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Teaching Kids About Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

 Ash Wednesday is an important celebration whether Catholic or not. It marks the beginning of Lent!

As we begin this season I think it is important to include your children in the traditions and observances. One of the best ways to do this is to observe them yourself. Also explain to them what will happen before you attend the services. Talk to them about why we do special things during this tie of year. When children understand they are more likely to pay attention and behave in the service. Think about it…If things are confusing, you can’t see, or you don’t understand what is happening would you want to sit up and pay attention?

Ash Wednesday is a day of  fasting and repentance. Ash Wednesday begins 40 days before Easter and gets it’s name from the tradition of spreading ashes in a the shape of the cross on your forehead.

Where do the ashes come from? They are most often from the palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. The preist burns them and mixes them with holy water.

Why Ashes?

Ashes go back as far as the Old Testament. The priests would cover their heads with ashes to show sorrow and repentance to God. People, like Job, would put on sack cloth and ashes to show that they were in mourning.

So the same reason applies today. Wearing ashes is an outward sign of an inward feeling. It shows that we are sorry for our sins. Sin damages or friendship with God. Jesus died on the cross to make up for our sins. He tells us to keep away from sin but sometimes we mess up. The only one who was without sin was Jesus himself. He wants us to grow to be more like him and one of the ways that we can do that is through repentance.

(Repentance – the act of showing sorrow when you do wrong and a commitment to change.)

As we embark on this Lenten journey, reflect on your sins and faults. Confess them and receive forgiveness. Don’t let sin separate you from His throne! Get rid of it and make a commitment to change.

Activity:

I have created a coloring activity to do as you talk to your kids about Ash Wednesday and Lent. Have your children color the color sheet. Then, use black chalk or finger paint to make a cross on the forehead of the color sheet. Finally, have them write things that they will commit to changing during this Lent. It could be simple sacrifices like candy or soda. Or things that they will add in like prayer or stations of the cross. Also, write any sins that they want to confess like disobeying, forgetting to pray or hurting others. Hang them where the children will see them and be reminded of them during this Lent.

Ash Wednesday Coloring Page

GirlBoy

 

 

#Lent: Ash Wednesday – A Solemn Assembly

Scripture:

Joel 2:12-13

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Observation:

Be contrite and repentant! This day sets the tone for the start of our faith adventure. How will you join in? With heart and mind. Not for show! Return to the Lord and he will welcome you in. He is loving and compassionate.

Application:

How will you embrace the opportunity we have during this Lenten season to draw closer to the Lord? What should you abstain or give up during this time of fasting? How can we use this time as a family both in our homes and in our churches to call the community of faith back together?

The Lord’s clear call to us as we enter this special time of spiritual discipline is to gather the family at the table. May each of us find in the telling of the greatest of all stories our place, our name, and our sense of belonging in the family of God.

Through this next 40+ days we need to focus and remember that this season is not about us and our sacrifices. It is about honoring Jesus through purging of our temples. It is about making ourselves a better and more useful vessel for his ministry. It is about being Jesus to others!

Don’t focus solely on what bad habit you can break and how much weight (etc…) you will lose because of it. If that is your purpose get on a diet and leave Lent out of it! The true purpose is to use the time you would be doing …… for God! Whether pray, discipleship, helping the church with odd jobs, etc… Use it to glorify God and further His love to others. Use it by allowing Him to use you!

Prayer:

Lord God, send your spirit to guide and direct us through these days. Sanctify us and make us more like you. Give us the hunger for your word, your spirit, your will! Give us the light of your presence, your peace from heaven, and the salvation of my soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Italicized portion from “Ashes to Fire” devotional

Weekly Wrap-up: It’s All About Ashlee!

 
In Our Homeschool This Week…
Our week started out slow and simple, which I’m glad for. The weather (as many know) has been trowing us some curve balls. Both Monday and Tuesday we were on tornado watch & warnings. We managed to weather the storms with little to no damage. We have a few trees with damage and lots of downed limbs. Our creek also flooded the roads so we didn’t get out much. We were lucky! My heart goes out to the families that lost everything just a short drive over the border in Oklahoma. I couldn’t imagine how that would feel to lose every material object that you own, let alone your children. I have pretty much avoided watching the news programs about the devastation.  While I do mourn for/with them, I don’t want to be scared by having those images burned into my brain. I feel like I need to be able to be calm and collected, not scared and worried. During one of the episodes, where we rushed into our safe area, Audrey commented, “We don’t need to be scared Jesus is protecting us”. Wow, the faith of a child! She was such a great helper! The storms prompted my Hubby to research underground shelters and begin the process of getting one put in. I will be so glad when that happens! I will feel much safer!
On Wednesday, I loaded up the older girls for their trip with Mema and Papa. They will be gone for a week “field tripping”. They have already gone to the Lewis & Clark museum in Nebraska city, Omaha zoo, and are currently headed to the Little House On The Prairie in South Dakota. They are having such a great time and learning so much. I have to admit I’m a little jealous haha! They will return from their trip the middle of next week and I can’t wait to see their pictures and here all about it! I know now why God blessed me with so many munchkins…I would be (am) lost without them!
Since the olders are gone, It has been “All About Ashlee” time. It feels so weird to just have one little noise maker around. But we have tried to have a fun “staycation”. Wednesday when Daddy got home we loaded up and went out for sno-cones. Then, we drove out to the lake. With all the rain they have been letting water out at the spill way and it creates HUGE waves that you can watch. She like hearing and see the power of the water. 
Yesterday, her and I took a trip to our town zoo and had a picnic at the park. She loved having the one-on-one time with Mama. She was also able to see the bear up-close, talk to the macaws, see a baby dear and a baby monkey. 
Our picnic @ the park
sitting at the mushroom table!

 After we finished at the zoo we went to a garage sale that a homeschool family was having. She saw a pink guitar she just had to have!

Today we are just hanging out!
What’s cooking?…
Since I haven’t been teaching school this week I have had some extra time on my hands so the kitchen has been hopping! I have been test running some recipes and tweaking them where needed. I thought I could store some up for the recipe of the week posts. So far we have… eggcellent deviled eggs,  sweet onion challah bread, red wine roasted asparagus with bacon, & cinnamon custard cups. More cooking going on today!
I received a SCOBY from a friend last week and started my first batch of Kombucha tea! This is a fermented tea drink similar to Apple Cider Vinegar. I am planning a informational post about it soon.
Other Going on’s…
Hubby has another fireworks demo shoot-off this weekend so I got a baby sitter for Ashlee and will be joining in on the fun! I will post pictures and videos later this weekend!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have had a great week!