Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Shoes

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."

"What for?"

"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.


Amy said...

That is a great story, Beth. Those are the traditions that matter so much, and give you the chance to share about your grandparents who have been the roots of your family's faith. Thanks for the sweet story!ba

Helen said...

That really is lovely Beth.

sherri said...

Why didn't I think of SHOES for baskets!

This was a beautiful story and tradition- that would make your grandparents proud!

It brought tears to my eyes, and I don't even know you people!

Sweet, sweet.

veri word: perit

"I need some shoes for the kid's easter baskets. I think I saw a perit PAYLESS on sale."

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

What a great story. And I can't tell you how grateful I am that "Easter Shoes" is not a song to the tune of "Christmas Shoes." (Now it's in your head, right? You're welcome.)

Also, I think I'm gonna grab everyone's shoes, buy some Rotel, and start a new tradition. Sherri, you in?

(You must not have any southern connections! I had never heard of Rotel dip either till I moved to GA.)

WV: descant.
It's some kind of sign for your music ministry.

Lisa Joy said...

Believe it or not, I've never heard that story and I've been a part of the Oglesbee family for 10 years now! What a good way to make the consumeristic side of Easter more meaningful! I've been looking for a way to allow Ian to have some Easter "treats" without making Easter all about getting stuff. I'm going to talk to Eric about us doing this. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

sherri said...

I don't know Steph-...Eating Rotel from a shoe is a bit different than eating the Easter candy individually wrapped!

vw: moryins

"The moryins keep talking about the Rotel, the more I want to try it!"

Larry Swank said...

That is such an awesome story! I love little traditions like that, and I wish my family had more of them. That's just so cool.

See you on Saturday!

Stacey said...

Sweet, sweet post. I love how you can see the reflection of your Grandparents in your own life today. Love the tradition!

katdish said...

Oh, that's a great story, Beth. Pretty shocked that any of your relatives are quirky, though (cough, cough!)

I would have loved the candy in the shoe tradition, cuz I have big feet - more space to fill. And as Hucklebuck would say, "I'd be all up in that!"

wv: acrompy - acronym for acronym

Rachael Phillips said...

Actually, my parents and three siblings (including a new baby) and I (all under age 7)were living in two rooms in the back of a church at the time. I thought the shoe thing was just part of the fun! (Mama probably didn't, as the bathroom was at the front of the sanctuary.)

Yes, we did the Easter shoe thing for a long time, didn't we, sweetie? Poor Frank still hasn't recovered from our family.

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Crystal Laine said...

I love this! What a fun tradition, so unique and precious.

And I love your mom and her stories--she obviously had a mama who passed on great storytelling to daughter and granddaughter, too!