Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beginning Lent

Lent has become a special time for our family to slow down a bit and take more time for God and each other. Although we fast by abstaining from meat during the week, we try to focus on what God wants to give us in this season rather than on what we are giving up. 

At our Sunday Brunch and children's service, I finally found a way to hang up my Circle of the Church Year. The kids knew exactly where the hand of the "clock" should be - on the last Sunday of the green, growing season (also known as "Ordinary Time") before Lent. 

Since I neither grew up Catholic nor in the state of Louisiana, "Fasching" (what we call Carnival or Mardi Gras here) was not part of my tradition. But it is celebrated here in northern Germany as a children's holiday on Shrove Tuesday, and the kids have parties at school. It is a fun way to say good-bye to Ordinary Time before greeting Lent.

This year, we had a doctor in the house . . . 

and a visit from Legolas . . . 

(If you'd like to know how my husband made those elf ears, click here.)

Then we enjoyed a "Pfannkuchen" (pancake) for afternoon tea.

It's actually more of what Americans would call a doughnut and filled with jelly. We call it a Pfannkuchen, but Germans outside of Berlin call it a "Berliner". And this is incidentally what caused the roaring laughter in the crowd when John F. Kennedy said, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" Because he used the indefinite article, he inadvertantly referred to himself as a jelly-filled doughnut.: )

Today, we began to build our Lenten Nature Table. 

It's tulip time in Europe right now, and they are my absolute favorite. I couldn't resist adding them to our nature table.

On Sunday the children made Lenten prayer pots. My daughter made a new one, since she made the last one when she was four.

and my son still loves his old prayer pot, 
so he created something new for the nature table . . .

We ended our day by attending an Ash Wednesday service at a church near our home. The children had the experience of getting ashes on their forehead for the first time, and found it to be a meaningful symbol. 

Many blessings on your Lenten journey!


  1. "my son still loves his old prayer pot". Sweet!

    1. He made it when he was 6, and now he is 9, so I'm glad it is still meaningful to him.

  2. Hi hav recently discovered your blog - I help with children's mission at our church and this morning we made prayer pots and the children LOVED it - so thanks for the wonderful inspiration :-)

    1. I'm so honored that you did this project with your kids! If you would like to send me pictures, I'd love to post some of them.

      Thanks for joining me on this journey!