What do you do on Easter?

Confession: I don't really like going to church on Easter.

What do you do on Easter? 1I would much prefer to drive up a mountain with my family and set out a big picnic blanket in a field of spring flowers. We would eat turkey-avocado wraps and blueberries and homemade, chewy oatmeal cookies. We would breath in the fragrant air and hike through the whispering trees. And pray. And reflect. And talk - with beautiful interruptions by little voices.

And then go serve somewhere. Perhaps at a soup kitchen or a children's hospital or a nursing home. We'd wear jeans and sweatshirts and tennis shoes - and my hair would probably be a messy flop of curls on top of my head.

And that would be Easter. Remembering Jesus. His Life. His Love.

What do you do on Easter? 2Sometimes the way church is done is too institutional for my free spirit. I am weary of commercialism, of pious traditions. I feel pressure to wear a new spring dress to church, to dress my girls in frills and flowers. But on this day of remembrance, I'd rather not dress to impress. I'd rather not be indoors. I'd rather be DOING something - something uncomfortable, something new.

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What do you do on Easter? 3Disclaimer (I really, really need to have a disclaimer for this one): My husband is a pastor (but not your typical pastor). We love God. We believe in the power of everyday people coming together to learn + serve + give. Deeply. But that doesn't mean that we're robots, restricted by ritual and religion. The opposite, actually.

2nd Disclaimer: I will be at church tomorrow, but I may not be dressed to the nines. I will try to touch someone's heart w/ a smile, a genuine word of kindness. And you may catch me breathing in the fragrance of the spring air or the top of my baby's head...

What are you doing this Easter? Do you attend church services? Why or why not?

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20 comments on “What do you do on Easter?”

  1. The BEST Easter ever was a few years ago, and my husband and I spent it at the zoo. It was awesome, and while it wasn't exactly communing with nature, it was a time to be in awe of God's creations!

  2. Your husband sounds like a great pastor. It's good that you're not robots! God's love is too awesome for that!

    We went to church then celebrated my daugther's bday with family. It was really fun!

  3. my favorite part of our organized Easter church stuff is the sunrise service. There is just something magical about joining together with fellow believers at the break of dawn and singing about a living God.

  4. For Easter my family and I went to Dave's parent's house with the 4 little cousins and went on an Easter Egg hunt, had brunch in a bright kitchen and laughed, a lot.

    Then we went home and took a nap.

    We overslept, flew to Downtown Denver and took the kids to a posh hotel for an Easter egg hunt on the 15th floor. The girls danced on the marble floors and looked over the balcony at the sites of the skyscrapers.

    We came home, dressed into comfy clothing and played outside for 3 hours while I baked a ham. then... everyone came inside, and back outside for another 2 hours. The bath water was murky at night from sand and muck... but the kids were happy.

    They all slept so hard and loved their day.

    That is spring to me... happy laughter and children that had very little candy but fell in love with Springtime.

  5. We go to church, partially because we have to -- you know, working there and all -- but also because I like to. I love having the rest of the day to spend with family or go places, but Easter morning I love being in church and worshiping. In fact, during second service yesterday I was worshiping so much I actually cried a little...while singing on stage! A good problem to have, but definitely not pretty, so I had to stop that quickly. :)

  6. We're not religious, I've thought about going to the Unitarian church for the sake of community and spirituality but haven't done that. We spent Easter with our family and that was good.

  7. I love this post! It makes me feel better about some of the ideas regarding organized religion I've been struggling with lately. I have not liked going to church for a while because I believe some institutions have moved away from what Church really means. I do feel that at my church, it has become more of a place to "see and be seen" as if going to church for one hour a week somehow makes you a "better" Christian than others, and then you don't have to worry about your behavior and actions for the rest of the week. I have not found a different church (not that I've really tried too hard) because my annoyance with my current church is so great. I'm sure there are great churches out there and fantastic people attend them, but for now, I think I'd rather spend that time with my husband and baby boy and bask in God's glory ourselves. But now I do feel guilty, as though I am just lazy and not going to Church. I just want to do right by God and my family, and raise my son to love God and live a life based on Christian values such as loving our neighbors.

    On Saturday, we took a drive to my grandpa's house so he could spend time with my son. My grandma died last year and holidays in general are a harder time for him. Yesterday, we went to brunch with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. My mother-in-law is not the easiest person to be with - she complains A LOT and always has "helpful" suggestions about how I could be a better mom. I find my Christian values about loving my enemies are constantly tested with her! After that fun, we went to the park and enjoyed a wonderful time out in the spring sunshine. We came home for naps, then had dinner with just the three of us.

    I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

  8. We go to church, but I don't really like it, and neither does my DH, and he is a pastor too. As Christians, we put way too much emphasis on Easter and forget to live everyday enveloped in the power of transformation and the promise of victory. We treat Easter as a Holy of Holies, daring not miss Easter Church Service, but yet we forget to love our neighbor, care for the orphan or widow, bless our enemies, or spend time in self-reflection. For me, Easter is a day to relish Jesus' sacrifices for me just a little more than normal.

