Our long weekend started on Thursday, when we visited our friends out in the desert where they were camping.
And yes, it does look a lot like Mordor from Lord of the Rings.
I often break out into the overture from the movies as we drive through our country. It's like I can practically hear the footsteps of the Orcs echoing over the barren landscape.
And yes, I just talked about the Lord of the Rings. I'm a dork.
It was hot, hot, HOT, that day, about 104 outside! I think this summer is going to be a scorcher for sure.
On Friday, we pulled out Grace's birthday present from us, her pool, and filled it up outside of our apartment.
She had a great time splashing around and loved it when her Da Da joined her. She really likes being around other kids though, so she got bored with us and her toys pretty quickly. And even though it was over 100 degrees, she was cold. What can I say? She's a desert baby!
Easter morning we woke up EARLY for a sunrise service out in the desert. Somehow, in my 25 years of life I don't think I have ever been to a sunrise service! Grace was disoriented and tired but quickly perked up when she saw all of the other people to entertain.
The sunrise was beautiful and the fellowship with other believers was really special.
We went back home and got a nap in before we had a wardrobe change and headed to the traditional Easter lunch. My parents had sent a beautiful Easter dress for Grace, and though it was a tad big, she looked adorable in her blue smocked dress!
We had ham for lunch! I know, probably not too exciting for you, but for us living in a Muslim country, pork products are a rare treat and a reminder of traditions from home. Grace thought it was lip smackingly good!
We returned home for another nap before heading out for our evening Easter activity- a bar b que with some other friends! They had a pull out for all of the little girls (6 under 6!) and Grace had a blast swimming in the pool while I socialized and Ian grilled chicken. A four year old taught Grace how to put her face in the water and blow bubbles and it was so cute how proud of herself she was!
She's really comfortable in the water and I LOVE it! As a former competitive swimmer and Florida beach girl, I'd love for my children to love and appreciate the water like I do.
We had a wonderful buffet full of food and enjoyed good conversation and food late into the evening!
As I reflected on the meaning of Easter, and as I tried to convey to my local friends in Arabic what this holiday meant, the lyrics from the song "How Deep The Father's Love for Us," kept coming to my mind. I love Nichole Nordeman's version of the song on the cd Sing Over Me: Worship Songs & Lullabies
I'd love for you to be able to listen to this beautiful song as you read these lyrics and for you to know that my heart bursts with joy and peace when I get to the final verse:
How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom