This year, my little girl is 4, so I've decided to try to have her participate more in Lent. I want her to start to see how the practices of Lent are difficult, yet in the end truly satisfying. To simplify the season, I wanted to work on the basic "add something, take away something" sacrifices for Lent. I tried to talk to her in depth before this and explain how doing hard things for Jesus will show him how thankful you are that He died on the cross for you. His death on the cross makes it possible for us to go to Heaven. A place with no tears and pure joy is really something to be grateful for.
To add something, I created this prayer chain for her.
There are 40 chain links with names on them. Before we can leave the house (hence why it is hung by the door), we will pray for that person and add in a Our Father and Hail Mary. This will hopefully show her the importance of lifting others up in prayer and also give us extra practice on our memorized prayers. As the chain gets shorter, she will have a visual representation of how close we are to Easter!
To give something up, we made up a box for loved toys.
For 40 days, the toys of her choice will stay in this box in her room. Then on Easter, we will celebrate the return of the lost toys! I made sure to not persuade her into what toys to give. I told her to pick some toys that she loves best and stood back to see what her tiny, pure heart would produce. For my Princess and book obsessed girl, the toys in this box are some of her most prized possessions.
Tomorrow is ash Wednesday, so we will see how this Lenten journey unfolds!