The Barefoot Mama’s Easter Basket: 2016

little dude

This is little dude.

Little dude makes Easter basket stuffing hard sometimes.  He is your very typical three year-old boy.  Loves trucks, outdoors, and looking at our new puppies.  It has been just within the last week that he has started understanding and asking for Bible stories.  I enjoy reading other mommy blogs and love all the creative ways that they incorporate Easter and spiritual education into Easter baskets for their children.  The beautiful books and dolls, the Lego sets, even the candy is symbolic of Easter…..and it will all fly right over his head like one of those planes from the movie he loves.

So, what am I planning on giving a little dude that isn’t old enough to truly understand Easter basket goodies?

I’m so glad you asked.

While I’m still giving him Easter and Bible story books, I decided to get him something that will be useful during this coming spring and summer.

watering the garden

Little dude LOVED helping in our garden last year, so we’re giving him his own garden set.  To be honest, there were about three that I thought of buying.  In the end, we decided to buy him the Green Toys Watering Can and Garden Set.  (We might pick up some cheap seeds at Walmart for him to have his own plants.)

Other than the garden set and a few small stampers and bubbles, we’re just going to use this as an excuse to get some more things for his Mass/ church bag.  (He’s started getting bored with what’s in it now.)  Last year, we gave him the Jesus coloring book by Catholic Book Publishing.  He loved it and so this year, I went to the Catholic bookstore and picked up a coloring book about the Bible.  It’s also published by CBP and is just lovely!   I also bought four small Bible story books and then remembered that I had snitched another one from my in-laws house when we were visiting in December.  Then, my mother and father in-law sent a whole box of books and some candy for Easter, so we may be stretching out some of those book giftings over the whole season of Eastertide.  What can I say?  We love books in this family!

Easter Books 1

Easter Books 2

  • My Easter Basket and the True Story of Easter (There are two versions: the one printed in 2002 and a reprint in 2016.)  We have the older version that we snitched from my in-laws.  It’s adorable!
  • The Story of Easter board book (Patricia Pingry/ Rebecca Thornburgh)
  • The Story of Jesus  (Little Golden Book)  Great minds must think alike.  I bought a copy of this for little dude and then my mother in law sent a copy.  So, mine is going to my classroom and Mom’s is going in the basket.  Two birds with one stone!
  • Mary, My Mother  (Fr. Lovasik)
  • Stations of the Cross  (Fr. Lovasik)  With all the other books, this one may end up being saved for next year.  It’s probably the oldest of the books in content-age, so I don’t mind waiting a bit.

Does your family do Easter baskets?  If so, what are you planning on giving to your kids for Easter?  Anything you would really recommend for next year?  Let me know in the comments.

Easter Basket 2016

P.S. As always, some of these links may be Amazon affiliate links.  I do make some money on purchases made through these links, but I only link to things that I am purchasing or have used personally and am happy with.  So, if you choose to, click with confidence!

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The Great Paradox of God’s Justice

gods justiceI was reading a few days ago.  (Ok, I was trying to get in some semblance of personal devotions while watching my son play in the dirt outside our house.)  Since getting this month’s version of the Magnificat, I’ve been trying to read either the morning or evening Scripture passages and hymns for the day.  I’ve haven’t been too successful, but I’m still trying.

As I was reading, I was struck by something odd.  In this Lenten time of mercy, in this great Jubilee Year of Mercy, the readings were from some of the imprecatory psalms.  Rather than readings that spoke of the love and mercy of God, they called out for justice, for God to reach down from Heaven and bring victory to the writer and destroy his enemies.  I couldn’t believe it.  Why, in this season of mercy, would you choose to read and emphasize Scripture that seemed so diametrically opposed to that very concept?

As I continued to read, the passages changed from psalms to the prophets where God promised His people that He would send justice down.  And then, it struck me.  These are the perfect readings for Lent.  Why?  Because in the end, they point to a specific time when God poured out His justice.

A time when God Himself hung dying on cross.  When the breath that gave life to mankind was exhaled one last time.  When the justice of God and the mercy of God came together in the greatest paradox of all time and the cry of every broken, wounded heart for justice was answered.

God’s justice is found in His mercy at the cross and God’s mercy is revealed in the justice of the cross.

The readings make more sense now.  The truth is that our world still calls out for justice.  We all have experienced hurt at some point in our lives – a deep hurt that leaves us desperately longing for the perpetrators to receive their due.  And yet, when we pray for justice to come, do we understand what we really are praying for?  Do we understand that we are asking for God to take that person to His ultimate expression of justice and love?  Do we truly grasp that we are asking for mercy to be poured out again?  And if we do, are we ready for that?

What’s the Point? Discovering the Purpose of Lent

Purpose of Lent

We are halfway through the Lenten season.  That’s three Friday fish dinners down and four to go.  That’s three Mass services without singing the Allelujah….and almost twenty days of trying very hard not to complain.

It’s not going so well.

Basically, I am failing at Lent.  Again.

Let me summarize my Lenten experiences for you.  First Lent observed, I tried to minimize Facebook.  I realized how utterly addicted I am/was to social media.  It was pathetic, really.  The second Lent, I gave up sugar and not caring what I ate.  I basically obsessed over every opportunity to consume doughnuts for the next 40 days.  This year, I quietly asked God what he wanted me to give up this year.  (I’m trying to avoid giving up chocolate.)  He just answered, “Complaining.”  So, I am trying.  And basically I’m realizing how much negative speech comes out of my mouth.  I complain at school.  I complain at home.  Pretty much, it’s my default setting.  Unfortunately, I realize this after it’s come out….hence, the realization that I’m failing at Lent.

Or am I?  Is Lent about perfection or is about realizing again the utter need that I have for God?  Is it about realizing that I cannot make this journey on my own – that on my own power, I will always fail?  And if it the latter, then I believe that it is also a season for a renewed remembrance of God’s grace and life within us.  A life so alive that it overcame death itself – and that life is at work in me if I allow it to be.

So, tomorrow I start again.  I ask Christ to fill me with His grace and life in overcoming these words of death.  I ask you, my brothers and sisters, together with all the angels and saints to pray for me.  And I press on to the prize which is our high calling: holiness.