Last year I was given a Lent calendar by my mentor, Lori Tate (shameless plug here…if you are looking to take your relationship with God deeper, I highly recommend checking out Soul Dig!). I didn’t really think much of it because honestly, Lent was a relatively new concept for me until about five years ago, and even then, it wasn’t something I thought about practicing with my young children. I mean, I’d heard of it in high school; I had Catholic friends who gave up chocolate every year, but it didn’t become something more until I started attending JaxNax and learned how Lent can be a personal journey that prepares your heart for the miracle of Easter and grows your relationship with God.
And who wouldn’t want that for their children?
So I figured why not try out the Lent calendar.
We hung it up in our dining room…
and did our best to check off each day. We talked about why people choose to give up things during Lent and prayed about what we might give up ourselves.
We made a prayer list; I wrote down exactly what my children said and we prayed for strangers to stay safe, dogs not to get hit by cars and children to follow directions.
We opened our Bible and read scripture, learned new things about Lenten traditions and historical religious leaders, memorized a Psalm, did secret acts of kindness, and most importantly began a conversation about the miracle of Easter and how it impacts every single day of our lives.
And that’s what starting small is all about.
Taking small steps with your children, while they are young, to facilitate conversation, encourage questions and begin dialogue that will weave Jesus into every aspect of their lives so that Jesus becomes a part of who they are and not just someone they hear about at church.
This calendar is a perfect tool to start small and that is why we wanted to make it available to all of you this year! We’ve handed them out at our recent Sticky Faith event and to our Backyard and K-Street friends last Sunday and Wednesday. If you’ve received one, I highly recommend hanging it up and giving it a try. I know your days are already full of to-do lists, reading logs, homework assignments, sports practices and school newsletters, but this is so much more important than all those temporal things. It’s alright if you don’t get to every day. It’s alright if some days don’t seem to make much sense to your children. Know that you are planting seeds and that God will bless your efforts.
So join us this year and start something small that will impact your children for eternity!
* I have a few calendars left, so if you haven’t received one and would like one, please leave a comment or let me know at church and I will be happy to get one to you.