I was born and raised Catholic and as child I remember getting dressed up for church every weekend, either Saturday evening mass or Sunday morning. I remember dreading going to church, much like my kids did before they discovered Children’s Liturgy/Sunday School, where they get together with other kids and learn about the Bible in terms they understand and make a cute craft that they love to show Renan and I after. It’s not like I didn’t like going to church, I just couldn’t find meaning at a young age. Every time I was hurt or upset my parents were there to support me so I never felt the need to rely or believe in something bigger. What could be bigger or greater than my parent’s love?
Although my faith journey was a slow go in the beginning I can safely say that these days I don’t know how I could live without it. When I lived away for college I found myself going to church on my own, with no reminders or encouragement from anyone. It surprised me really, that I wanted to go. It was a place where I felt safe and some weeks the one thing I looked forward to being away from home, missing my family and Renan like crazy. Every time I left church it was like I had a boost of energy to get me through another week, and for that one hour it’s like nothing else mattered. I wasn’t worried about an upcoming test or assignment, wasn’t stressing about what I was going to make for dinner, and it was one solid hour where it took my mind off of missing my family. As the years went on I noticed that I became more spiritual during difficult times in my life which I am not really proud of because really, my relationship with God shouldn’t be any different when things are going well but it’s true. Like every relationship my faith has been tested several times throughout my life. The times when I wondered what I’m sure others can relate to like, “how could something like that happen to someone who is so kind and generous?” or if God is good then “how could he let something like this happen?” Throughout these times of grief, sorrow and pain when I was “angry” at God and chose some days NOT to believe, I found myself feeling more empty and even more lost, so I always found my way back to him. Now I just look at these trying times as an invitation to be even closer to God, and to deepen my faith.
5 years ago on Good Friday was one example of my faith being tested. We heard some devastating news, this time about one of the MOST IMPORTANT people in my life – my mom. She was ill and we found out on Good Friday of all days. After hearing the news I felt numb, I couldn’t even cry because it felt like my emotions were paralyzed…
Renan and I try to teach the kids the importance of God’s sacrifice for us and express how grateful we should be. It’s so heartwarming to hear my kids talk to each other about how Jesus died to save us and give us hope, to watch them say grace before eating without any prompting, and especially when we hold hands every night and pray as family.
Fast forward to today, my mom is healthy and well. Every Easter since I take even more time to reflect on my blessings and remind myself of my values. So now on Easter I like to keep things low key and solemn. A time where most people have a huge celebration, we have an intimate dinner with just immediate family, including both sets of parents, and siblings which I think is absolutely perfect. It reminds that when all of my loved ones are under one roof my heart is full and that no matter what GOD IS GOOD.
This year we had our traditional intimate family dinner on Saturday night and below are a few pics of how we celebrated our simple Easter Sunday. Church and then fun activities with the kiddos. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.