Lent is a time that I really enjoy sharing with my boys. Sometimes I find it easy to underestimate a children's ability to be serious, prayerful and penitent and Lent is a way for us to enter into a serious time together. That certainly doesn't mean that they are serious all through lent, or even through most of our lenten activities, but it is giving that opportunity for thought and space.
This year our dinner table has a few items in the center to remind us of this time. I found this idea in Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman and have expanded it slightly. The items are my palm cross - reminding us that this is a time of prayer (and pointing us to the cross), an empty bowl to represent fasting, a Bible with God's words for us, and an alms tin (yeast tin covered in purple paper). Jonah has been earning the money for the alms tin by doing simple jobs. I also tried doing a rice and one veggie meal, where we put the food budget we saved in the tin. I thought the boys might enjoy this, but they weren't so into it, so we'll wait a couple years and try that again.
We are also sharing a lenten reading from Celebrating the Church Year with Young Children each night. It is lovely and focuses on the lenten journey and God as shepherd, which I love. It is amazing to me that something as simple as sharing these few lines each night is forming our lenten journey.
Lent Ideas and Thoughts: