Several years ago Micah taught a lesson on Lent to the youth group kids at our church. We had never participated in Lent before this because honestly, we didn’t really know much about it until we were preparing for the lesson. Ever since then, Lent has become apart of our traditions. It’s such a special way to take time and remember the journey Jesus went through to save us. I still see former youth group kiddos posting on Facebook what they are giving up, how cool is that!?!
Just incase you are curious, here’s some basics about Lent:
- Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (today), lasts for 40 days, and ends Easter Sunday.
- Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and this was traditionally the day where people used up their meat and other forms of “fat” in their homes to prepare for their fasting during Lent.
- Today some Christians try to follow the example of Jesus in the desert by giving up luxuries, vices (hello coffee & chocolate!), and practicing self-discipline. *This is what we do!
- Some choose to stop Lenting (is that even a word!?!) on Sundays but once our family starts we don’t stop until Easter. We figure it’s a small sacrifice for such a big gift.
- Lent is not just a Catholic thing. Okay, so I must admit that when I first heard about Lent it was at the movies during college when a friend was sad because she couldn’t have chocolate because of Lent. She was Catholic and it seemed that most of the other girls I knew that participated in Lent were Catholics so I assumed that it was a Catholic thing…now I know it’s a Christian thing.
This year Micah’s giving up soda, Gray’s giving up X-Box, Ash is giving up cookies, and I’m giving up sweets. We had quite the discussion at the dinner table on Monday over what was going to be sacrificed. The boys were very helpful in deciding what Micah and I should give up. (A little too helpful if you ask me!) For me, they suggested sweets, Bravo TV, and coffee. Micah nixed them all because he wants me to be a happy wife, but I decided sweets was a good one. Of course, I would give up Bravo and coffee for Jesus but for now sweets will be hard enough.
This morning I printed out this Lent coloring map for the boys to keep track of the days. They colored their Day 1 boxes as well as the illustrations symbolizing the season for example Jesus riding a donkey with palm fronds around it.
We’re also doing our reading plan for Easter. I’m going to hunt for some additional activities because I want to capitalize on this being the first year that I feel like Ash really gets it. I will share what I find. *If you Lent or have any special Easter crafts or activities that are about the real meaning of these special days I’d love to hear about them! I’m not anti bunny and hidden eggs. I think there is a place for that kind of fun and we will do lots of fun bunny/egg crafts and activities, too. I’m just always looking for engaging ways to celebrate the true meaning of the season.