Friday, February 22, 2013

Keep Love In Lent




"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by

Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”


What is Lent?


Lent is the forty days we spend preparing for the death of our Lord. We spend our time seeking forgiveness for our sins. As Catholics, we spend time fasting, abstaining from meat, in prayer, doing sacrifices, and alms giving.

As a family, we focus on treating others kindly and doing small sacrifices for others. To reinforce the importance of doing small things we read a story about Saint Therese of Lisieux.


“MISS NO SINGLE OPPORTUNITY OF MAKING SOME SMALL SACRIFICE, HERE BY A SMILING LOOK, THERE BY A KINDLY WORD; ALWAYS DOING THE SMALLEST RIGHT AND DOING IT ALL FOR LOVE.”

~ Saint Therese of Lisieux

We keep track of our small sacrifices or good deeds by moving 1 bean from a jar into another jar. The goal of course is to fill up the second jar.

With kids it's easy to find small ways to encourage acts of kindness.

Sharing your favorite toy,

helping a sibling out,

doing chores without complaining,

doing something you weren't asked to,

reading to a sibling,

helping mom or dad,

helping out a grandparent or elderly neighbor.

The list is endless.

If we encourage our children, they can find an opportunity to do a small deed every few minutes. What better way to encourage the love of Jesus but by helping others. When we teach our children to graciously help others, we are teaching them to love others.

Jesus' greatest commandment was "Love others as I have Loved you"

The kids work on adding change to the giving jar. They take part of their allowance and place it in the jar. The money is saved up until next Christmas. They then pick 2 names off the Christmas tree at our church and by presents for needy children. During Lent, our CCD classes at our church do the Lenten rice bowl. Each Sunday, the kids take change in to put in their class bowl. My first grade class bowl sits on the counter during the week and last year I found Lego Man added change to it. I was so proud of him. He helped fill my first graders bowl. He has such a giving heart.

On Ash Wednesday, we hang up on fridge the things we have given up for Lent. Lego Man has given up candy, video games, and gum in the past. This year her chose to give up soda. Princess P has given up candy, gum, and TV in the past. This year she has given up gum.  I gave up coffee for Lent this year. I have to admit it hasn't been easy. I usually drink coffee all day long. When choosing something to give up, we talk about how it should be a sacrifice. I have never encouraged anything that was easy. Given up something you don't like is a no-no. Having the paper hanging on the fridge is a constant reminder for us.

If Jesus died on the cross and gave up his life for us, we can give up something that is hard for us. It's the least we can do. If we suffer a little during Lent then we can begin to understand the suffering Jesus experienced as has he walked the road to His death.


During Lent, we place a few sticks in a silver pitcher. The sticks are used to create our own version of a Jesse tree for Lent. We follow Jesus path as He journeys to the cross. Each day we read a bible passage and then hang an ornament onto the branches. Reading the bibles passages every year helps the kids learn about Jesus and all that he accomplished during his short years here on earth.

We pray the Stations of the Cross.  I found wonderful coloring pages to go along with the stations.

You can find them here.

Lent for us is time when we can reflect on what we need to work on.

What bad habits can we fix?

We work together to see what areas we can correct.

Lent is a perfect time to treat others that hurt or mistreat us with kindness.

If someone yells at us or gets mad at us, we can change how we respond. If we show kindness maybe that person will see how they should treat others.


Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.

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