It hardly seems a minute since I managed to get Christmas decorations down and packed back away, and here we are, Lent begins next week!
So I’m taking the opportunity of blogging about such things as faith habits at home as my excuse to spend some time enjoying pinterest – should I say, researching – looking for the many great ideas out there that other families have tried.
(By the way I collect together the ideas I find about faith at home on my pinterest board)
Ideas that have caught my eye this year are:
This visual walk through lent posted by ‘rhythm of the home’
I wondered if it could also be made together as a family throughout lent, taking turns to add a thumb print (or even a painty foot print) each day.
‘Catholic Icing’ have a printable lenten calendar that could be coloured in each day. A simple visual countdown is really helpful for breaking lent down into something that can be imagined, and the end can be ‘in sight’.
‘Flame Creative Kids’ has a whole list of wonderful, creative, prayer and thinking activities including this lovely stained glass window design.
‘GodVenture’ ‘s new book takes you through lent looking at the story of Lazarus with stickers, story, prayers.
‘Dunlap Love’ directs me to a way of doing a lenten tree – like a Jesse tree – and has some free printable ornaments to laminate and hang up each day as a Bible verse is read.
And also ‘Wee Little Miracles’ tells me how to go about making and using this beautiful spiral to the cross with cardboard, burlap and modelling clay. She is planning to take turns to place a stone into a ‘cup’ each day to mark the journey through lent.
I will also be posting weekly ideas, practical and crafty and with free printables inspired by my book ‘My Easter Egg Hunt’ which explores the meaning of Good Friday. They’ll be posted on my clearly nurturing publishing website.
There are so many lovely ideas for creating sacred space, and a pattern of prayer and Bible reading together through lent. Now the hard bit is deciding which we will try. I am imagining we will combine a reflective habit like one of these with some intentional blessing of others.
Maybe joining in with the 40 acts challenge or by collecting food for the local foodbank, or similar project adding some items every day as we pray (we have a project our church supports that works alongside asylum seekers and refugees, and there are others too who would welcome donations or things or of time).
Lent is a time to focus together with God, to reflect on our own faith and trust in him, and his beyond words grace poured over us. A time to look at the world around us again but with eyes heightened and alert, and with hearts stirred by prayer and renewed sense of purpose. (And my prayer is that in the middle of our unpredictable and rather complicated family life there will be a thread of all those hopes running through our lives together in the run up to celebrating Easter, because God is in our midst)