Friday, February 13, 2015

Lenten Lovin': Keeping the focus for 40

Forty days is a long time.  It is a long time to go without coffee, or wine, or chocolate, or TV or Facebook.  It is also a long time to keep anyone's attention.  Here are a few things we have done in the past and are planning to do again, along with a few new things to keep the focus where it should be all to grow closer to the Lord.


We always intend to do family prayers each night, but during the business of the week that sometimes slides away and I end up praying individually with the kids.  During Lent we will recommit to doing those prayers as and family and hopefully adding a decade of the rosary at the end too.  Anna and I occasionally go to a weekly rosary group so I am going to recommit to doing that or praying it at home during nap time once a week.  Daily mass is also something that helps me stay connected and I hope that this Lent I can figure out a way to keep Anna happy enough during daily mass that we can make that part of our routine.  Blessed is She put together another journal and I will be making another attempt at journaling.  I am not sure I am the journalizing type. My advent journal didn't work out as well as I had wanted.  This journal is beautiful however and maybe that will help inspire me to write.


This is one of our favorite activities.   We each trace our hands and then decorate them to indicate what our specific Lenten commitments are.  The boys usually just write out what they are doing.  Gracie's always contains extra fancy coloring. They are still working on theirs for this year and as you notice one child has gotten by without doing it yet.

Then we post them on the cross. The photo below is from a few years ago when we did white hands but you get the idea. It is a great, easy, visual reminder of the commitment they made. This is seriously easy - just brown construction paper to make the cross and I cut out the letters from the purple paper.

In the bottom right corner of that photo you see this:

It is a free printable from Catholic Icing.  I love that website.  The kids can color-in the day and keep track of where we are in the Lenten journey.

We also have a sacrifices and good deeds jar.  When the kids resist some specific temptation they can take some beans and put then in the jar. On Easter Sunday the jar is full of jelly beans.  This year I am going to use a mason jar and make it prettier since it is on our counter all season.  I have no idea where I got this idea, but I got most of the ideas years ago from Catholic Icing so it probably came from there too.  We also fast as a family from meat on Fridays of course and I try to do some more dramatic fasting each Friday.  I put loads of beans in the jar on Fridays!


This is our attempt at stressing almsgiving.  The kids put in their change and then we can decide upon a place to donate the money.  At school they do a Works of Mercy campaign and bring specific items in for our local Saint Vincent De Paul. They don't need to all be pennies. I am going to stress putting up the big coins this year especially with my older ones. 

From Catholic Icing

Other fun stuff

I also like the idea of making a crucifixion or resurrection garden with the kids. We haven't done it yet but it seems a fun alternative to the popular "fairy gardens".  It gives the little ones a chance to really meditate on the mystery of the resurrection while doing something with their hands.

And to keep things a little fun we have made pretzels in the past and read the book Walter the Baker by Eric Carle.  This book is a fun story about the creation of the pretzel.  If you want to order the book be sure to click on my amazon link.  It is 'legend' so I can't vouch for accuracy of the story, but it is fun.

From Catholic Icing
We bury the Alleluia, which last year meant I "found" it buried in the garage and put it aside to put on the mantle on Easter Morning.  This year if I can get my act together I will find it first, and we can bury it in the garden.  We shall see.  

From Catholic Icing
Lastly, for a great list of Catholic Lenten resources of all types check out CatholicSistas.  and this link up done by Blessed is She.    May this Lent bring you all a sense of renewed spirit.  Thanks for stopping by to think with me!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...