Egg Hunt Suggestion

My least favorite event I did as a Children’s pastor was the egg hunt. It was a stressful time for me because if I’m totally honest I didn’t see the point in doing one and having to stuff eggs was time consuming. When I started my full time job I learned that the person before me would lay out empty eggs for the kids to collect and gave them a bag of candy at the end. They also put out gold eggs as the prize eggs. Now I may not be a fan of this event but if you’re going to do one then please put a little more effort. The way I was instructed to do this event was to do this event on Palm Sunday and provide a picnic for the families afterward. It was a lot of work but it seemed to be a hit. I think the last year I was there it rained so we had to set up in the building.

I had four zones for the kids and each zone was done at a different time. This was to help families who had multiple age children. I provided a number of tickets inside each zone for a child to win a prize and then we provided a large family prize after the picnic. I made sure to have child appropriate items for each age group. Once the kids collected the eggs they were encourage to go to the gym to open their eggs and return the empty eggs to bins. This is how we kept the cost down and not having to buy more eggs. This is also how they figured out if they had a ticket or not. I would provide some of the food using the Children’s ministry budget but we often opened up for the members of the church to bring a dish. I believe we provided hamburgers and hot dogs for the event.

My last event I did was in the Spring of 2017 so it’s been awhile. I was able to take my kids to the same church for this years Easter event. Now they do it completely differently and I honestly wish I would of thought of this way. It was no longer an egg hunt but a candy scramble. They had three zones and they gave out bags with the church name on it. Inside the bag they provided an empty egg with a cross on it and a egg with some candy inside it. The way they handle giving out prizes was they put a special candy bar/item in the bag. If you found one then you got to chose from the prize table. They no longer provided lunch but gave out chips/pretzels and a slice of cake. They had craft tables set up and someone in a bunny outfit. Now the person who took over is or/and was part time. I had to put my oldest by his age group which was next to the younger zone but I stood with my two younger boys. Once they gave the green light the kids got to pick up candy. As I walked behind my younger two I pointed out candy for them to pick up. This reminded me of the one thing that I did when I was in charge that I wish that any group who put together this event would take into consideration.

Certain candy is NOT age appropriate. I watched my younger two put bubble gum, lemon heads, taffy items, and hard tack candy in their bucket. Most of the items they collected they could not eat and to me that is kind of disappointing to a kid. Now my kids don’t really eat a lot of candy mostly because they forget we have it in the house once they go to bed. I’m not going to remind them so usually it will sit in the cabinet for a bit and then it get thrown away. When I put these events together I would only put chocolate and single serve gummies in those eggs. I wanted to make sure that the kids effort was not done in vain. I recommend when putting those containers together don’t put the candy the younger kids can’t eat.

What was the best Easter event you attended?
What kind of egg hunt have you experience in the past?
What suggestion do you have for someone who is putting together this event?

Tithing

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If you have spent a good amount of time in a church you know what tithing means. I started to attend church when I was 16 but my life change when I was 17. When I began to work I have always tithed 10% of my income. I did this for years because that is what I was taught since I began attending church. I have always felt that the reason why finances was never really an issue on some level is because I honored God by giving him 10%. I personally struggled with giving outside of the 10% but that is a different topic for a different day. I could give you multiples examples of how I felt God provided for my family over the years especially in our finances. I would even put our tithe money in an account during the few times we did not attend church.

If you have been apart of the church for an extended time you have heard the stories of people who finally started too tithe and how things changed for them. I have also heard of extreme stories of people giving everything to the church only to lose everything but that isn’t what I’m talking about with tithing. In 2017 is when my husband decided he was no longer going to tithe his income and I personally felt that ever since that choice was made we have struggled in many different areas when it comes to finances. Now he has some pretty strong feeling about this but I can’t share where he stands in this blog. He is the primary provider I am not in a place to continue to tithe. Truth be told we are not in a place that we can afford it which is hard for me to say.

Now I have failed to do my own research on the topic because I was told that tithing isn’t for today – it was a practice that was in place in the Old Testament time and if you really do your own reading you will see that the New Testament doesn’t really talk about tithing. When Jesus talks about tithing in the New Testament he is addressing the heart of those who is giving. Now this is what I was told and I lack the discipline to do my own study. I did buy a book called “Why Christians Should Not Tithe” and started to read it a few years back but didn’t get too far in the reading. I am a big believer you should read why you should and shouldn’t do stuff. I found that the longer you are in the church the easier it is to assume something you hear over and over again is in the bible. The denomination I was associated with always talked about the Rapture but it wasn’t until I was in college when I found out the word is not actually in the bible. There were a few other things over the years that took me by surprise when I realized it was just things that was said and not actually biblical.

Now I say all this because I still feel the same way I do from earlier in my life. I wonder if we would begin too tithe again if we would see the blessing that we have seen over the years. I know God has provided throughout the last few years but I wonder if it would be different if we honor God and gave him 10%. I am tired of our current financial situation and my husband is doing everything he can to make more money. He is sacrificing his time to try to provide for his family and all we want is to get out of the crushing debt so we can move forward in life. We even talked about how if we got out debt he might take a lower paying job because he wants to just be in a place were he isn’t stressing so much over providing for our family. I am currently not in a place where I can bring in money unless I sacrifice sleep and that is hard to come by in general.

