Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lenten Wisdom

Yesterday we had to be out most of the day. I wanted to spend a quiet first day of Lent at home, but we had other scheduled activities. While we were between appointments, I decided to pick up a few items at Target. My girls love to go to Target because they love to hound me for an Icee. Knowing it was Ash Wednesday and there was no way I was caving, Banana very graciously offered up even asking (begging) for one. Her response was, "This isn't sooo hard the first day of Lent, but I don't know about the third or fourth..."

Then later at home, we were letting the girls put their sacrifice jellybeans in their Lent jars. They collect them for good deeds and then may eat them during Easter. This has worked relatively well in years past. However, this is Bophie's first year for collecting and the concept is a little beyond this almost 3-year old. She doesn't understand that she gets them now but has to wait to eat them. At bedtime, she collected her last two for the day and once again asked if she could eat them. I said (for the thirteenth time) she had to wait till Easter. She quickly licked each one, put them in her jar and said, "When Damma (Grandma) comes, I will eat them."


Kim H. said...

Okay, that is too cute! I love it.

And I'm intrigued. Does each girl have their own jar?

And how many jelly beans do you give them for good deads and the such? I think this would be great for my two little ones. I gotta get on it.

Nikki said...

I love this idea. I found it a few years ago. Here is the original:

On Ash Wednesday we set out a glass jar for each child with a small copy of the jellybean prayer taped to it. We determined a behavior to go with each jellybean color (corresponding with the prayer). Each day the kids could earn a jellybean of any color they followed through on. They could not eat the jellybeans until Easter. The kids could not earn white jellybeans, these represented the Grace of Christ, which is a gift not earned ourselves. On Easter morning, the kids woke to find their jars filled up where they were still empty (lacking) with white jellybeans (Christ's grace)
This is how we interpreted each color. You can make your own ideas based on ages and needs of your children.

• Red is for the blood Christ gave (each morning we chose something to sacrifice that day to earn the red jellybean. It had to be something they would have had the opportunity to have or do on that day)
• Green is for the palm's cool shade (green jellybeans were earned for good deeds. It was a good dead to provide shade for Jesus with the palm)
• Yellow is for God's light so bright (yellow jellybeans were earned for sharing God's light through kindness to others)
• Orange is for prayers at twilight (orange jellybeans were earned for attentive behavior during bedtime prayer time and night time bible story)
• Black is for sweet rest at night (these were earned for going to bed good. we used blue though, as our kids are not fans of black jellybeans)
• White is for the Grace of Christ (these we could not earn as mentioned above)
• Purple is for His days of sorrow (we earned these through apologizing to anyone we hurt with our words or deeds that day)
• Pink is for each new tomorrow (pink jellybeans were earned when we forgave those who apologized to us for hurtful behavior)

I love the idea of following the poem, but I found for me it wasn’t entirely practical. I didn’t keep up with monitoring each child’s list of deeds and the color thing just added too much headache. Now I just dole out a few jellybeans per kid for a sacrifice made. For example, Hannah earned two jellybeans for handing Catie the lighter bag and keeping the heavy bag when I asked them to help carry in the groceries. They earn them for saying our evening prayers well (following along, not fidgeting, etc), or helping without complaint, or doing something above and beyond expectations. Then since I don’t do the color thing, I fill the empty part of the jar with m&m’s or some other small candy so that get the idea of God’s grace. I surprised them with it the first time and they really enjoyed it.

In years past I used a clear water bottle jug. This year I found little clear snack containers at Meiers. They each have a different colored lid that snaps open. The bonus was they were on clearance so I paid less than $1 for each one. Those water bottle things could be a little expensive and now that it has been a few years we have more than we need. I am hoping the snack containers will be helpful on our summer park days.


Unknown said...

I love the jelly bean Idea!!!