Wednesday, February 25, 2015


  Lent for me hasn't been something I focus on that much. Lent, in fact, can be kind of dark, or sad. Advent (roughly the month before Christmas), on the other hand, I have tons of focus for and we work on a lot - it is full of happy.  Our church's Sunday School provided resources for celebrating Advent at home, which was nice, but not too necessary as we were all set for how to celebrate Advent.  The Lenten resources have been a good surprise for me.  Both in scope and in tone.  They are very positive and focused on things like helping others, which I'm all for.  Here is what we're doing:

Together - 
1) Short reading from a Lenten activity book together -- It is really about a paragraph and every few paragraphs there is a seek-in-find puzzle with things we've been reading about.
2) Rice Bowl Prayer (from the side of the rice bowl) for those not familiar this is the 40th year of the CRS Rice Bowl Program to collect food for the impoverished during Lent -- they have an ap, facebook, utube, twitter and every concievable modern tool out there, which amazed me, but is awesome. 

M - her teacher has a daily prayer suggestion (our country, parents, friends, etc...) followed by instructions to go count something specific (cars, fingers, door knobs, etc...) and put that many coins in the Rice Bowl.  She loves it.  M & I also sing a special Lenten song her class is learning complete with arm motions.

B - B has a quick one page reading every day in his 40 windows for Lent booklet. Some days the reading includes a word puzzle or something to do.  B also made this little basket in class that has sticks in it that each list a way to help out at home or school.  He draws one stick per day and does that thing.  Many of them are things he would be doing anyway, but it is a good reminder.  He also adds money to his Rice Bowl, but in a more ad hoc way than M's counting plan. 

These are about 1/10 of the number of things we could be doing based on the amount of resources provided.  Each of the several booklets provided has daily readings (as does the flyer that comes with the Rice Bowl).  The school provided a list of 40 things to do during the 40 days of lent that vary widely, but are on the general theme of preparing for Easter, helping the poor, and learning more about God and the church. They were also provided this Lenten calendar for children, among other things in a big packet sent the weekend before Ash Wednesday. Some of those we may do, but we're trying to find a balance between making Lent present in our every day and it being too much for the kids. 

It has been enormously helpful to have them provide all these resources and is definitely connecting me and the kids to Lent in a positive, daily way we haven't been before.  I am amazed how much more there is to Sunday school and the curriculum both at school and at home and glad to be in a place that is supporting the kids and our family so much.  

PS - did you know there are Lent aps? Here is a list of six popular ones.  My how times have changed!

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