Thinking about Easter got me all nostalgic this weekend, remembering Easter pasts. We’ve all probably had the good, the bad, and the ugly Easter mornings. The pressure to look picture-perfect by 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning with two, three or more babies in tow can drive a momma to lose her religion before the first note of the Hallelujah Chorus is sung.
Now my daddy’s mother – Honey, we called her – had her own method of getting her 4 children to church looking clean & pressed. She had only 1 girl, so you know what that means – she had 3 boys to try and get dressed and out the door before one got in a mud hole or another spilled grape jelly on his shirt.
Honey would start by lining up four chairs in a row. No, her children didn’t get dressed and sit in the chairs – that would produce enough wrinkles to make people think her boys slept in their Sunday clothes on Saturday night. Instead she would get one son dressed and then make him stand up and hold onto the back of the chair, thus guaranteeing a clean, crisp look. Then she would get the second son dressed, and he’d be positioned at the back of his chair. By the time she got the third son dressed and gripping his chair I’m betting my Aunt Nan was ready to go (she is a female after all), no need for the fourth chair. And that’s how Honey would get her family off to church, picture postcard ready.
Pop, age 13 or so (1952?) – Anniston, AL
And let me assure you, from what I hear, you DID NOT let go of your chair because you DID NOT want what was coming from Honey if you did (she was a good old fashioned southern momma after all – the kind you did not mess with).
So there’s my southern momma tip for all of you with a bunch of kids running around. Maybe one of you will actually try it Easter morning, because as many of you know Easter is a big deal in the South. We buy colorful dresses and khaki pants, new dress shoes (unless you are from Montgomery, then you just don’t wear any shoes at all) and bright ties. We break out the seersucker suits and white strappy heels, and fuss over the perfect hair bow that will match the right shade of white in a dress (Ecru? Off-white? Beige? White-white? Organza or silk?).
And off we go to Easter service, feeling extremely satisfied with the overall appearance of our family. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best on Easter, unless it causes you to launch into an all out competition with your “friends” over whose family will look the most precious in the pictures you’re gonna post on Facebook…
And you may look like you belong on the cover of Southern Living, but just remember this: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
As we get all gussied-up on the outside, let us remember to do the same on the inside. That’s where true beauty lies.
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