At 12: 03 a.m., I pulled into the closest parking spot I could find.

It’s a store I go out of my way not to visit during normal business hours, and for such a bizarre time of night, it was curiously packed.

I grabbed a lone buggy near the cart corral, cursing Amazon under my breath and simultaneously feeling awash with shame for said cursing.

It’s the first few minutes of Easter morning, for goodness sakes. And this – a few missing items from the kids’ secular baskets – is like the most first world of all first world problems.

After I’d finished sleepwalking the aisles of Walmart and one other store (why is Moana sold out everywhere?), I was home, the guard dog darlings greeting me with nary a break from their snore chorus.

With the carrot cake Hershey Kisses arranged and the baskets made, I zombie mom passed out right beside them.

Victorious yawn, the baskets went over well this morning.

Greater still, we managed to inhale breakfast, put on our Easter best and leave the house just in time for the 10 o’clock service.

And arrive just in time we did.

For the benediction. A cool 51 minutes late for the 9 o’clock and as a kindly usher pointed out to me, mighty early for the 11 o’clock.

Thinking back to the spoonful of Smart Balance and swig of coffee I’d downed as “breakfast,” I chose to ignore my rising hangry pangs and took the crew out for pictures instead.

We’re a reasonably photogenic four, but this morning? Yowzers.

The outtakes from that effort are epic. Not at all what I imagine William M. James had in mind when he wrote “Easter People, Raise Your Voices.”

Then I did THE THING. That “geez mom!” thing I said I would never, ever do, and will hence forth file under things I said I’d never, ever do, liar liar pants on fire edition.

(Hypothetically speaking, if you notice a sticky wad of waffle syrup on your son’s chin moments before you’re to have a family picture taken, let it be. Seriously. Aunt Jemima for the win. Clean faces are overrated.)

So back to worship we went, this time securing front row seats thanks to my tardy/early hat trick.

I could feel my half glass full spirit starting to wane, and sat down in a big ole heap of mom fail.

While the service did much to clear my head, what promptly brought me back to center was the tiny, earnest voice of my seven year old, singing beside me these words:

“Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe,

Sin had left a crimson stain;

He washed it white as snow.”

In that moment, I squeezed her little hand through joyful, cathartic tears.

The tomb is empty. Thank you Jesus!