Archives For Faith

Africa

This space will be quiet for the next few weeks while I’m in Ethiopia!

A team from our church is traveling with Compassion International to our partner church where we’ll meet children enrolled in the Compassion sponsorship program as well as conduct training for the church.

My bags are almost packed, gifts have been purchased for our 2 sponsored children that we’ll be meeting and my heart feels ready to spend time in Ethiopia!

I will not be toting along my computer to Africa so things will be quiet here but I’ll be sharing all about my trip once I return home.

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I was woken up this morning around 6 am by an energetic 15-month-old who would not go back to sleep. After a failed attempts to get him to go back to sleep, I was joined by my almost 3-year-old and decided to just get up a little before 6:30 (beating my alarm up!)

I greeted my oldest son, telling him it was Easter Sunday, a wonderful day celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. Of course, there’s not much that he understands since he is so young. While preparing breakfast, I started humming, then singing the hymn “Because He Lives.”

“Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future. And life is worth the living just because he lives.”

Beautiful words, a beautiful song and an even more beautiful truth.

While scrambling eggs, I was reflecting on the significance of the day and the loving sacrifice Christ made, making life “worth the living.”

Then I made the mistake of picking up my phone. Scrolling through social media left me thinking, is Easter the new Christmas?

I saw pictures of Easter ‘baskets’ from the Easter bunny containing more stuff than my children receive for Christmas.

And I couldn’t help but think, why are the most holy of Christian holidays (Christmas and Easter) celebrated with such consumerism, focusing the hearts and minds of children on stuff and myths but not on Christ?

While our family chooses not to celebrate Christmas with a material focus, preferring to keep our gift giving very simply, I understand Christians celebrating with gifts and festivities. After all, we’re celebrating Christ’s birth and most birthdays are celebrated with gifts.

But Easter?

We’re celebrating Christ’s death. A horrible, horrific, gruesome, painful, ugly death. A death to show how much he loves sinners. A redeeming death.

Yet Christians want to bring fancy new clothes, the Easter bunny, chocolates, baskets full of stuff (that most children don’t even need) into the equation to celebrate Easter.

I can’t help but wonder how Jesus must feel knowing that a day marking his sacrifice is now looked forward to for the stuff that will be received and consumed.

If you want to go crazy at Christmas, go ahead, celebrate Christ’s birth with gusto.

But His death and resurrection – why can’t Christians leave it as a holy day of reflection and thankfulness?

(These are just my thoughts regarding the religious aspect of this holiday and lack of holiness. Regardless of whether you’re a Christian or not, Easter still  can quickly become wasteful and consumeristic. Easter baskets contain cheap toys that will soon break, candies full of sugar and food dyes and tons of packaging waste.)

As communication has changed this past decade, handwritten cards and letters have become more and more rare. I have only 2 ‘love letters’ from my husband that are handwritten and have only received a few ‘just because’ notes the past few years.

In spite of changing communication though, my love for sending cards and letters remains. There is something much more personal in taking the time to write a simple note of thanks or sending random ‘just because’ notes to friends, family and even acquaintances.

I love searching for and purchasing {and sometimes making} cards. I have a card box full of a variety of different cards to send for different occasions that I keep stocked. The latest addition to my card box are DaySpring’s Colors of Compassion cards:

These Colors of Compassion cards are beautiful with lovely pictures and graphics as well as touching messages within the cards.

They also benefit Compassion International, an organization dear to my family since we sponsor a little girl in Ethiopia through Compassion! DaySpring is donating 6% of sales of the Colors of Compassion cards to Compassion’s Child Survival Program. On the back of each card is information about Compassion International.

I love that these cards can be used to encourage the people they are sent to as well as benefit the babies and mother’s of Child Survival Programs!

And, within days of receiving the cards, I used several of them, sending them to some women I appreciate in my life. 

Do you love sending cards?

Disclaimer: I was provided the Colors of Compassion cards by DaySpring. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed in this post are my own!