And so it begins. Waking up today, everything feels and looks a little different. The world isn’t the same as it was yesterday. The Fast has begun, and all of life has caught its breath in anticipation.
Now, this could feel like any other Monday if I let it. It’s only different, because I am choosing to embrace the fact. Lent is not a burden imposed on us. It is a gift we can accept or refuse.
These lofty concepts are not the easiest to grasp for children. It definitely can just seem like the time of “have to” and “cannot”. On this, the first day of Lent, here is a short, free lesson and craft to help your children see a little more clearly the path ahead.
Read the following with your child:
Then, print out the attached picture. You can use colored paper or cardstock if you have it, but plain, white copy paper is perfectly fine. Following is an example of how to decorate your wallhanging, but there is no right or wrong! Let your kids do whatever they want!
When we did this at our house, Hilary used three colors of acrylic craft paint and a Q-tip for her decoration. It would also be really cute if your children used their fingertips to paint with. If you don’t have paint, markers and crayons would work great!
We hung ours underneath our Magnetic Lenten Calendar, which this year is residing on a white board in our school area. The countdown begins!
Another thing to remind our children (and ourselves!) during this time, is that one of the great blessings of Lent is community. Everyone in the Church is on the same schedule right now, and we’re there for each other. When we’re unsure what to do, turn to the Church. When it gets hard, turn to the Church. When help and encouragement is needed, turn to the Church. We’re going to celebrate on Pascha together. Let’s help each other get to the party!
The first day of cleaning out the gunk and build up in our lives is a reason for its own mini-celebration. The gifts and blessings are on their way. May you and your family have a blessed, blessed Lent!