Thursday, May 28, 2015

Preparing For Our Lenten Journey-2014

March 2, 2013
Lent is quickly approaching! I have been busy gathering and preparing a few meaningful things to use with my children to help them better understand this season. I am trying to turn their focus to Lent first and then the celebration of Easter. Their little minds (my younger girls) always want to fly ahead to Easter and all things chocolate! My goal is to engage them in all things Our Savior. Just like in my homeschooling, I find I refocus and learn new things along my journey to find ways to engage them.

We will again use our Crown of Thorns wreath and the beautiful Stations of the Cross that Emily made last year, as well as the other resources from last Lent, and Holy Week.

Here are some things I have found this year that I am planning (or hoping) to use:
Mine arrived a few days ago and I LOVE it!

"The Parable Pouch is a very hands on way to learn the faith!
This Parable Pouch will connect your child to the life, miracles, and parables of Jesus. The 17 smooth wood pieces will captivate them and hold on to their attention. As you read the stories to them from your favorite Bible and explain the symbol, the stories will become a part of each child. They will soon remember that the fish is when Jesus called Peter to be a “fisher of men” and the jar is when Jesus turned the water into wine. The scriptures for each of these stories is listed inside each box.
There is no correct way to use the pouches. The purpose is to let children that are naturally curious and “hands on”, to touch and feel an object that will evoke thoughts of Jesus. We hope that this will help them to grow in their relationship with Jesus, and knowledge of Him.
A great gift for the Easter basket or Christmas stocking, the Parable Pouch will be used year round to learn the faith" 

I had never heard of this before, but I am absolutely LOVING this idea of burying or hiding the Alleluia! I am passionate about tangible ways to help young children understand things. Which is why this seems to be a perfect way to help them understand the absence of "Alleluia" throughout Lent, and how AWESOME it is to sing it again on EASTER! You can find more on Burying the Alleluia here. I plan to have my Alleluia banner prepared and have the girls pack it away in a gold box with purple tissue paper. Lacy has a TON of wonderful Lent preparation ideas over at Catholic Icing.

I like this idea of a family prayer jar and Erin over at Wee Little Miracles so generously shared some printable prayers that she already typed up. Nice and easy!

Erin also shared her Make an Easter Story wreath.
Now to find a few moments to color and cut these out!

Something I'd love to do with the girls is to make these buy for the girls are these sacrifice beads. Let's be real! I am trying to do TOO many things, (I am remembering my Advent reality and reining myself in!) Maybe another year we'll make them. For this year I bought them each a set! I can't wait until they arrive.

I like to add a few new books each year...

This was on my "want" list last year.
 "Bestselling author Anthony DeStefano begins his creative telling of the beloved Bible story of Christ’s triumphant entry by introducing the young donkey who has yet to realize his important mission. The lowly creature believes he can do nothing noble, but that’s before he meets the Master..."
Doesn't that sound beautiful?! 

I'm excited to do a few activities with the younger girls out of here.

This will go in little one's Easter basket. 
She LOVES these books with the handle. 
We have a few in her church bag so this will be a nice addition.

And because March is dedicated to St. Joseph we'll introduce this book that my sister gave to us. 
She is building our collection of these beautiful books from The Word Among Us Press. 
And we are very grateful!

Our final book basket

For Alms giving I plan to have a box to place food into every week. We'll take the box to a local food bank or soup kitchen. Today the girls decorated a little offering box of their own to put coins into. This was really easy because we had these boxes leftover from a previous craft.

One last thing I found are these beautiful printable Stations of the Cross for kids. There are a variety of ways you can print them. I have printed the color cards, but I'm not exactly sure how I will use them yet. I have thought about hanging them from a "tree" similar to Ann Voskamp's Easter tree. (Scroll the page a little to find the tree after the devotional).

While I search for ways to enhance the beauty of the Lenten and Easter seasons for my family, I also need to work on my own journey, to better understand, and to fully grasp what He has done for me. (Is that even possible? To fully grasp?) For quite some time I have been focusing on the message of "Be Still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10), and to believe it and live it. I have been writing about this in my journal and hope to share my reflections with you one day. Lent seems to be the perfect time to contemplate such a verse. 

In addition to reflecting on this verse I am hoping to read more about the saints. I'd like to read this book: 

But maybe I should just pull out one of the many books I already have about her or St. Therese!

I have signed up for Father Barron's daily Lenten reflections. You can sign up here or here.

A very nice app for your smart phone is Laudate. You can find it here for iPhone.
I believe you can find this app for other smart phones as well.

Pattie Maguire Armstrong has some Lenten reflections here and here.

I hope you have found some good nuggets here that will help get you off to the right start for Lent. I pray that by His grace we will all grow closer to God in our Lenten journey.

Many blessings to you,

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