Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and this was our first year taking time out of our normal school day to celebrate. I grew up catholic but started going to a non-denominational church about 15 years ago. It was interesting to relearn the reasons behind some of the traditions of this day. We began our day with making a dust cake. I had pinned this as inspiration and then ran with it. Caleb made a chocolate cake himself, along with a package of chocolate pudding. When the cake had cooled, each boy got a slice and was told to use there hands and crumble it into small pieces. We talked about how we are like this cake; because of sin we are dirty, messy, and in broken pieces. Jesus is the chocolate pudding. As we poured it onto our crumbled cakes, it symbolizes Jesus’s love being poured over us. Only He is able to put us back together and make us sweet. Alone as the cake we are broken, but with the pudding (Jesus) we are whole again. The boys LOVED this analogy, probably because they were able to have cake and pudding for lunch 😉
Our next activity was to make grateful cards. We talked about how life can be hard and not go our way at times. Even in those darker moments, however, we need to still praise God for our blessings. I love this post that I just read over at The Homeschool Mom Blog on this very topic. We pulled out a lot of accessories (foam pieces, pom-poms, feathers, pip-cleaners, ext.) to help make our cards as bright and beautiful as possible. We then displayed them proudly in our hallway. Now they can serve as reminders to us when we go through rougher days.
I loved reading the ideas from Sacraparental and what she does not only for Ash Wednesday but for all of Lent. We are going to follow her advice and light candles this year. Caleb set up a plate with 6 purple tea lights and 1 white candle. He wanted to make sure he used the Christmas plate he made several years back because that represents when Jesus was born and the candles are leading up to his death. I thought that was pretty clever. We have never lit candles like this for anything before. The first candle is to represent how Jesus is wise. We were able to get into a great discussion over that. We then lit the first candle and prayed for God’s wisdom and guidance for the upcoming week. We don’t usually stop and pray like that as a group during the day. It was heart-warming to hear my boys opening up. I loved it 🙂
Here are a few other projects that I had found but just didn’t have time to get to them:
- Prayer Jar – When Life Gave Me Lemonade
- Fingerprint Cross Art Work – S.M.Conner
- Making Pretzels – Catholic Cuisine
I am hoping to continue our deeper look into the Lenten Season this year, so I would love to hear what you do with your family.
Happy Learning Everyone!