Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lenten Progress

We're back!

There has been some serious internet fasting going on around here for the past 5 days.  I wish I could say I didn't notice that our modem was down for 5 days, but I am afraid I didn't bear it with as much graceful patience as I aspired to initially.  Fortunately, however, this is Lent, and we are all focusing on daily ways we can grow in faith, hope and charity.

Two weeks into Lent, we are all making progress in our Easter preparation.

Our prayer chain is growing!  

This has been a wonderful evening activity for our family.  It has also been a great way for T and I to talk about current events with the kids.  At one point, while looking at pictures of Japanese fire boats putting out fires in Japan, G-Bear surprised us by asking what we could do to help.  We talked about sending "circle money" to help people in Japan and also talked about how our prayers could help too.  We have lots of garland rings with prayers for the fireboats and Japanese people now, as well as prayers for family members and thank you's to Jesus for his love.

Our bean basket is filling up too! 

It might not look like much now, but each of the beans in this basket represents a special moment of obedience, good manners, generosity or helpfulness on the part of E-Bear or G-Bear.  While the beans look small, the effect of the the behaviors they represent has made a big difference in our daily life as a family.  Sometimes the kids get to put beans in the basket right away if their deed is done at an opportune moment while we are at home.  Just as special have been our evening reflections around the bean jar, when we talk about the good acts the kids have done and also about ways we can all improve the next day.  Both kids seem to take this really well.  I can honestly say that I have noticed G-Bear being more helpful to E-Bear, considering her tone of voice, and altering some of her behavior that we talked about the night before.  Even E-Bear's behavior has benefitted.  We have a long way to go, but for now I can't wait to see the pile of jellybeans on Easter morning knowing all the good they represent!

Our friday food shelf basket has been a fun way to focus on giving on our meatless Fridays.  The kids have colored lots of beautiful seasonal color pages for me.  Todd and I are striving for serious patience and charitable thoughts as we tackle internet outages and taxes together.  I am 11 bags into my "40 bags in 40 days" house cleaning goal.  And Baby Bear is due in just 3.5 weeks!

We have fallen short in many ways, but thank the Lord, He blesses our little effort with His limitless love.  We are living our Lenten days with the hope of Easter promises ahead.

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