Isn't it hard to believe Lent begins in a week? It seems to me like Christmas has barely faded away, especially with all this fluffy, Christmas snow that has fallen around here lately.
For awhile now I have thought and thought of what I wanted to do with the kids for Lent. Advent has become a very nice time indeed for my family, but Lent always seems to kind of fall away mid-season until Holy Week. So what could I do to keep the momentum going? Could I take anything that works from Advent and use it during Lent?
This is what I have come up with. On paper, it looks like so much, but I think it will be very doable in real life, even for those days where I do not have much energy, which seems to happen much too regularly lately.
(I did call to see the doctor for all "this weird stuff going on" as I told him over the phone. I am not so sure it is migraine related. It is very frustrating, but I try to remind myself that it could be so much worse.)
During Advent we love the Jesse Tree so we will continue with our Jesus Tree, which I had posted about last year. I do plan on switching up how we do it as I have never liked the felt background I made, and our space is smaller at this new house. But, truly this is the simplest thing to do with the kids and it only takes a few minutes each day. Then, each year, they are learning salvation history again and again and again. I have started to see the fruit of this practice in my oldest with his Biblical knowledge.
We will have some kind of visual countdown. I will leave it up to the kids: a paper chain countdown or a calendar of sorts like this one.
The kids (and I) loved reading about Jotham every day from Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent. The author does have an Easter follow-up book, but since it is about Jotham's son, I will save this for the future after we have read through the other Advent books of his. Instead, I found the book A Family Journey with Jesus Through Lent, which uses kids of that time to tell the story. In addition to the story, it has a little thought to think about, as well as a craft and/or activity to do for the day if desired. This is my first time reading/using it, so I cannot say whether it is good or not. Flipping through it, though, it does seem promising.
During our dinners in Advent, we light the Advent Wreath, using song, prayer and candles. For Lent, I decided to grab enough candles for each Sunday in Lent (5 purple, 1 rose). Instead of lighting one the first days and adding to it, I like the idea of lighting all and slowly diminishing the light as we near Good Friday. I found prayers to use each week that seem fitting, and I will also sing a song as I proceed to light them. This past Advent, we added a song to the Advent Wreath and what a difference that simple change did. Not to mention, the kids loved it! For this Lent, I chose the chant Agnus Dei. (Check out this video for a simple "lesson" if needed.)
Finally, one last resource. Skipper chose to do a daily workbook / devotional to do during Lent from Pflaum Publishing: Totally Lent! A Child's Journey to Easter 2013. It looks "fun" and short and simple. He reads a bit - hopefully thinks on it a bit as well - and finishes a little puzzle or workbook activity.
I have some other plans for the kids, some are day specific, and hopefully I can share as we go along. Most of all, though, I pray we have a fruitful Lent, and I pray the same for you. God bless.