Lent is next week. I am not the best Catholic in the world, probably not even on my street. You will know that be reading my blog. I am rasing my children in my Catholic faith but it is not often that I talk about it here.
I want to be a better person and I am trying. One way I am trying is by teaching my children about their faith. Easter will be here soon, but I don't want to gloss over Ash Wednesday and Lent.
After reading Martin Family Moments, a post Colleen wrote about Lent inspired me on ways to teach my children about Lent. Owen is very young and won't really know what we are doing, but Madeline is almsot 4 and I think she can really begin to understand. I plan on taking her to church on Ash Wednesday. But I want to start talking to her about it before we go. I still remember one famous questions asked by a kindergartener at my school. When told they would be receiving ashes at mass that day the child becaem concerned and asked "will they be hot?" The teacher very quickly explained that no they would not and aslo what the ashes are made from. I don't want a loud question like that asked by my daughter in church!
Anway, after reading this post I was inspired on a way that I could teach Madeline about growing and becoming a better person. In the past I have been famous for trying to vive soemthing up. Some years I made it (though the year I gave up chocolate I almost lost a few friends) and other years I didn't even come close. But this year rather than give something up for 40 days(which is something that would be difficult for a 4 year old) I am thinking of doing several projects, giving to others, doing nice things for others. 40 is a lot, but I think if I am for one a week and do things each day to build up to the final activity it is doable. Plus it will involve all of us in giving. I plan to include Jon in these plans as well as Owen as much as he is capable.
Some ideas I have are:
*collecting books and donating them to a charity (my MOMS club is involved in this and I am now thinking of involving Madeline in the sorting of her books)
*donating food to the open pantry
*cooking a meal for a friend or family member and delivering it in time for dinner one night as a surprise
*making get well cards for children at shriner's hospital to make them smile
As you can see I have only four ideas and there are six weeks in Lent. I need a couple more ideas, but I think that doing these things will help teach our whole family about caring for those around us, both family, friends and strangers. In addition we will be reading the story of Lent from our bible and working on some craft projects to understand the story and the season. A last idea that I have is a jelly bean jar. I found this idea on several websites. Each time a child is noticed doing something nice for another person they put a jelly bean in the jar. The jelly beans are saved until Easter.
Those are my thoughts so far. I have until next Wednesday to get everything in order and would appreciate any suggetsions!