same. More updates on it in the coming posts, but I have to show you this picture of Jacob (nearly) kissing a lamb:

ImageTo give you a bit more reading material, the articles I wrote are finally published. This one is an interview with a Malaysian father and his perspective on children growing up in Australia, while this one talks about lessons on change.

But, for now, I want to talk about Easter and what it means to me. Aside from eggs, chocolate and bunnies, it has a deeper meaning for me. It’s usually around this time as well that I look at my life and ponder upon why Jesus would die for someone like me. I’ve made so many mistakes over my lifetime, hurt so many people (including myself) and disappointed God over and over again with my choices. Yet, Jesus chose to shed His blood for me, and for everyone else in the world.

I don’t mean to make this a preachy post – it’s more a contemplation of my own beliefs and how it’s made me grow as a person. I know that I have many worldly visions – I want to travel the world, want to have a career or at least a business to run on the side and want to have a bigger and better life for my family. And while it isn’t wrong to have these visions, I realise how small they are when I look at the bigger picture. I often worry about what to do with my life and what direction I should take, but I also know that life is not fully in my own control, and that there are bigger forces at work.

Many years ago, I went to an Easter play that moved me to tears. I had only heard the song once before, but it was clearly put into context when I heard them singing it while playing out the scenes that led to Jesus’ death. If you’re a fan of female gospel, you have to listen to Nicole Nordeman. Really meaningful lyrics, particularly with this song – basically, a little girl’s point of view of the cross.

It’s funny that things seem to be more touching when put in the eyes of a child. Perhaps it’s the innocence that tugs at our heartstrings, or the fact that we want to shield and protect them from things that could hurt them. Jesus was innocent – a blameless man, with the sin of the world (including mine) upon His shoulders.

But I do like the ending of the Bible story so many of us know. Jesus is crucified on Friday, he rests in the tomb on the Sabbath, but on Sunday the tomb was empty. He conquered death, and through Him there is another life waiting for us.

I’m not one to cry very often (hence I actually remember the times I cry!) but this year, this song really moved me. It’s a new-ish song by Hillsong, but I like the acoustic version better. But of course, it’s the words again that truly touch me:

Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid

Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

Hope you all had a beautiful Easter! 🙂