Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Beginning Lent

Lent begins tomorrow, which means I broke out the Remember Banner and hung it up in the kitchen today. Last year I wrote out a little guide based on each of  letter in the word remember for a Lenten Family Event I did for our church.  I had genuinely intended for our family to use this guide weekly, to help forge our family Lenten discussions during the season. But I honestly don't think we used them - things were a little hairy with the impending book release.
This year however, I am resolved to give them a go, and I thought you might like to as well. They can be used in tandem with the Remember Banner or on their own.

Lenten Family Reflections
There are several ways to use these questions, here are a couple of my favorites.

1) Follow the list according to the Letters, starting with R on Ash Wednesday. Read the questions during dinner, on the car ride home from school, or during a hike, then each family member can take turn answering.

2)      Cut the questions into slips, fold them up and put them in a bowl on the kitchen table. Once a week during Lent pull a question out of the bowl and discuss your answers and insights. Have everyone write one or two words, or draw a simple image that represents their answers. Next tack these scraps to your Lenten timeline.

2)      Paste each of the questions - one question to one page in the order of the word REMEMBER- in a simple journal. Leave the journal somewhere accessible. During Lent family members can write their own individual answers –or draw pictures of their answers- in the journal at their own pace. Once a week find a time – in the car, at dinner, at bedtime – to read and discuss the various stories and answers found in the journal.

Remember a time when you felt as if you were in the desert, wandering and lost. How did
you find your way out? Or, if you are still there, what do you need? How can
your family help?

In every life there are seasons of endurance. Share a story from your past -or
present- where you had endured something hard or uncomfortable because it was
necessary. How did you manage? Where did you find strength or comfort? What
guidance can you pass on from your experience?

All of us have had broken hearts, hopes, dreams and relationships. Find a memory that
you can share about how something in your life was broken and then mended -
through time, friendship, prayer, changes etc.

Have you ever felt misunderstood? Do you wish you could explain how you feel or a
decision you made that was unpopular? Here is your chance to explain. Adults -
perhaps it would help to share stories from your childhood that influence how
you now parent or grandparent.

Everyone makes mistakes. Tell of a time you made a mistake and were surprised to find
love, acceptance and forgiveness instead of shame and blame. How can you pass
these gifts on to yourself and others the next time mistakes are made?

Share a story of when you set out to bless someone only to find yourself blessed more!

Tell of a time when someone’s words or actions of encouragement made all the difference
in your life.

Its Easter! It is time to start again fresh and find renewal in Christ love.
Turn your banner around, displaying the Alleluia side! Share one thing you are each thankful for post-Lent and celebrate!

Blessings friends!

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