Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Different Easter

This weekend has been by far the MOST unconventional, unusual and quirky Easter ever.  While there were many moments carrying overtones of the Easter holiday and the way it is commonly celebrated at home, in the end it was just plain different.  Life here is giving us lessons in the beauty of "Different."  

This new friend of ours,  Different,  is teaching us to peel away the stark contrasts we think we know and gaze at what is really true.  The truth this week is this;  You don't need fuzzy little chicks, beautiful bouquets of lilies, perfectly pink dyed eggs, new Easter clothes and a formal church service on Sunday to celebrate Easter.  Believe it or not the same God that is working in America and rose on the third day just so happens to be present in places as far off as Dubai.  

We went to church on Friday instead of Sunday (cuz that's what you do here...) and instead of taking pictures in new Easter clothes nestled among fragrant blooms like we have in the past,

we were content with our little patch of green.  (Only Ry scored a new dress which was completely by accident.)

Friday night our family made a bee line to the desert for an evening safari.

Typically during this time of year a light colored grass blankets my yard and trees sprinkled with blossoms announce Easter's arrival.  

But this year my kids were rolling and running down sandy hills in the biggest sandbox ever,

riding camels like they were going out of style

 and handling falcons like no body's business.

Instead of filling our home with family who know you and love you best

and little friends my kiddos have had since before they could talk, 

we had brunch in different places with new friends we have quickly come to love.

While two or three helpings of dessert are pretty fabulous at an Easter buffet,

eggs covered with real paint and then hid in the hot sun... not so much.

At home pink has always been her choice of color when it comes to dying eggs.  Imagine our excitement when we unexpectedly found an actual egg dying kit!

(Only to find 4 of the 6 colors actually working and one of them is black... weird.)

The egg hunt itself?!  Usually little bodies are dressed in their Sunday best darting in and out of flowering bushes filling their large wicker baskets with sweet treasures.  

Flowering bushes and Easter baskets are pretty much nonexistent around here.    

In addition to that, Mamas from all over the world inadvertently left all large wicker Easter baskets in storage back "at home" only to realize upon arriving in Dubai.  It's ok though, because if anyone knows how to rally it's Mommies who want to make memories for their Littles and Littles just itching for some candy.

All the differences of the weekend and some of my longing for the signs of spring fell away as we set our sights on Easter.

Early Sunday morning we sank our toes into the sand and shells, watched the sun rise above the Persian Gulf and worshiped with Christians from all over the world gathered on a public beach for an Easter sunrise service.  

Pretty amazing it was!  A beautiful reminder to us of God's love for the world, regardless of our differences.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16




Anonymous said...

Thanks TJ for a wonderful special reminder of what Easter is all about, and no matter the day or location, we still know that Christ truly arose, and now is alive, and cares for each and everyone of us!! We were truly blessed today ( Sunday at home) as we went to church for some beautiful music, and great message from Pastor Dennis, and having at least two of the pastoral staff come and give a special personal blessing to grandma. She truly is loved, and it is shown to her by so many folks at the Reedley church. We shared about all of our grandchildren with great love and grandparent pride. Love ya, Dad

Lyndsay said...

Awesome post, because you know Easter isn't about any of the "fluff" anyways. It's about celebrating our risen Savior! And that can be done anywhere!

Noelle said...

Isn't it just awesome how God is omnipresent!?!?!?!?
You are truly experiencing that all the way in Dubai. Surrounded by all the unfamiliar and absence of many things that make sense and give us definition. What a gift and an amazing experience! I just love you, friend!!! Happy Easter!!!!

Kathy said...

Love, love, love! The crazy amazing memories you are creating are fabulous! I just wish I hear you and Chris telling them out loud with the kiddos chiming in and everybody using big hand gestures...
Miss you, friend!

rentz said...

Thanks for sharing everything you are learning. God is good! Also, thanks for your kind comment on fb. We miss you too!

Betty said...

Sounds, and looks, like you've started some new Easter traditions!