Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our Journey for Lent

Lent. How do you explain Lent to children? Specifically 3, 5 and 7. It was even tough to explain to them death. (That's for another post)

It took me quite some time to figure what Lent would mean to child… because i realized, I too don't know what it means to me.

Not finding an excuse because I was a cradle catholic. It's just that i haven't truly owned what Lent (at this point) would mean to me. If i didn't know… why would my kids know or for that matter, want to know?

I went online to google on Lent and it's interesting that some people had defined it as a pagan practice since it seems like catholics go through a whole fasting and abstinence thing for 40 days just to 'atone for the non-christlike stuff we did', i.e. to do something in exchange for grace.
But grace.. just like love, shouldn't be conditional. It's a gift.
I don't tell my children, if you do this, i will love you more. I mean… I just love them. Period. And God just loves.
It is indeed disrespectful and rude to assume that just because God loves me, hence I can do whatever i deem fit.

So… what does Lent mean to me? If Lent is doing something that we hardly do in our lives, then for this Lent, let it be a season of giving thanks.
Giving thanks for the gift that God has given, and saying a prayer for him/her or even the matter.

With that in mind, I saw this idea from the internet on a Prayer Chain. Basically, you write down a list of things you want to pray for this Lent, and you tape them up in a chain. Every morning, you break each chain and say a prayer for that intention.
I changed it a little and I got the kids to write something that they are thankful for so far… and told them that they should say a prayer every morning on that subject matter. D fetches the kids to school and he probably could use that to talk to the children why they were thankful for that matter.

The idea was probably the EASIEST to come up… now sitting down with them to discuss something they are thankful for… zzz 
It made me think… were things provided for them so easily that they didn't realize that these things/people were blessings. To them… it seemed like they were a given. (I have to admit this made me feel a little uncomfortable… so now when they are given a certain privilege, i need to remind myself to highlight to them that it's a gift not a given.) Does anyone out there feel the same thing too???

After 1 hour, i glad the children were able to come up with things like "thank you for teacher ABC, she taught me to write!"or "thank you God for my godparents, they spend time with me!"
I'm most touched when they thanked God for their grandpa, my dad. He's a very quiet person who doesn't really get the chance to spend a lot of time with them. But they noticed that his leg had a cut recently (something that even i didn't know) and at times a little swollen (not because of his cut) and wanted to say a special prayer for him.

So here's the children's prayer chain hung on the back of the door. This starts on Monday since that's the time when D can talk to them about it while driving them to school… Why is Julian's so short… Because he had difficulties staying focused. And i thought 11 is not that bad a start.

What about you guys? What is Lent for you like?

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