Thursday, April 9, 2009
My Grandma and Grandpa Oglesbee cannot be contained or described in a simple blog post. They have been missionaries, pastors, giants of faith, a home for the homeless, worship leaders, and church planters before some of those terms even existed. But I most admire them for their deep and passionate relationships with God. I have always lived far away from them, and so have not gotten to know them as much as I want to, but they are the type of people you can sit with for an hour and have more truth spoken into your life than about anyone else I can think of. Now, they are far from "normal." I would say they are quite...quirky. Yes, I can feel the shock resonating throughout the blog world. My relatives? Quirky?
Anyway, forgive me Oglesbee clan if I tell the story wrong. But this is a special tradition that stemmed from an Easter when my mother was small...
Grandma and Grandpa were pastoring a church in Southern Indiana. They were always scraping together what they could to get by, while also raising their ever expanding little family. Easter was quickly approaching and all of the little boys and girls would be receiving treats. Grandma wanted something nice for her children and was sad that she couldn't buy treats...there just wasn't enough money for fancy Easter baskets filled with candy. She prayed to God that day, asking that he would provide a way to have treats for her children that Easter. An idea came. She remembered hearing of how the children in Holland received Christmas goodies not in stockings, but in wooden shoes. With a few pennies she bought some jelly beans and Easter grass and the night before Easter, she took her children's church shoes and filled them with the grass, candy, and pennies and set them out to be found the next morning...
I can just imagine her joy and thanksgiving to God as the kids woke up to such a fun surprise! God provided the creativity and idea to grant this little request of my Grandma to show love to her children.
My mom continued this tradition with us...from little baby shoes until I was in high heels, each year we set out our Sunday shoes and woke up Easter morning to find them full of goodies. I think we even made Frank set out his shoes the first year we were married. Try explaining that!
"Dear, I need your shoes."
"Well, instead of baskets, my family puts candy in shoes."
"Uh...isn't that kind of unsanitary?"
"Oh, it's all wrapped and in Easter grass. No one has died of botulism yet."
"Ok." (Thinking...I thought this family was weird before. What have I gotten myself into?!)
Easter seems to have become a little more complicated lately. We often don't make it to my parents house anymore because of our own church responsibilities around Easter time. But this tradition gains more and more weight in my heart these days. I am the mother wanting to give good things to my small children. I am the one trying to lead in a little Southern Indiana church, playing my piano, singing to Jesus. I am the one scraping up pennies. My grandma and I share a lot, if 50 years apart...
That thought alone really humbles me. God is so faithful. So good. He will provide when we don't know what the next week, month, or year holds. He looks for little ways to teach us to trust Him and whispers His love alongside the huge message of His Son's sacrifice and resurrection.
Today I go to the store. I will buy jelly beans and Easter grass for three precious sets of little shoes.
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