I know someone who is married to someone who doesn’t see the value in tithing. I believe they both work and the agreement is the one can tithe on their income and the other does not. Then I think they may agree on a certain amount that can be given to the church. The person who wants to tithe has been in the church their whole life. One more thing about tithing – I know this is how churches survive without it most churches would not be running. If we are doing tithing wrong what does that mean for the church?

Forgiveness

I learned the other day you can share a quote from a book you are reading on the kindle app. I really want to finish a book that I have been “reading” for the last six to nine months. I have three chapters left but I found this quote that was used as the introduction to one of the chapters. It really hit home because I struggle with this very concept. I have been told on multiple occasions by a handful of people. I need to pray for those who have hurt me – especially the one person who betrayed our friendship/relationship. I have been hurt a lot throughout my life and I unfortunately I have hurt other people. I feel there is a different between hurting someone on purpose and hurting people due to lack of thinking about how your choices will affect other people.

I have been accused over the years of doing things to deliberately to hurt people but I have found those who have said/hinted those feeling typically were the type of person to do things to hurt on purpose. I believe the saying is “Hurt People Hurt People” and I found this to be a true statement. I have failed for many years to realize how my choices affect other people. I think a lot of times I never stopped long enough to think out what could happen or how something may be interpreted. I write this feeling a way that I’m not sure how to put in words. It kind of reminds me of when I have said something and had no idea I said it. How can someone say words and have no memory of saying those words? I got into trouble as a child because I told my brother I would kill him if he got me wet. I don’t remember saying those words. I was grabbed by my stepmother and taken upstairs to stand outside the bathroom door and was told to tell my father what I said. I remember standing there so dumbfounded because I had no idea what I said. I get that is not something anyone should say even as a joke but I honestly have no memories of saying those words. Then later in life a group of us were reading a bunch of question about being married and one of the question said what is one thing your spouse says all the time. My husband informed me I said “Let’s face it.” I was really confused because I never heard myself say those words then it wasn’t to long afterward I started to realize I did say it.

I know on some level I have been a self-centered person and I believe a big reasons I perceived myself this way was because I never felt anyone would do things for me. If no one was going to look out for me even when I was a young child I would have to do it myself. I regret a lot of things I have done over the years but I also know a big part of why I made the choices I made was due to lack of discipline and leading. How does a child learn that stealing is wrong? They are taught by adults – especially when they have done it once or twice. Who teaches you how to be a good friend? Typically you learn this the hard way by having friends, right? I think if I really go down deep I learned at a young age and continued to learn that people were not safe. I had people in my elementary years who I considered to be my friends but I was often the one who was “pushed” out of the group. I know now that I was different from other people and due to that people treated me differently. Kids thought something was wrong with me but I had a lisp (didn’t learn about that until I was in my junior year of high school – story for another day). I wasn’t delayed I just couldn’t hear because I failed to wear my hearing aids. My lisp has gotten better over the year – especially after I got my braces on and they widen my mouth.

I’m not making excuses for the way I acted in multiple situations. I just need to figure out how to process it and move forward. I need to figure out how to let go of the pain I hold deeply and can’t seem to let go no matter how hard I try. I need to begin the process of praying for those who have hurt me and for those who continue to hurt on some level. I need to ask for knowledge of those I have hurt over the years. I have realized years later that my choices in certain things were hurtful and I should apologize. I have done that a few times over the years – I also have apologize to people who I thought I did wrong but really it was me taking the blame.

Who do you need to forgive?
How could you get yourself to begin to pray for them?
What would be the downsize of praying for that person?

I know for me it seems the handful of times I have started to pray for that one person they appear again in ways that are out of my control. I think on some level if I knew if I prayed for them and never had to know anything about them I would be more on board. I don’t wish the person ill or anything to happen to them. I just don’t want to know anything about them, nor do I want them to know anything about my life. Then again making a public blog and thinking about doing a vlog kind of make that point useless. Anyway – I want to get to a point of true forgiveness and if that means praying for the person then I need to take that step.

Faith/Belief

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Faith and Belief have a different meaning for many people. Everyone have a story on how they view those two words it could be a positive, negative, or a neutral feeling. Typically when we talk about having faith and believing in something we are talking about some form of religion. Depending on your view and experience we could talk for hours about this topic but my goal is not to debate with anyone but to share my journey.

I grew up in a Christian home and unfortunately I can’t just say that and move on because this has different meaning to people. I could be wrong but if I said I grew up in a Catholic home or a Jewish home or a Mormon home most people would understand what that’s means. Saying I grew up in a Christian home leaves it too broad. I spent the first half of my childhood in my grandmothers house and she was my primary caregiver due to my mothers work schedule. We would go to church often but I couldn’t tell you what denomination of the church we attended from the top of my head. I do know it was called Church of God and after a google search they are considered Holiness Pentecostal Christian Denomination. I honestly do not know what that actually means but that was the type of church I attended until I was teenager.

I spent seventeen years of my life attending a different denomination and now I am not faithfully attending any denomination due to moving, covid, and the chaos of life. I on some level had a crisis of faith about three years ago and haven’t taken the time to figure it out. I still believe in a God and I still believe he sent his son to die on the cross for us. Despite the way I have been living my life in the sense of not attending church I still believe that I need to have a daily relationship with God and need to be giving my time. I do believe we don’t have it right no matter what denomination are available. It’s a journey and I’m trying to figure out my journey and what that looks like at this time. I still hold strongly to a lot of core beliefs but it’s time to stop dragging my feet and begin to figure it out.

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