ashes to Easter

Today starts another season of preparing to celebrate Easter.  Over the years, we’ve built into our family an atmosphere of “Easter ashesfinalWeek”.  We let each person pick a day, and then pick something special/celebratory for our family to do on that day the week after Easter.  But so far, we’ve not done a ton for the Lent season beyond having them relinquish a toy that they usually forget about by the time Easter rolls around anyways.  I love the season of Advent, as our family prepares together for celebrating Christmas.  So this year, we’ll be going through “A Family Journey With Jesus Through Lent” by Angela Burrin.

So far it looks pretty cool.  There are stories from scripture for each day of Lent, and they’re told from the perspective of children nearby.  The only downside is the fact that it seems to be written with a catholic (faith, not “world-wide”) audience in mind.  So there are bits I’ve read about Mary being everyones’ mother, Mass, etc…but with a little pre-reading/editing, it’s definitely still very usable.

You may especially like it if you’re hip to the “Jesus Calling” books.  Each days devotional thought ends with a few words from Jesus to your child.  Now you’re probably all like “Dang, Chadwick….why didn’t you tell me this a month ago?”  Well, it’s because we just got the books today, and I just not checked it out a bit.  So….maybe get it for next year?

Another book we’re using as a guide (though I’m trusting my wife to handle this one on our behalf) is one on the “Daniel Fast”.  Not that we believe God sent a prophetic word to us, guiding us toward such a thing.  But we both could use (me mainly) healthier eating habits, and it’ll be nice to submit to a season of self-denial together – as it draws us to remembering our need for Christ, and self-control.

Last year I did a water-fast, and only lasted 12 days…although it was definitely a rewarding experience on many levels.  This year will hopefully run all the way to Easter, and connect me not only to my Savior, but to my wife as well – always a bonus. 🙂  Who knows, I may also try to add a short jog to my Lenten routine….once a week enough to count? 🙂

Sidenote: I meet regularly with a young woman and young man in jail, awaiting trials.  In conversations with them about Lent (both have a Catholic background), they struggle to know how to handle it.  There aren’t a lot of things they can still “give up”.  It’s been an interesting and thought-provoking reminder of why we make sacrifices, and the heart of humbling ourselves before God – confessing our brokenness, and our need for Him.

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