A pictoral reminder of something that we are suppose to want to remember, right?!
A reminder to “focus” on the “task at hand”.
So I’m linking up for 7 quick takes over at “This Ain’t the Lyceum”.
So this blog post is just a “quick 7 takes” about the Signs of Lent in our home!
I got to tell you that few things make me happier than a great “tip”. So you can imagine my joy when my girlfriend told me about this awesome dry erase calendar at Pottery Barn Teen. We have been using it in our school room religiously. (For those of you wondering….the colorful book tags are bible verses that we are memorizing this year.) However, when I found these awesome calendar tags for Lent over at Shower of Roses…it was a perfect combination to an already great set up!
I also used her cool printouts to decorate the kid’s area for Lent.
2.) Visual Kid-friendly Reminders
If you want your kids to take responsibility for their Lenten sacrifices and really make the “most” of this period in the church, it’s important to have an area of your home that reflects this. Every year we use our door to the basement to hang the children’s personal Lenten calendars. It’s a countdown of the 40 days which they color as they “count down”. We also sit down with each child, and write down what they are giving up or adding to their day. The little ones, 5 and under, we let give up something different each week.
This year we had one of our children give up their bed for all of Lent; another take up a 30 min. bible devotion at night; and another pick a week of doing good deeds for her siblings. We are always impressed with how they really “dig in” this Lent. On Sundays, we review their week with them.
3.) Family Lenten Devotions
During Lent, we also pick family devotions to help our family grow closer to Christ. Each day highlights a specific action or form of worship/prayer that we will take part in as a family. Listed above is our breakdown for the week.
4.) Simplicity of the home
All year, our house is adorned in various decorations. This simple table reminds the kids of the simplicity of this time of year…..preparation. Our Lenten decorations are simple, so as to be a stark contrast to the colorful flowers and bright Easter decorations.
The children love the ever- changing mantel and seeing what holidays are coming up next. During Lent, our mantle is pretty bare and it focuses on the simplicity of the season.
5.) Reduction of electronic usage
I have a love affair with TV. I love to watch various shows. I’m a Cold Case, every single CSI show and episode, and Law and Order junkie. I try and speed through the commercials so I can squeeze two shows into my one hour of “mommy time” in the afternoon. It’s ridiculous. However, I hate what it does to my children. It turns them from super loving to easily annoyed; focused and attentive to little zombies; and it drives me insane! So our TV time is GONE on Mondays during Lent. It’s tough….but we are doing great!
6.) Increased-one-on one time/ Family Togetherness!
In the picture above, the fashionista and I are working on a crossword puzzle. I had saved several of these puzzles for a “rainy day” but realized that it was just something else that we never get to. This season we are trying to spend more time pulling out the board games, and the Uno cards.
The hubs and I have also found that when the children are focused on “denying” themselves during Lent, that it creates a more loving atmosphere in the home. There are a lot more hugs being given out and playful banter.
Along with the board games, the hubs can’t resist the little voices that beckon him to color! With a dad that travels for work, these children soak up their time with him when he is home.
7.) Almsgiving: Random Acts of Kindness
I started a project called Touched By His Light where I practice random acts of kindness in the name of my Catholic faith. My beautiful sister in law laminated some of my cards and gave them to me as a birthday present. Talk about “knowing me”. (I love sentimental gifts.) I pass out these cards ,when I do an act of kindness, so people understand that my loving gesture is really just allowing God to bless them through using me. My intention is that these recipients will begin to see God’s presence in their life. So many beautiful people and families have benefited from this project.
There are signs all around us during this season. Making use of them in our lives will eventually lead to change. My prayer is that we all can embrace this change and allow the Lord to do a mighty work within us.