Top 5 Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

 

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This will be our third Easter where we don’t shower our children with candy. Our dietary needs changed a few years ago and forced us to alter the way we celebrate holidays. We don’t stuff baskets full of jelly beans or foil wrapped chocolate eggs anymore. Now we get creative with gifts that provide experiences and moments of fun instead. I quickly learned memories of activities last longer than memories of eating any chocolate bunny ever will. Although the change was hard at first, it has proved to be more fun than ever.

Top 5 Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas

1. Kids Gardening Tools– Pick up some seeds at a discount store, add some dirt from your backyard, and make some gardening memories. It’s so fun to grow some vegetables the kids might want to try in a few months. We love to plant flowers and get excited to see them bloom.

2. Butterfly Habitat– Find a caterpillar crawling on a leaf outside or order some from the site on the box. This year we are ordering a container of 5 caterpillars. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be just as excited as the kids about this one.

3. Resurrection Eggs– These eggs come filled with things that help explain what Easter is all about. They take you and your kiddos through the Easter story and Ressurection. In other words, these are the best Easter eggs ever!

4. Let’s Go Fly a Kite– Get outside, find an open field with no power lines, and soak up some vitamin D. The cost of the kite doesn’t necessarily mean it is more fun. Some of our best kite flying memories were made with $2 kites from the discount store.

5. Easter Book– My kiddos love books. I love that they love books. No one covers a holiday in children’s books better than the Berenstain Bears. Here’s a great one to snag if you don’t already have it.

Despite what the world tells us, Easter is not about a bunny, candy, the perfect glazed ham, or pastel baskets full of plastic eggs sitting on fake grass. Easter is about Jesus. May we remember this truth as we celebrate and fill up fun baskets.

Photo Credit- http://www.unsplash.com- Annie Spratt

 

God is Faithful

While packing to move to a new home, I was in the attic sorting through old books. My hands brushed past an old Bible in a dusty brown box.  It was a version I don’t typically use.  It appeared untouched, unread, and unused. I quickly thumbed through the pages to see if it was marked in or was in good enough condition to donate to someone else. Suddenly a torn piece of scrap paper fell out with my late Mother’s handwriting.  It took my breath away.

I hadn’t seen her handwriting in years.  The piece of paper was something she had written to me years before she died, years before she became sick and her handwriting became shaky, and years before I ever knew I would treasure such a tiny slip of paper stuffed in an old Bible and long forgotten.  She had written my name, the verse and a short description of scripture verses with instructions that read: “Read these.”

Weeks later I had three of her handwritten words carefully replicated and inscribed on a wooden block.  It now serves as a reminder from my Mom, in her handwriting, on God’s faithfulness.

On that day, He was faithful enough to meet me in the attic of my old house.   I love reminders in scripture of God being faithful.  One that I’ve been thinking about lately is in Lamentations 3:22-23.  A rough today has nothing on what He will offer tomorrow morning.

He. Is. Faithful.

He is faithful to encourage a stressed out Mom in a hot attic packing up thirty-six years of stuff to haul to a new place.  He’s faithful to encourage her by using something special enough to make her stop in her tracks to hear and see the blessings He offers in times of need.

He is faithful to meet you where you are, wherever that is.

Whether you are having a great day or the worst day ever, hear this: GOD IS FAITHFUL. Each day.  Every day.  Great is His Faithfulness….especially each new morning.

 

 

More Than The Birds

I saw a small bird outside my window, and I took note on how it didn’t seem to have a care in the world. It reminded me of Matthew 6:26. I love how God provides and does so with the thought of the longings that are threaded in the lining of our hearts.

 

Lately, I’ve been seeing how God provides for people in ways that prove He knows the longings of their hearts. I saw it in a woman who told me she never thought she would be a grandmother within driving distance of her future grandchildren. Her husband’s job had taken them to another state, far away from their grown children. Just that week, she found out two of her children had taken jobs close to her new home. She told me, with tears in her eyes, she had long ago accepted she would never be close to them when her grandbabies would be born. God knew the longing of her heart.

 

I saw it as a friend started a new business made her first profit. She had been longing for a job, which would provide income, but also give her the ability to stay home more with her sweet little ones. Within a short time, everything fell into place. She is now able to work and be at home more with her children.

 

I saw it when a friend was laid off from his job of 12 years. He now is in a new opportunity providing him the challenge he longed for in a career.

 

I saw it when I noticed an empty cupboard in my new home. I’d always wanted space to put my grandmother’s china dishes, but never had it. It was something I would have never imagined to pray about because it seemed so minor, but yet it was a longing in my heart. It was provided for in our new home. My heart smiled as I placed her china on that shelf.

 

The God of the universe indeed keeps His eyes on the big picture of things in the world. He also keeps His eyes on a small bird, on a small branch, in a small tree. He’s monitoring wars, diseases, and a whole host of other horrible things. He’s healing, He’s saving, and He’s working miracles we can’t comprehend. And still…He’s making room for my grandmother’s china dishes.

 

What longing do you have in your heart today?

 

Do you long for more energy to keep up with your kiddos? You aren’t alone.

 

Are you longing for a solution to a problem you’ve accepted will never go away? You aren’t alone.

 

Are you longing for something big? Something small? You aren’t alone.

 

As we journey through this day, week, month, year, and life may we remember God says “No” when things are not of His will but He also says “Yes” at times too. God knows the longings of our hearts (Psalm 38:9). He sees (Psalm 33:13). He provides (Matthew 6:26).

 

Photo Credit: Vincent-Van-Zanligne -www.unsplash.com