What was your favorite part of Easter when you were growing up? I remember the Easter egg hunts, the candy eggs and the chocolate Easter bunnies. I looked forward to the baskets and the pretty colors but rarely thought of the meaning of any of these things.
I hope that this Easter, we would consider its meaning and let it breathe new life into our life and relationships with our children.
Easter Is a Celebration of New Life
Within my Christian faith, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ; when he rose from the tomb on the third day. It marks the greatest miracle in human history. He laid down his life and took it up again. This event is, to me, the most pure expression of the cycles of life, change and growth. Like the cycles of the seasons, summer and autumn give way to winter, which can feel bleak and barren at times, but it simply prepares us for spring and new life. It sets the stage for new and stronger growth to appear.
Easter is packed with symbols of the end of an old life and the beginning of a new. The symbols of Easter, including eggs and flowers as well as bright, vibrant colors remind us that no matter how dreary the winter, we can always count on the new life of spring to follow.
I have friends that live in the eastern United States and Canada that have complained incessantly about the long cold winter they have had in 2013-2014. They have had multiple days, weeks and even months of below zero temperatures. They have been unable to see the bare ground, let alone any real vegetation or life.
Sometimes our lives and our parenting can feel like this. It’s possible that there is not even anything particularly wrong going on, it just feels like there’s not much going right either. It seems like a waiting room world. Maybe you struggle to get your son to clean his room or you can’t seem to get caught up on all the things you feel you have to do and just feel frazzled, what seems like, “all the time.” Maybe you have felt a creeping sadness or loneliness that you don’t know why but you can’t seem to shake. Maybe you feel like you are growing apart from your daughter that used to love to sit on your lap and read books. Maybe there is an old hurt that you are having a hard time letting go of. Whatever your winter is, its okay. We all experience winter and it’s a normal part of life, but your winters have prepared you for spring. It’s time for new growth!
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4 Ways to bring new life for yourself and your relationships
1. Use the decay as mulch: Find the lesson and opportunity in every struggle. Even some of the greatest hurts and struggles provide some of the most profound life lessons and give education that we never would have experienced otherwise. Our own personal suffering, can cause us to be more empathetic, to understand and to be more compassionate toward others, including our own children. The autumns and winters of our lives inevitably dump piles of decaying leaves at our feet, but like a great oak tree, we can use them to feed our growth and strength.
2. Plant new seeds: As we have discussed before, the law of the harvest suggests that whatever seed we plant, that is what you will get. Plant good seeds. These may include little things like smiling more often, saying “I love you” to greet your child or even finding 10 minutes a day to exercise. They could be more dramatic seeds like having a date night with each of your kids, speaking with greater kindness and less yelling, scheduling play time together or planning a vacation or some other memory producing experience. Each thing we commit to and do can breathe new life into the relationship and help it grow into an unshakable force.
3. Nourish the seeds: When you plant your seeds, water them and give them sunlight daily. As we let the spring sun come out and fill each of our days, we have to be diligent to nourish positive habits.
4. Enjoy the new life: Take at least one moment every day to just stop and enjoy the sunshine, the beauty of the earth, the colors and flowers. Look at your children as they play in the yard and as they laugh at their own silly jokes. Notice the smallness of their fingers and their color of their eyes. Soak it up.
We can do this at any time to breathe new life into our lives but Easter provides an amazing opportunity to review the symbols of all the fun traditions that accompany it and to remind ourselves that we can make old things new and things that are seemingly dead can be made alive again.
Question: What can you do to breathe new life into your life and relationship with your kids?
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