Chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, baskets of fake grass, and jellybeans galore...these are all signs that Easter is fast approaching. The beautiful pastel dresses and tiny sweater vests in the department store tug at my heartstrings as I remember all the fuss over sewing Easter dresses for my daughter and dressing my boys in short pants and newsboy hats. I LOVE making this day memorable...the special clothes, the Easter service, the symbolic table settings, fancy desserts...EVERYTHING! With all the hubbub though, it's no wonder that the true message of Easter can get lost, especially for children.
I couldn't resist the opportunity to share a couple pictures of my boys wearing their short pants and newsboy hats...
Anyway...a few years ago, Max, my oldest son who was eight at the time, asked me a question that I'm embarrassed to say I never really thought about prior to his inquiry. He said, "Mom, what do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter?" We were at the shop when he asked...I was making our sweet little bunny cordial cherries...and his question caused me to pause for a moment. After, thinking for a bit, and having done no Googling or other investigation, I responded with, "Nothing, I suppose." In typical Max fashion, there was most certainly a follow-up question...which I knew was coming and for which I had no good answer. "Well, why do we have bunnies and eggs at Easter then?" he asked. I was stumped...I should know this...but I didn't. And, what bothered me most is that I was preparing and selling chocolate cordial cherry bunnies and eggs and therefore perpetuating this holiday tradition for which I had no idea why.
I have since investigated the answers to Max's questions and it turns out that bunnies and eggs in fact have nothing to do with Easter. And, while chocolate bunnies and eggs are a fun a tasty tradition, they do little to help children reflect on the Easter story. I decided that year to design a collection of cordial cherries that would tell the Easter story...I call it our "He is Risen" collection.
The He is Risen collection includes four cordial cherry pieces...
~ The Crown of Thorns ~ Matthew 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they placed it on His head.
~ The Cross ~ Mathew 27:37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
~ The Tomb with Stone Rolled Away ~ Mathew 27:2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
Matthew 27:5 and 6 ~ The Angel ~ The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
The interview from the evening...
Do you ever feel like you're being led to help someone but you're not sure where to go or where to start? And then God, in His mysterious ways, prepares the path that He's carefully designed to satisfy the desire He placed in your heart. That's exactly how I felt a year ago...little did I know that donating chocolates to a fund raising event (which I had done countless times before) would result in me serving as a mentor to teen moms.
I was a teen mom...I remember the feeling of hopelessness and fear. I remember the uncertainty of my future and my daughter's future. And, looking back, if it weren't for mentors in my life at the time and the peace that only God's love can bring, my life and my daughter's life would have taken a very different road. Feeling thankful every day for the bounty of blessings God has given my family, I had been looking for an opportunity to serve as a mentor for a young mom going through the same things I experienced.
In the Spring of 2016, I was approached by a few representatives of Youth for Christ...an organization that seeks to establish Christian youth groups in public schools. They asked me to provide chocolates for their fund raiser, an event called "See the Story." As the evening progressed, I was moved to tears several times as youth and volunteers stood up to share their stories. Toward the end of the night, Carey Oswald (Director of Parent Life a subgroup of Youth for Christ) shared the story of one of the teen moms she had been working with, and in that moment I knew why I had been led here...I knew what I was supposed to do. I messaged the organizers and asked how to get involved.
Long story short...this past year, I've been spending every Wednesday evening getting to know some amazing moms and their beautiful babies. These moms have faced trials that most of us only hear about on the news...they get up every day and make a decision to be a loving mom in spite of the struggles they face. They're wise enough to seek the guidance of mentors and the sense of family that Parent Life brings. I'm so proud of each of them and they inspire me every week.
If you'd like to come and hear a little of my story and the story of one of our teen moms, you're invited to attend the See the Story event on Sunday, March 5th at the Embassy Suites in LaVista. The evening starts with food and fellowship at 5:30 and The Cordial Cherry will be serving desserts to close out the night. I promise it will be a memorable evening. To reserve your completely FREE tickets or to get more information on how to get involved...
This year we'll be partnering with Lucky Bucket to help them introduce their new Summer beer...Flip Flop, a refreshing strawberry blonde ale that pairs perfectly with our sweet cordial cherries.
Cherries soaked in Lucky Bucket's Flip Flop, coated in sweet, syrupy liquid, and then enrobed in rich dark chocolate...
Join us this Saturday from 2 to 3! Tickets can be purchased at Benson Beer Fest!