Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten Nature Table 2012



We just finished putting up our nature table to begin our Lenten journey in 2012. While there are some  familiar elements from last year, we've added a few new things as well. These symbols of our faith are powerful reminders that we are on a special journey with God during Lent.  We set aside more time to draw closer in relationship with our Creator, to allow him to change us, and allow him to prompt change in the world through us.

Below is our Christ Candle surrounded by the things we are finding in our park as of late. I love having the Christ Candle in our kitchen where so much real life takes place. We eat, talk, do homework, art and have breakdowns in that room. The Christ Candle is a gentle reminder that God is always there with me, no matter what our day may turn into. The leaves are from an evergreen bush much like holly and the berries are signs of life that show the winter is thawing. The red berries are called "Hagebutte" in German and they are often used to make tea. The white berries we call "Knallbeeren"("crack" berries), because they make a fun sound when you step on them.: ) And the dark berries we call "Vogelbeeren" (bird berries), because the birds love to eat them.


Four figures in the desert, one for each member of our family. This year, I let each person pick out their own figures. You can probably guess which ones are my son and daughter. A bowl of water reminds of God's power to cleanse and renew. It also reminds us of our baptism. And since our children have not yet been baptized, it reminds us to talk with them about what it is all about.


The puzzle pieces are from the Godly Play story, The Mystery of Easter. This is a brilliant story that helps children (and adults!) understand why we need six weeks of preparation to celebrate with God at Easter. In it, the storyteller and children put together a puzzle that is a cross. Since I couldn't fit my wooden cross puzzle on the window sill, I had the idea from  So Many Joys to make one out of felt.


The puzzle pieces become this . . . 


and then this . . .


The two colors represent both the deep sadness of the Crucifixion and pure joy of the Resurrection that we experience at Easter.

I couldn't resist picking up a yellow crocus to put on the table. These beautiful flowers are the heralds announcing that we are in a transition and that change is about to come. Also, our jar with the pictures of  the children we sponsor through World Vision. (More about that in an upcoming post!)


And on the kitchen table, we have a single pillar candle and a prayer pot that the children made last year. Over the next six weeks, we will put objects in it that go with specific prayers that will lead us up to Easter.


May you be blessed on your Lenten journey!






This post is linked to the 
Celebrating Lent Link-Up Party 




and The Magic Onions






and Catholic Icing


and Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart 2 Heart



18 comments:

  1. What a beautiful table! I love your felt puzzle. I would love it if you would share at our Sharing Saturday (http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2012/02/sharing-saturday-8.html). Thank you!

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  2. Thanks for joining our Lenten link party ;) I like the four figures in the sand.

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  3. I love your Lenten table, what a wonderful idea to put each member of the family out in the dessert. I was just discussing this season with my teens yesterday. What a beautiful yellow crocus!

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  4. Beautiful Lenten table, Sheila! I always love your nature tables and the special symbolism of the objects. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Lent Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/lent/

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    1. Thanks, Deb! I enjoyed looking at your Pinterest page.

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  5. Beautiful table! And I actually like your felt idea better than the die cuts I used to make mine...I may borrow your idea for next year. :-) I especially like using the People of God in a small desert and having the water there, too.

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    1. Thanks, Amanda! And thanks for the great idea, too!

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  6. This is such a lovely nature table with wonderful ideas on it. I am going to make a felt cross like yours (is there a pattern for the puzzle pieces somewhere?). I also love the 4 of you in the desert - beautiful.
    Do you have a post about the prayer pot? I'm interested in the specific prayers and the objects you place in it.

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    1. Thank you, Nicole!

      The details of what goes into the prayer pot are in this post:
      http://exploreandexpress-sheila.blogspot.com/2012/02/lent-helping-children-identify-with.html

      The specific prayers are in German and I will try to translate them and post them this week.: )

      Also, I don't have a pattern for the cross. I just drew one and then cut it into 6 pieces.: ) But that would also be a good thing to make.

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  7. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! You inspired me to start a Lenten table as well. I hope you will share with us again this week!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie! Please post some pictures of your nature table on your blog.

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  8. I wanted to let you know I borrowed your felt cross idea and linked back to you. http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2012/03/spring-fairies-and-leprechaun.html Thank you again!

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    1. Thanks for the link love, Carrie!

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  9. I would love to know where you got the little wooden figures that represent your family.

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    1. Hi Jim, These are the "People of God" figures from Godly Play. Mine came from this company in Germany, http://www.lindenwerkstaetten.de/Godly-Play/The-People-of-God::79.html. Not sure where you are from, but they can also be ordered from Godly Play suppliers in the USA, England, and Finland. Just google "Godly Play materials" and you will come up with lots of websites.

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