Posts Tagged ‘Lent’

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Family Devotions You Can Do!

Prayer Closet | Raising Arrows 2 Comments

It goes like this….

You get inspired to have more meaningful family times, including family devotions.  So, you call all your kids to the living room and hand Daddy the Bible.  He starts at the beginning or picks some random spot.  The New Testament is good place to start, right?  He starts reading, the kids start squirming.  And whining.  And someone needs a drink of water.  And someone has to go potty.  And someone is just full of questions! “Dad, what’s fornication mean?”  He just reads faster.  Forget it, let’s just pray.  Who wants to go first?  For the first time since you started this, everyone falls silent.  OK, fine, you, The Mom will pray.  Well, you’re in the middle of changing a diaper.  OK, someone else can pray….the three old is game.  And so you all thank the Lord for cereal and sloths and grandma and ask the Lord for new Legos.  You call it a night.  You say you’ll try again tomorrow.  Then about two weeks goes by.

Come on now! We are not the only ones!

Family Devotions

You can find lots on instructions on how to do family devotions.  There are lots of pages and books and speakers that will tell you all the how-to’s.  The thing is, no two families are alike.  What works for one family may not work for another.  There is no one right away and a thousand great ways to have family worship.  The point is to do it.  The how of that is completely up to you!  And it may change and grow and develop as you develop as a family in your faith.

Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.  Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead,  and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

1. Rather make one big, elaborate time for family Bible study and prayer, we recommend working your faith in throughout the day, in small, doable bite-sized moments. We find that times when the family is already together work the best–such as meals, rides in the car, bedtime, etc.

2. Daddy can lead family devotions. Mommy can lead family devotions. The kids can lead family devotions. Give everyone a chance to share and don’t place the full weight of getting it done on one person’s shoulders.

3. Don’t get locked into rigid standards. Sometimes it will be short, sometimes long. Sometimes deep, sometimes lighthearted. Go with the flow.

Family Worship

IDEAS FOR YOUR DOMESTIC CHURCH

  1. Before you eat a meal together, sing a hymn or praise song. Let the kids take turns choosing.  We have several hymn books and use them regularly.
  2. Memorize a passage of Scripture together as a family.  (We’ve had some great success using Seeds of Courage music CD’s as a way to make memorizing easy and fun for the whole family!)
  3. After dinner read a portion of Scripture.  Just a bit–like a few verses from Proverbs or one Psalm.  Afterwards ask each person to say one thing that stood out to them.
  4. Use the daily Mass readings as a guide for what to read each day.  Even our non-Catholic readers can use this! Those from non-liturgical traditions may not realize that if you follow the daily readings you will have pretty much covered the whole Bible in three years. A good way to do this with young children is to break it up and do the first and second reading at breakfast, the Psalm at lunch, and the Gospel reading at dinner. (You can find them here at EWTN Daily Readings.)
  5. Memorize prayers you can pray together as a family such as The Lord’s Prayer or The Prayer Before The Crucifix.
  6. For children who are too young to read, put together a prayer picture book.  This can be a photo album. They can go through this and pray for each image.  Include family members, your church and pastor, your neighborhood, a map of the US, a map of the world, picture of an unborn baby, etc.
  7. Giving children something tangible is a great way to help them connect truths with their every day lives. For example, on the day we pray for the Persecuted Church, we tie a rope to our wrists, reading the children Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those in bounds as if bound with them.” (See the picture above!)
  8. Use your time in the car to listen to teaching CD’s, sing worship songs or pray for special prayer requests.
  9. We’ve written a book that we use every Spring. Radiant! Inside and Out! It’s a Spring Cleaning book–for heart and home. Again using practical things to connect the prophetic applications of the spiritual life! This little book is packed full of truth and beauty for your child’s heart! And your house will be cleaner when you are done too. Win-win!
  10. Before you drop your kids off at dance/martial arts/school, etc. take a moment and pray for them and bless them.
  11. Before they go to bed bless them. Numbers 6:24-26 works really well. (This book, The Blessing, is a great place to learn more about and be inspired about speaking blessings to your children! We highly recommend it!)
  12. Fast as a family.  Let the whole family pray together and decide together what they will fast, such as go without dessert for a week or instead of going to the movies, use that money for charity. The possibilities are endless.
  13. Pick a prayer target and be spiritual missionaries! We love this book about Praying through the 100 Gateway Cities of the 10/40 Window !
  14. Keep your churches missionaries and staff pictures in a book or on a bulletin board. Pick one each day and pray for them. Breakfast is a great time to do this.
  15. Observe Biblical Feasts together. We have seen this bring our family together around the Word in such a unique and beautiful way. (Lots of resources here.)
  16. Observe a day of rest. A true Sabbath. A Shabbat Meal is a lovely tradition that sets a perfect tone and encourages our rest in Him.
  17. Make a game out of Bible Trivia. You could even offer prizes! (See Kristina’s Bible Challenge here.)
  18. Let your children see you have prayer time. Of course we all like to get away by ourselves for quiet time and prayer (like early in the morning or after they go to bed at night), but make sure that there are times your kids see you reading your Bible, on your knees in prayer, journaling, weeping, etc. There is a lot that is caught, rather than taught.
  19. Need to get some wiggles out?  Take the kids out for a prayer walk.  As you walk the neighborhood pray for your neighbors and your community.
  20. Dance regularly!  Turn on your favorite worship music and dance before the Lord.  After all, David danced before the Lord and God said in regard to David, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22)

