My family always observed the Lent season growing up. We always talked about giving one thing up and adding one thing to our lives in order to see Jesus in a more full way. I am so thankful for parents who taught me this discipline! When we were young it was things like pop and ice cream. We didn't have facebook, twitter, cell phones, etc....so our distractions were not like what I feel our youth (and adults) face now. I will say that a life changing Lent was 5 years ago when I gave up make-up. I had been asking the Lord what He wanted me to set aside for the Lent season in order to see Him more fully. And I was getting ready for Ash Wednesday service when He spoke. I was putting another layer of foundation on....disgruntled with how I looked in the mirror. And there was my answer....make-up. "Let me teach you how I see you". And I did it. I gave my make-up to Dave in order to hide.....it was freeing. It was hard. But it was beautiful. The next year.....I had our first baby on Ash Wednesday. And that began the journey of learning sacrifice in ways I never knew were possible. This years came really easy.....I knew what it was....but still decided to pray hoping that maybe something else would pop up. But I knew. It was television. We don't have cable....so it isn't a matter of what I was watching.....it was a matter of WHY I was watching....and then what that led me to. Complacency. Distraction. Procrastination. Laziness. Waste of time. Shutting my brain and heart down. A downward spiral for me. I knew that today would be hard....and I thought, "I should watch a show" a number of times today. But was able to ask the Lord to fill me in those moments.
But what about my family? What about my kiddos? How do you teach toddlers about Lent? I called my amazing friend Stacia yesterday to check in and talk to her about what the Lord had for her this Lent season. I asked her how she was teaching her girls....and well.....what poured out of her mouth was exactly what my heart was longing for. And I must say.....I haven't been more excited for Lent season with my family. (NOTE: All of this has been stolen from Stacia so I take no credit)
HERE IS THE BREAKDOWN:
OUR LENT CALENDAR GIVE OUT BOX
We have three parts to each day; Pray, Fast, and Give. Here is how that works:
*Each day we have a special intention that we are going to pray for in the morning at breakfast. I am hopeful this begins a great rhythm of prayer for us.
Monday- Widows and Orphans
Tuesday- Those who don't know Jesus
Wednesday- Churches and Pastors
Thursday- Our Family
Friday- Our Friends and Neighbors
Saturday- Our World and Leaders
Sunday- Thanksgiving for all we have
*We started a month ago writing down things that the girls want to pray for on 3x5 notecards. Granted, Savanah said Dorah, but you know what? I wrote her down....because it was on Savanah's heart....good to pray for kids programming too. Then each night the girls take turns picking out a card and that is what we pray for before dinner. So we will be continuing that as well. The girls love doing this! I must say this has become a fun thing for me to tell people. I will let people know that our girls mentioned them to pray for this month or I will let them know we prayed for them at dinner. I have gotten some great responses from people.
*Teaching the girls about giving something up is a little over their heads. So Stacia talked about teaching them to Give Out instead. So I got a box and the girls decorated it today. Then each day, the girls will each pick something from our pantry to give out, put it in the box, and then we will deliver the box to a food pantry at the end of the season.
*I also listed what I am giving up and what Dave is giving up
*We are going to be observing the Sabbath each Sunday too (something I have been wanting to do) Not sure how that will look for us, but we are praying about that.
*Each day the girls are going to count something in our house that is designated on the calendar. For instance, stairs, chairs, tables, lamps, bath toys, books, shoes, toilets, sinks, etc......after we count them we will give the girls a penny for however many they found. They will put the pennies in a piggy bank and then we will tithe that money to our Bible Study, BSF. Great way for them to see how incredibly blessed we are!
****At the end of each day the girls put a cross sticker on that day so we can count down to Easter.
****I also let them each pick out a sticker pack and they get that sticker after they do the counting
****I got a Scripture CD as well that puts scripture to songs. We are listening to that and hopefully going to start memorizing some scripture each week.
So this is our new rhythm. The girls are very excited and we are very excited! Intentionality feels so great!
How are you being intentional this Lent season? Would love to hear things that your family does!
Below are some long awaited photos of our paper chain revamped and our first snowman this season!