Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The True Meaning of Easter

I love Easter. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the peace that I feel as I celebrate the life, atonement, sacrifice, and resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ. I enjoy spending time with family, dying Easter eggs, and cooking good food for Easter dinner. 

But this year seems different. This year, I am a homemaker, a wife, and a mother to be. This year, I wanted to make sure that my home reflects the true meaning of Easter. I'll still do all the fun stuff, but I wanted to focus my home on the Savior. This burning desire in my heart led me on a very crafty journey (and it was FUN!). 

I wanted to have a display that showed the three main reasons we celebrate Easter: the atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion on Calvary, and the glorious resurrection from the tomb on the third day. 

I pondered and stewed and finally decided to use styrofoam to make a garden, hill, and empty tomb. I used dry moss from a nursery and mod podge to make them look green and alive. Then I used rocks for accents, a tiny pot for the empty tomb, a lily, and three wooden crosses I made out of dowels.  I added artwork to clearly show each scene.  It turned out way better than I expected! 

I also did a display over my piano. It was fun picking daffodils from my mom's home and adding Easter baskets and decorations. Aren't the bunnies just adorable?

In the center of the display, I put a framed picture up that I had started years ago and finally finished. It is a document called The Living Christ, which is a testimony of Christ, surrounded by pictures depicting his life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.

I'm looking forward to dying Easter eggs with my husband and enjoying good food (Easter bunny dinner rolls, yum!), but I plan to make sure that the symbolism behind these activities doesn't go unnoticed, and that they represent the person whose life we are truly celebrating: the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Creating a Christ-Centered Home

What does it truly mean to have a Christ-centered home? Why is it so important to me? How do I go about creating one? These are questions I have been asking myself as of late. This is where my journey begins...

For years, I have prepared myself to one day be a wife, a mother, and a homemaker. These were my greatest desires. Through the tender mercy of my Heavenly Father, I have been granted these opportunities. Now is my time to prove myself and to show Him what I will choose to do with the blessings I have been given. 

My choice is this: I will do all I can to ensure that the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is present and felt in my home. I will make a home that is centered on Christ and filled with his light. I will teach my children the word of Christ and make sure that they know him as a friend.

But what does it really mean to have a Christ-centered home? How do I create one?

Having a home centered on the Savior means that those who enter the home can say, "Christ is the Head of this house, the Unseen Guest at every meal, the Silent Listener to every conversation."

It means that there is a spiritual environment filled with prayer, study, family time, love, service, and joy.

It means having a home that is in good order and is filled with beauty and light. This doesn't mean that it is perfect. It means that it is a welcoming physical environment for those who live in and visit the home, and that the environment of the home reminds them that they are in the presence of the Savior.

It means that the home is a place of learning, both spiritually and temporally. Important lessons are taught using everyday experiences. Those in the home learn to recognize the spirit of the Lord. They learn healthy social skills and acquire a love of knowledge.

It means that the home is a place where family members can make mistakes without receiving criticism and condemnation. Grace, love, and patience make the home a place of healing and progression. Dorothy Law Nolte wrote:

  "If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
  "If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
  "If a child lives with ridicule, he learn to be shy.
  "If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
  "If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
  "If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
  "If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
  "If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
  "If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learn to find love in the world."

Creating a Christ-centered home is not so much about keeping the influence of the world out of the home; it is more about ensuring that the spirit of Christ is in the home. It is not about fear; it is about faith. It is about love and joy and peace.

I know I won't be the perfect wife, mother, and homemaker, but I know that I can make a difference in this world by the way I live my life and the way I build my home.