Dance Before The Lord! (NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through affiliate links help support this blog and all this abundant home-centered living inspiration!)

Family Devotions

It goes like this…. You get inspired to have more meaningful family times, including family devotions.  So, you call all your kids to the living room and hand Daddy the Bible.  He starts at the beginning or picks some random spot.  The New Testament is good place to start, right?  He starts reading, the kids […]

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What’s the deal with Lent anyway?

Blog 1 Comment

Lent

Here we are again. Lent.

Lent, means forty.

Moses was forty days on Sinai with the Lord.

Jonah preached repentance to Nineveh for forty days.

Ezekiel laid on his side for forty days, prophesying to God’s people about their sins.

Elijah was forty days without food or water on Mount Horeb.

Jesus had forty days in the wilderness, fasting and being tempted by the devil.

Trials, testing, temptation. Revelation, forgiveness, provision.

Neither of us grew up in a liturgical tradition. For the past 5 years or so, we’ve gotten increasingly into it. It started with one thing. Then another. It’s always fascinating to reflect on how the Lord leads us. Green pastures and still waters. Sometimes the Valley of the Shadow.

So what’s the big deal about Lent anyway? Why go through all the trouble? Let’s be honest: It’s complicated. It’s awkward. It’s inconvenient. It’s so very traditional and steeped in ritual. Why do it?

Here’s how I can best explain it: Recently on social media an acquaintance posted a picture of Christ’s empty tomb. And he said that as Christians we’ve been carrying around and clinging to the wrong symbol. Christianity is about freedom and new life. So, we should trade in our crosses for empty tombs.  The replies were all Amens and affirmations.

My heart sunk into my gut.

We are fooled into thinking we can have the power of His resurrection and neglect the fellowship of His sufferings. We want to live in freedom, but not take up our crosses daily and follow Him. The Sermon on the Mount is fantastic until you start talking about the promise of testing and persecution.  We want “Jesus paid it all” but not “fill up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.”

Lent is……

What is Lent? It’s….

It’s facing hard truths.

Intentionally leaning into Jesus.

It’s accepting our humanity.

Accepting Jesus’ humanity.

It’s working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

It’s failing and realizing that grace is enough.

It’s walking the road of the cross in order that we may live in the power of the empty tomb.

It’s being the Beloved Disciple who did not run away at Christ’s suffering, but remained steadfast until the end.

Lent is a school of grace. And what is grace, but to participate in the life of Christ.

Why do we do this thing? We fast. We pray. We go to church more often. We light more candles. We clean up our messes and declutter our homes and hearts. And if we do it right, by the time Resurrection morning comes around and we shout HE IS RISEN we know it is true. And we know why it’s true. We know that if we are crucified and buried with Him we will also rise with Him and live in Him. And in Him we have our very being.

So, here we are again. And there is some trepidation. We’ve got some butterflies. What is Jesus going to reveal in this season? In what way will we be drawn into His heart more and more this year?

Maybe you have never done this Lent thing. Maybe you even think it’s a tad weird or unnecessary. But there’s also a curiosity. A little part of you wants to experience it. We invite you to join us this Lenten season. Let’s lean into Jesus together.

Failure done right is our path to Jesus

 Links to help you on your journey:

Lent For The Rest of Us

 Radiant! Inside and Out! (Spring Cleaning for heart and home)

Forty Things To Clean Up During Lent

Stations of the Cross For Children

Ashes to Glory: An Easter Devotional on DVD (We’ve been using this with the kids for the past several years. It’s excellent for the whole family!)

Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families (Daja did this two years ago and Kristina did it last year. It’s wonderful!!!)


(This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through affiliate links support this blog.)

What's the deal with Lent?

