Today was Easter! It was busy and exhausting and beautiful. Beautiful because we celebrated our risen Lord. Beautiful because my son looked wonderful in his Easter bubble. Beautiful because my husband is just gorgeous. Beautiful because we gathered with family and ate fabulous food. It was exhausting because I have a one year old…and because… I don’t know about you but I try to cram an awful lot of personal details into every special occasion. I don’t think this is a bad thing. I’ve always been this way and I will likely continue to be this way. Last weekend, was also extremely busy and as I rushed about on Saturday night tending to details and making sure everything was ready and in place for an eventful Sunday, my husband looked at me from the couch and said. “I would not want to be you. It must be exhausting.” I didn’t know quite how to react but he was careful to explain that he noticed all my effort to make sure everything was “right” and he wouldn’t be able to do it. I was flattered, but I wondered if I was busying myself with the wrong focus. Last night, I found myself in the same whirlwind. Coordinating Easter outfits, packing more comfortable but still festive egg hunt outfits, preparing snacks and stuffing the diaper bag with entertainment hoping we would make it through Easter service, prepping the casserole so that it was ready to pop into the oven as we got ready for church, and, and, and… And then… we found ourselves in our seats at church this morning. The sanctuary was stuffed with worshippers. We were even almost on time! And as we sang about the cross and the payment and the blood and the atonement. As we raised our hands and thanked Him for the tomb and we lifted our voices in joy over His resurrection. In that moment, none of the details that made the “perfect” Easter Sunday took any sort of place in my heart. In that moment, there was only gratitude and acknowledgement of my Jesus and His great love for me. Me, the one lost in a sea of followers. He died for even one so small as me. And I just loved Him back in that moment. Asking for nothing and honoring the moment of unity with fellow believers as we praised the one true Prince of Peace. Happy Ressurection Day, y’all! I hope yours was lovely and filled with reminders of His great love for you.
Now, about that casserole…
I told you there were two broccoli casseroles in the line up and I was going to have a broccoli bake off. Are we done with broccoli yet??? I couldn’t help but smile as I pulled out the little card that boasted the name “Annie Huett”. This isn’t Mamaw’s recipe but her mother’s, my great grandmama. What a treasure I possess! I prepped it all on Saturday night and Billy got up and put it in the oven for me Sunday morning allowing me to sleep a few extra minutes. (xoxoxo, Billy) I have to tell you… This one is truly delicious! I loved it. I tweaked it a bit and it was oh so good! I bought broccoli cuts instead of florets last time and this time I got the florets. That along with the cream of chicken soup made a huge difference! Here ya go… I brought this cheesy side dish to Sunday lunch with my in laws. I’m pretty sure only billy and my brother in law tried it… I’m not going to dwell on that, LOL… I tried it and had two helpings and I don’t even like broccoli. It’s good! Take my word for it.
The original: (yep. Broccoli is misspelled. Precious.)
What I actually did…
Used standing mixer to combine:
2 lb package of frozen broccoli FLORETS
1 can cream of chicken soup (I hate mushrooms)
8 oz melted velveeta
2 tbsp onion flakes
Turn into baking dish, sprinkle generous amount of shredded cheddar on top, cover in crumbled ritz or townhouse crackers, bake at 350 for 35 minutes (I didn’t add the crackers until I reheated just before serving at lunch)
Oliver loves it!!! That makes my Mama heart so happy.
I wish I had an Easter story to tell about my grandparents today. The truth is though, my dad pastored, as did they, so we were usually doing separate church things. Easter is all about what Jesus did for us though and they were all about spreading that gospel through their ministry in the Church of God. So, today seems fitting to share some of their ministry with you. I don’t know how denominations keep the records that they do but I have had the program from my grandparents’ retirement celebration tucked in my Bible for YEARS. On it are the “stats” from their 45 years of official ministry. They retired in 1993 but they continued to travel and share the gospel until their death in 2000. So these numbers aren’t accurate for their whole lives but show how dedicated they were to reach the lost. I keep this paper clipped to a page in Psalms. Though it may boast of numbers and facts and display their picture on the cover, they were not proud people. They humbly shared the love of Christ and were concerned with individuals, not popularity. They mostly pastored small churches. And so, it’s only fitting that their triumphs and accomplishments for Jesus reside next to Psalm 115:1
Not to us, oh Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
This was their heart toward God. To win souls for eternity and to be a light shining His love and faithfulness to the lost and the broken. Pa’s ministry began in 1947. On October 26, 1947 Pa preached his very first sermon while on deployment in Japan (more on that later). From that day, until May 30, 1993, he won (on record) 1,733 souls to Christ. He baptized 819 believers. He also healed and delivered in Jesus’ name and boasted not of himself but of the power that was given to us all through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. So, as the day closes on another Easter celebration, I reflect on the life they lived for Him. I reflect on the life Jesus lived for us all. I thank Him for the cross and I acknowledge the sacrifice that made a way for us all! He is risen! Our Redeemer lives! Happy Easter, y’all!