  9. Stephanie, we had a wonderful sunrise service on the beach here in So. Cal this morning. My son, Matt, was part of a youth musical group from our church who played "Morning Has Broken" as the sun came up. We listed to the sermon as we looked out on the waves and thought about how big and beautiful this world is. What a gift from God!

  10. We aren't religious people and my hubby is working really long and weird hours because they are close to a deadline so we spent a little time together this morning and then he went to work. So Lily and I are doing our normal day to day stuff.

  11. "But that doesn’t mean that we’re robots, restricted by ritual and religion"

    We ALL need to let go of ritual's and religion. I believe that, in many ways, religion has done more damage to Christianity, and what that means, than anything else.

    I could go off into a rant about it but I won't. ;)

    My husband works today, and wrangling three kids by myself in an overcrowded church isn't up my alley for today.

    We'll spend time talking about what today really is... not bunnies and candy and toys... but a beautiful Jesus who rose again! The most glorious day.

    We'll then meet up with husband later today at his parents house.

    Last night I did one of my most favorite things to do on "Easter" weekend, though... Watching the 10 commandments. Oh I just adore that movie.

    I've been looking for a place to rent The Passion Of The Christ, but blockbuster is gone in my town and it isn't on demand either.

    Anyway - happy resurrection sunday to your beautiful little family.

    Nell

  12. We'll be going to church in an hour or so and I am pretty excited about it. (Sundays are my favourite day of the week!) I just love worshipping surrounded by my community. We'll be dressing up too; we subscribe to the church shoes theory that Sunday is special and dressing up for it makes it feel more so. It's kind of like dressing for work; I'm self-employed and mostly work from home. I therefore can wear whatever I want. But I'm most productive if I get out of the pjs ;)

    We already have all our Easter dinner fixings ready to go for dinner at 1pm, and my four-year-old niece and 13 month old daughter helped me decorate eggs. We usually do the natural dyes with ukrainian wax techniques but this year I let the girls "paint" with food colouring too since I had no adult help with the eggs and the idea of giving them hot wax and a candle was a non-starter!

  13. Happy Easter!

    We go to church every week, so of course we'll go this week. Other than that just the typical Easter basket and egg hunt nothing special

  14. I work all weekend long (will be attending the early morning service in the hospital chapel), so mostly will be sleeping. My mom will come over in the afternoon before I get ready for work again, and we will have an early dinner together, before I have to go to work again. I plan oh having Jeremiah and Audrey do a mini egg hunt in our backyard.
    Working Holiday's is always hard, I just keep reminding myself that what I'm doing is a good thing and that I'm taking care and helping someone out.

  15. We will be at church. My girls will be the ones wearing flip-flops or sneakers with their dresses(dresses that we already had on hand). God has really spoken to my heart this year about the amazing gift that Jesus gave us thru his death. I can't miss worshipping him in song on this Resurrection Day.

  16. Oh Steph, I love this post! I have had the very thought for the past few weeks. I dislike the whole "buy a Easter dress" kind of thing. We haven't decided if we will be at church or not tomorrow. If so, I will look for your welcoming smile that ALWAYS warms my heart!

    Tomorrow we are going to spend time as a family at our ranch where we board our mules. There will be an Easter egg hunt, mule rides, laughter, and most importantly family time. I love talking to our kids about Easter and all of the great things Jesus did and does for us!

    Thanks for this post....glad I'm not the only one that has a free spirit:)

  17. I adore this post :) It's so how I feel. We haven't been to church in a long time (trying to figure out what we're looking for in a church, procrastinating... etc...) and we've gone with my inlaws to theirs, but we won't be going tomorrow. We're heading to their house, but will meet hem after their service. I didn't want to stress out tomorrow keeping the kids in order during the service.. getting there in time.. I just didn't want the stress this year. Next year, probably. But this year we'll dive into the new children's bible the Easter bunny is bringing, and be with each other for the day :)
    Happy Easter!

  18. Our tradition is to dye eggs and then the kids go on a hunt for coin filled eggs. We usually go somewhere, like the beach or just to a park...this year we are having a picnic at the local lake. Your dream one sounds lovely! We are having curry chicken salad, deviled eggs, potato salad, strawberries and brownies for dessert. The kids are really excited to be using all natural dyes for their eggs too (beets, tarragon, onion skins, blueberries and blackberries). Enjoy your day, I loved getting dressed up as a girl but am so happy I don't have to as an adult! PS-Love the pictures!

  19. I like to go to church with my family on Easter, which is exactly what we are doing. It's a laid back church, so there is no pressure to make sure you're dressed to the nines. Afterward we go to my parents' house for lunch and lots of family time.
    I really like your plan though. I loved when we lived next door to my parents because we all went to the same church. It's a small church, and we loved it. Now that we are 45 minutes away we are looking for a new church. I have to say, I am unimpressed and a little discouraged by what we've come across so far. I think I was a bit spoiled.

  20. We will go to church and then get together with the family around here, let the kids have an Easter Egg hunt and enjoy a big dinner. It's a day we spend taking it easy and enjoying the family with some time spent in church too.

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