Here we are again. Lent. Lent, means forty. Moses was forty days on Sinai with the Lord. Jonah preached repentance to Nineveh for forty days. Ezekiel laid on his side for forty days, prophesying to God’s people about their sins. Elijah was forty days without food or water on Mount Horeb. Jesus had forty days […]

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40 Things To Clean Up During Lent

Blog 2 Comments

We know that Lent is still a few weeks out.  However, it’s not too early to think about what you might do this year.  What can you offer up to the Lord?  It’s a good time to think about Spring Cleaning–of both heart and home.  The tangible things we do during Lent–giving up meat or coffee or wine, or spending more time in prayer or going to church more often, or fasting Facebook, or whatever it might be–is a prophetic act.  It is to serve as a reminder to us of what should be happening in our souls.  Making space, cleaning out, hanging onto the good and letting go of things less virtuous.

40 Things To Clean Up During Lent Read More

40 Things To Clean Up During Lent

We know that Lent is still a few weeks out.  However, it’s not too early to think about what you might do this year.  What can you offer up to the Lord?  It’s a good time to think about Spring Cleaning–of both heart and home.  The tangible things we do during Lent–giving up meat or […]

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Stations of the Cross For Children

Blog | Raising Arrows 5 Comments

We celebrate and observe most holidays as a group with our little homeschool co-op.  We have assigned a different holiday to each child.  That child plans the events for that day (special food, lesson, videos, crafts, etc.).  This gives them practical experience with lesson planning, teaching, and public speaking.  It also takes the burden of remembering and observing all the holidays off the shoulders of the moms!  (Can we get an “Amen” for that?!) Read More

Station 12

We celebrate and observe most holidays as a group with our little homeschool co-op.  We have assigned a different holiday to each child.  That child plans the events for that day (special food, lesson, videos, crafts, etc.).  This gives them practical experience with lesson planning, teaching, and public speaking.  It also takes the burden of […]

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Prayer For Week of April 14th–Embracing the Failure

Prayer Closet 1 Comment

It was less than one week into Lent.  I had just finished teaching a workshop and it was late at night.  So hungry.  So, my daughter and I zipped by In-N-Out and got a burger and animal-style fries.  Oh yea.  Midway through that juicy burger it hit me.  I’m fasting red meat.  Lenten Fail.

This is the week to celebrate Passover.  It begins with deep cleaning the house (Bedikat Chametz), top-to-bottom, removing all leaven.  If you live in a house with eight children I assure you there are crumbs.  In the corners, under the couch cushions, in the rug.  And I try to do a good job and remove it all. Vacuum, dust, sweep.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  And then I see….what is that?  Are those noodles?  Why are there noodles on the kitchen floor????  Passover Fail.

I can’t do it. Read More

Veil & Cross

It was less than one week into Lent.  I had just finished teaching a workshop and it was late at night.  So hungry.  So, my daughter and I zipped by In-N-Out and got a burger and animal-style fries.  Oh yea.  Midway through that juicy burger it hit me.  I’m fasting red meat.  Lenten Fail. This […]

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Prayer for Week of March 31 — The Presence and The Hunger

Prayer Closet 2 Comments

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?…

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139

The Presence and The Hunger Read More

The Presence and The Hunger

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?… For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139

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Radiant! Inside and Out! (You’re gonna love this!!!)

Books & Resources | Raising Arrows 1 Comment

Radiant! Inside & Out! If you’re like us one of your big parenting goals is not to succumb to commercialism.  In a perfect world holidays would truly be HOLY DAYS and not about buying more stuff to fill already overfilled toy-boxes and closets.  But, we still want holidays to be fun, right?  We want them filled with meaning and beauty and family-togetherness.  Towards that aim, we have written Radiant! Inside & Out!  This ebook helps prepare your family and home for the season of Passover and Easter. Read More

Radiant! Inside & Out!

If you’re like us one of your big parenting goals is not to succumb to commercialism.  In a perfect world holidays would truly be HOLY DAYS and not about buying more stuff to fill already overfilled toy-boxes and closets.  But, we still want holidays to be fun, right?  We want them filled with meaning and […]

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March Meal Plans

Menu Plans No Comments

There is so much going on this month.  All delightful and fills us with anticipation!  God is up to so much!  Can you feel it?! Read More

March Meal Plan

There is so much going on this month.  All delightful and fills us with anticipation!  God is up to so much!  Can you feel it?!

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Prayer for the Week March 10 – Sharing in the Lord’s Cup

Prayer Closet 3 Comments

Ash Wednesday.  I sit nervous.  My stomach churns with a million butterflies.  My heart is beating faster and my hands feel clammy. Read More

Kristina with veil

Ash Wednesday.  I sit nervous.  My stomach churns with a million butterflies.  My heart is beating faster and my hands feel clammy.

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Prayer for the week of March 3 — Towards a Eucharistic Life

Prayer Closet 3 Comments

In a nutshell, I feel like my soul is being turned inside out.  I’m coming apart at the seams.  In the best possible sense. Read More

A Eucharistic Life

In a nutshell, I feel like my soul is being turned inside out.  I’m coming apart at the seams.  In the best possible sense.