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April 26, 2014

Easter Nests

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Meet my sister-in-law, Haley. She homeschools her two boys, grows a garden in her backyard, cooks excellent meals, is a born-and-bred-nurturer, and always makes the running of her household seem like a smooth and easy task. She is prepared for every holiday at least two days in advance, while I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Think Ma from Little House on the Prairie (minus the girdle), and you’ve pretty much got the right picture. Plus, she is beautiful to boot.

(She’s the last one on the left!)

So it comes as no surprise that she had the best idea when it came to making Easter baskets….she introduced us to the Easter Nest.

The Saturday night before Resurrection morning, she takes her boys out to the grassy area behind my in-law’s ranch house and helps them build their Easter Nest with rocks and grass. The next morning the boys awake to see what the Easter bunny has left in their nests.

For the past three years, Aunt Haley has helped my girls build their own Easter Nest, and the tradition has stuck. Who needs wicker baskets and bows when rocks and grass make a much cozier spot for the Easter Bunny?

This year, the image of the nest and the grass brought to mind the words from the prophet Isaiah: “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

So on Easter morning, my girls awoke to find the words to Psalm 19:7-11 in their Nests:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.”

Most of the gifts we will give our children this year will fade. Most of them will break. Or get lost or thrown out or worn out.

But one thing will never fade or wear out or burn out, nor will your children ever tire of its beauty or its reward: The Word of God.

We will build lots of nests for our children this year. We build them nests to come home to after a long day at school. We build nests for them on sports teams or in a special interests or hobbies. We build nests in the vacations we take and in the fun outings we make. But are you building them nests, day in and day out, that house the Word of God in their lives?

One day, when they have homes of their own, and tragedies of their own, and struggles, triumphs, joys, and tears of their own, will they have nests of the Word planted deep within them?

Do not make the mistake of satisfying your children with building them the nests you think they want; build them the nests they NEED and fill them with what will LAST.

“The grass withers.” Just look at our Easter Nests now, gone with the heat of the sun.

“And the flowers fade.” Just look at the lilies from our table on Easter Sunday, brown with uprooting.

“But the Word of God stands forever.” The Scripture that is planted in their hearts yesterday and today will abide in their hearts forever, springing forth into eternal reward.

As Easter People, sitting at an Easter Table, build Easter Nests, filling them with the Word of God, which will last forever.