Releasing Judgment- An Easter Tale

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This Easter it was really important for me to get home to Savannah.  I just wanted to be with my family.  Spring is my husband’s busiest season so we decided the kids and I would make the trip without him.  Normally, this would not be an issue but we had an evening wedding to attend in Atlanta on Saturday and we had to get Malik (my oldest) back on campus for an 8am class on Monday. Talk about mission impossible!

But… I was determined.  And I have three pretty awesome kids (two of which are drivers) so as crazy as it may seem for us to hit the road at 9pm on Saturday and return at 9pm on Sunday, that is exactly what we did.

But let me back up a bit.

On a good day I wait until the last minute to get essentials for holidays.  Having just returned from the conference, I was in true rare form. Especially given that right before the conference I learned that I had been accepted into the Black and Latino Farmers Immersion program at Soul Fire Farm.  Add the additional level of social consciousness provided by the conference and springtime temperatures and my body just wanted to veg in the soil all week. Friday evening I realized I wasn’t prepared for a wedding or a road trip.  So I headed to the thrift store early Saturday morning. ;).

While I have taken on several new homesteading practices in recent years, thrifting, recycling, and up-cycling is something I’ve done my entire life. I’ve even indoctrinated my kids to the point that they choose the thrifting when spending their own money. It came as no surprise to them that their Easter best would be ‘gently used’.

I almost cried when I saw this. $3.99!!! Can you say continuous brew?

I almost cried when I saw this. $3.99!!! Can you say continuous brew?

During my haste, I came across a Facebook post of a hometown acquaintance. She was expressing her disdain for those who come to church only on holidays. She expressed that she stays home on those days to avoid dealing with those people.

WHOA! So thankful God doesn’t think that way!  As it turns out, (this year at least) me and my family are said people. I had forgotten some folks feel like that! I guess I was too focused on what this precious time with my family means to me. In recent years, my sister and I have taken turns  tearing up I-16 to get to each other. There are just moments when we know it is time. Leading praise and worship at her church is big part of who she is; I wanted to share that with her this holiday. Judgments be damned! ( I think Jesus is okay with me saying that -btw).

This did, however,  make me think of a spiritual practice I have.

When I notice a behavior that is hurtful or offensive, instead of becoming paralyzed (depressed or angry) by the pain of it, I allow myself to consider if I harbor any of that in my own spirit.  In this case, I started thinking about judgement.  What do I assume about others with limited information? How do I let my own issues seep into my views of others? How have I painted people with a broad stroke?

This is a powerful but difficult thing to do. To really sit with yourself. To consider your judgments without judgment.

So I acknowledged my issues and released them… almost immediately. I’ll continue to do this over and over.  It is a ‘working’ practice.

I love road trips with my kids. I am less distracted. We have great talks. This trip we talked about the resurrection; about rebirth and renewal in our own lives. We talked about Judas. We decided that despite his extreme slimy-ness, his role was critical to Jesus’ mission.

My take on the Easter basket this year.  A small shopping basket with road trip goodies for the kids.

My take on the Easter basket this year. A small shopping basket with road trip goodies for the kids.

So off to church we went. For me it was like riding a bike.  I knew the songs and fit right in with my sister and her praise team (or at least I like to think so- lol).  My kids are not as used to the ‘pew squats’ as Malik put it and we fumbled the offering… putting our donation in the benevolent offering. Oops. But the congregation was gracious and quite kind.

My lovely sister and Pastor McClendon.

My lovely sister and Pastor McClendon.

And like any good southern Easter service, there were tons of pictures taken.

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Every outfit thrifted… total cost: less than twenty smackers!

I think we put together nicely… what do you think?

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