My favorite holiday is just around the corner. How could your favorite season be so saddening, yet absolutely complete, you might be wondering? Good Friday and Easter, though, have a beauty all its own.
When I was a young girl, our Amish youth group would go Easter caroling early in the morning. Long before the first crack of dawn, a team of workhorses was hitched to an open wagon, hauling our youth group. Going to each church family’s home, they would stand outside the window and softly sing songs of Jesus’ death and resurrection. As an adult, I can still feel the quiet, sereneness of Easter morning when I peek out the window, watching the youth, all huddled together, dressed warm enough for the open ride as they make their way from home to home.
As soon as Dad would hear them coming down the road toward our house, he would quickly wake us children so we wouldn’t miss out on this very special annual tradition. As they sang at our home, I recall my dad wiping away tears. It didn’t mind it, yet I couldn’t identify; 20 years later I understand more of what he may have felt.
Years have a way of shedding a different light on almost anything. You know how life has a way of bringing with it curve balls we never asked for or even expected. You could fill in the blanks on what areas of your life have been the roughest spots for you. I’ve had times l felt like I didn’t have a thing to go to. It felt that if I would even give it all to Jesus, it really wouldn’t make much difference.
One Summer evening as I sat on the porch swing rocking a baby I told God that I just long for some sort of assurance that He was still there for me. Part of me felt ashamed even to tell Him that, yet I decided to be real with what I was feeling. Believe it or not only a couple days later I received a card on the mail from Dora, a dear reader in Sidney Ohio, stating that she felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to send me a note of encouragement. The words in the card were exactly what I needed. I don’t expect God to always answer in that way, yet I praise Him for showing his provision on this occasion. Yes, we all have difficult times. Thank you to you readers who have been a rich blessing in our lives!
Through the thick of things, Daniel and I have developed a standby statement. When disaster strikes, to a greater or lesser degree, we just look at each other and say, “Well, our answer is still the same.” We both know what the other is thinking without finishing it. What is your answer? What could possibly stay the same through all the torrents of changes and heartaches that strikes at one point or another of life? The answer Daniel and I both fall back on, is Jesus. Every time we get our focus on Jesus the trial at hand has a way of melting in the background, and we regain hope and clear vision once more.
Now as I think of all that my Lord has brought me through it makes sense why dad’s eyes filled with tears as he listened to those Easter songs on the stillness of those early mornings and why his voice quavered as he read chapter after chapter in our Bible storybook of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection on Easter morning.
Speaking of Easter reminds me how 4-year-old Austin recently came beaming in the house with a small wooden cross, “Mom, this is for you!” he exclaimed. Later, he said, “Mom, do you know why I gave you that cross? It is to remind you that Jesus died for us!” My mother heart melted on the spot. What would we do without these innocent little ones?
Now for the question you are about to ask, “Do the Amish celebrate Easter with eggs and bunnies?” Your answer will depend on which community you’re tackling with your question. Here, we do not; growing up as a young girl, there just has never been a connection to me between the Easter story and bunnies and eggs, not that I’m critical over others with a different perspective.
Let’s wrap up with one of our family favorites on these beautiful spring days since it’s warm enough to fire up the grill.
SPRING TIME BURGERS
1½ pound beef or venison
½ cup chopped onion
⅓ cup oatmeal
¼ cup barbecue sauce
¼ teaspoon onion salt
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
⅛ teaspoon pepper
Mix burger ingredients well and shape into patties. Mix sauce ingredients and use the sauce to baste while grilling. Cook on each side until desired done (moist and tasty). Serves six.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427