Friday, March 01, 2013

Remembering together

March is here and that means the countdown to Easter has begun.
I know that the countdown really begins with Lent, but I refuse to do even one Spring-y looking thing until March, so around here, that is when we start breaking out the pastels and the nest.
But of course we are still in Lent. So how to bridge the gap between walking in the desert and celebrating new life?
A banner of course! (What did we do before Banners became the answer to almost all our decorating dilemmas? Seriously.)

This week I took A Homemade Year out for a test drive. On Wednesday night, after a belly warming meal of chicken veggie soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, I read a chapter from the book to members of our church family and then together, we made some Lent inspired crafts, including this banner.

I chose the word REMEMBER for several reasons, one of them being that the it has the same amount of letters as ALLELUIA. In many Christian churches the word Alleluia is not said or sung between Lent and Easter. At our church the kids even went as far as burying them in the garden so that none of us would be tempted. Part of the fun of this banner is that you can turn it around after midnight on Easter and when the kids get up for breakfast Easter morning they will see a big ole Alleluia shinning down on them in addition to their baskets full of chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs.

I also chose this word because, to me, Lent is all about remembering. Remembering, reflection and repentance. Remembering the deserts that I have wondered around, confused and lost, the times I have been parched and thirsty, my heart dried and cracked like a barren ground, or the mistakes I have made in my arrogance or ignorance or let's be honest-my ambivalence.  To remember, to reflect, to repent and then to share these stories with my family. I want us to remember and reflect together. To share our stories of deserts, hard times, mistakes made, lessons learned with each other and then to connect those stories and God's story; The wandering of the Israelites, Christ walking into the desert for 40 days,  Peter and his mistakes, and the gifts of grace that are always available despite our circumstances.

Today is March 1. 16 years ago today a huge tornado tore through Arkadelphia and several other Arkansas towns. My parents house was destroyed in that storm while my parents and my sister Jemimah stood in a closet in the middle of the house. When they emerged from the wreckage they found that almost every exterior wall had caved in or been ripped out. The roof was completely gone and the only bit of ceiling that remained was the part that fit exactly over that interior closet.
This is a story that we remember together every year at some point in Lent. Sweet Man and I take turns telling our parts-where we were and what we did. The boys fill in the bits that they can. And we remember and give thanks that my family made it through safely and reflect on the ways the Tornado changed the town, our family, and our understanding of surviving storms, and walking through deserts.

To Make the Banner you will need:
8 Book Pages, with V cut on bottom 
(I fold the pages in half length wise and then snipped the V that way.)
Letters for Alleluia and Remember cut from colorful paper
3 Yards of Ribbon
Glue Sticks
Hole Punch

On one side of the pages glue down the letters of the word remember. Then, making sure to go in backwards order, glue on the back side then words of Alleluia.


  1. Your blog (and your house!) are beautiful! I'm thinking I've found a new favorite here :)

  2. I just found your blog today because of you book blog party stop on Jen Kershner's blog. It is like old home week reading here! :-) I grew up in Pine Bluff & NLR back and forth and then married a Little Rock boy. We're in Louisiana now, but we miss home so much! I remember those tornados on that day 16 years ago. I was pregnant with our oldest child and I was sitting in the bathtub in our little house in Hillcrest while my husband stood out on the porch and watched the sky. Such destruction that day! And so many miracles like your family experienced. I can't wait to get your book and this banner is definitely on my list to make. Congratulations, author!


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