"We never did the Empty Tomb Rolls!" R said this morning, as we finished our breakfast. Empty Tomb Rolls, along with a few other traditions that we enjoy during Lent, didn't happen this year. Every year we start out the season of Lent (and Advent too), with a frenzy of plans, activities and expectations, but some of them always fall by the wayside as the days go by and the busyness of "real life" co-exists with our attempts to make the days holy. But I'm learning...that all of the days are holy. It's not just knowing that all of the days are holy...it's beginning to learn to live them as if they are. To experience the holiness of everyday. I love the week after Easter. Or Christmas. Or any holiday. I look forward to those ordinary days perhaps more than I look forward to the days which are slated as "special" on our calendar. The excitement, the frenzy of activity, the growing expectation, and then the joyful glow of the long anticipated holidays...those are lovely. But there is also, for me, often a sense of unreality. God doesn't use our calendar. I do love to honor Him, and to offer up those special days to His glory, but my heart truly longs to learn to stay with Him in a deeper more consistent way...every day. The quiet let-down of those "after holiday days" is often, for me, a time of deeper connection with God. I've let go of the expectations of making the days special, and I'm knowing that it's only Him...without the rituals or traditions...just Him.
There's another thing too. It's all of those special traditions and rituals that we never got around to during Lent. We started out the Lenten season by drawing a slip of paper out of a bag every day...each slip with a special lesson or activity to prepare us for Easter. Let's just say that there are still a few (quite a few) slips of paper left in the bag. And we started reading a chapter each night from a book called Amon's Adventures, which we should have finished on Easter Sunday. But God provided us with some different opportunites on the last few evenings before Easter...and we still have four chapters left to read. And of course, there's always those Empty Tomb Rolls. We prayed together a lot. We learned some new worship songs which we can keep singing. We dyed some beautiful eggs (I think my ears are still hurting from blowing out 35 eggs; you can see a few of them in the picture at the top of this post!). Best of all, during those 40 days of Lent we worshipped and talked and read and worshipped some more about the good news of Easter, and I think MJ has really begun a journey of learning and understanding something about grace. But we're not finished! Easter (the Easter that's a day on the calendar) is over, but for us it isn't ever over. So we're finishing up Amon's Adventures this week. And today we're making Empty Tomb Rolls. And we watched some "Easter Movies" this week even though Easter is over (at MJ's request). She just keeps wanting to hear the story over and over again. The days are holy. The days are holy.