Faint Not Mom

Be Encouraged. Be Creative. Be Yourself.

This is a blog by Joanna Appel about living a life of faith as a mother and an artist. Following Jesus in the midst of crazy, messy, life is hard.  We all need people to come alongside us, to inspire and encourage us.  Faint Not, World!  You are not alone!

7 Lessons I Learned From Holy Week With Toddlers

This year, I really wanted my boys to get a glimpse of the real meaning of Easter. I recently wrote a post about seven things to do with your toddlers for Holy Week and I invited you to join in with me and my family! Here I am going to reflect on these activities and how this Easter challenge went for us...

I sit here in the dark, battling with the internet while God parts the Red Sea. My family is asleep after a looooong day of Easter festivities and I am watching the Ten Commandments on TV. Tom was up at 5 am to get ready to be at church for the delivery of a bouncy castle, organize the parking lot team and get youth ready to share testimonies and be baptized at three different services. I made Easter signs, got the boys up and ready for church and off we went at the leisurely hour of 8 am. 

It was a celebration day at church. There were food trucks, balloons, live music in the cafe—a general hullaballoo! Easter really is celebrating the greatest moment in the history of EVERYTHING! The God of the universe reconciling all mankind to Himself through a glorious victory over death! Oh, HAPPY DAY INDEED!

After church, we came home and the boys took their nap. Two of my sisters and their families came over for a wonderful Easter meal. There were eleven adults around my dining room table! It is always so festive when you gather people around you for holidays. Tom and I spent our first three Christmases as a married couple in England, without any family around. Things just didn't feel normal without the large family chaos! 

As I reflect on this past week and the seven things we have done with our boys to grow their awareness of Jesus, I wanted to share seven things that I have taken away from this experience:

1. We learned at least three songs this week that I did not intend, but It just happened. I was singing these songs all the time because they were on my heart and the boys picked up on it. THEY DON'T MISS ANYTHING!

2. The scripture took a lot less time to learn that I thought. They had it down by the third day, really. So fast! Maybe next time I will do a longer verse!

3. Reading to them during meals was really helpful. They were a captive audience and that is not an easy thing to find amongst one and two year olds. I think I will continue this habit with Bible stories!

4. The prayer time was a bust. I think I did it at the wrong time of day, or I wasn't prepared enough, but it quickly deteriorated into a wrestling match (see pic below), which was ok, because in reality, they are two and one year old boys. I can allow them to act their age! And sometimes, the things we want to do don't work out. It's ok to go with the flow!

This is what our "Prayer Time" looked like...

5. Washing their feet and taking communion was an easy thing to do if we made it happen as a part of our natural rhythm. When we started our dinner time with communion, it naturally flowed into the meal. It was great to be able to continue the conversation with that captive audience that I mentioned earlier!

6. Acting out the stories was really helpful in getting them to remember and understand the story. The only problem for us was having enough adults around to play all the parts and keep them focused on what they were doing. 

7. All of the activities were worthwhile! I love that the boys know more scripture. I love that they know more songs that worship Jesus. I love that they know that Jesus died on the cross because He loves them AND that He rose again after three days. I love that I didn't kill my Easter lily! I love that we dyed eggs and hid them. I love that we ate waaaaay too much chocolate. I also love that my boys have no idea that a bunny hops around this holiday. Not that I think the Easter Bunny is evil or anything, it is just that we were so busy talking about Jesus that he didn't even come up, and that is how it should be at Easter, right?

I hope that you enjoyed your own festivities and that you and your families were able to experience the love of Jesus in a new way! Did you try any of these activities? How did they go for you? Did you keep your Easter lily alive?

To find out more about what we did each day for Holy Week, Click on each day below for the blog post:

The Appels' Holy Week Plan 

7 Things To Do with Your Toddlers to Celebrate Holy Week

Palm Sunday - Buy Easter Lily, Act out Palm Sunday, Pray at 3:16pm

Monday - Pray, Introduce New Scripture: 1 John 3:16a

Tuesday - Pray, Scripture, Introduce New Song: One Way

Wednesday - Pray, Scripture and Song, Dye Easter Eggs

Maundy Thursday - Pray, Scripture and Song, Wash Feet

Good Friday - Pray, Scripture and Song, Take Communion