Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Keeping Love in Lent

"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”

Gael’s Crafty Treasures Keeping Love in Lent

This year we made an Alleluia banner and hid it away on Ash Wednesday.  This is very significant for our family because my youngest son (7yo) loves to sing the Alleluia during mass.  He refused to go to the children’s liturgy because he didn’t want to miss singing the Alleluia.  Since the Alleluias were taken away, we added several other Christian songs to our music catalog for our family to sing and enjoy at home until Easter when the Alleluia’s come back.  One of our family favorite is “Open My Eyes” by Jesse Manibusan  Does your family have a favorite song?

The four of us gave up something for Lent and as a family we support each other and try to help each other abstain from what we’ve promised. For example the boys decided since Dad gave up hot wings that we won’t go to the restaurant that serves his favorite.

Walk the Lenten Path

We use the Walk the Lenten path calendar everyday to keep us on track.  Each day the boys decide what they would like to do to move closer to Jesus.  One day we might give alms by putting money in the CRS Rice Bowl.  The next we might say a prayer for friends or family.  Of coarse we don’t eat meat on Fridays but like to attend our Parish fish fry which is nice family parish time.

We use our family prayer jar at dinner time.  We discuss the meaning behind each prayer and/or who we were thinking of as it was read. 
"Lord, make us a light to others. Illuminate our path and help us shine the light of your love to those in darkness"

During Lent our family takes the opportunity to become closer to each other as well as Jesus.  We spend more time reading the bible together and reading The Little Black Book: Six-minute meditations of the Sunday Gospels of Lent, provided by our church.

It is important not only to sacrifice but to also add more Love and kindness during Lent. We try to come up with different ideas of donations or ways to pay it forward.  Maybe donate a toy we don’t play with or surprise a neighbor with a little devotional gift. 

These are just a few things our Clan does to keep LOVE in our Lenten journey.  I hope all of you have a wonderful, loving journey as well.

God Bless You, Gail

Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.


  1. Hi Gail~I just love your blog...So many great ideas you share here! It's nice to meet you:) We have a family prayer box, much like your jar...Our children love it. Thank you for sharing your family Lenten traditions and your wonderful example. God bless your loving Lent!

    1. It’s nice to meet you Tiffany. This is the first time we have used a family prayer jar and both boys are enjoying it. Twice we have pulled out a prayer that has applied to a much needed lesson in loving behavior towards others.
      I just had to pin your Socks of Love project. I thought it was such a fantastic idea and hope our church can do something like that as well.
      Thanks for stopping by and Gods Speed to you and your Clan.

  2. Oh my goodness, what great ideas! I especially love that you guys, as a family, work together to help each other abstain from the things you've agreed to abstain from. Nothing like a bit of family support... especially where chicken wings are concerned. ;)

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. How is it I just learned this year that we don't sing the Alleluia during Lent? So much more to learn...We use a similar walking path for Lent that we received from our Faith Formation program. Very tangible for the kids.

  4. Okay, I need to make a family prayer jar this Lent. I think that would really help the kids grasp praying for others (beyond "and bless everyone in the whole world") and add a little variety to our prayers!

    God bless!

  5. Great ideas! And I love the support your boys are showing their Dad. God bless!

  6. Stopping by from the "Keep Love in Lent" link-up. I recently discovered your blog and added it to my feed-reader; you have so many wonderful ideas. Your Lenten prayer jar is beautiful, and I like the way you take a bit of time to talk about the prayer intentions. We need to do more of that, rather than rush through the prayers!

    Blessed Lent to you and your family.


  7. I completely agree- Lent is not just subtraction, it's addition. Your family prayer jar is fantastic- and an idea that I am putting in the books to use for when my little one is bigger. God bless!


  8. Holy whoa -- how did I miss that your Lenten calendar is *magnetic* when I was here a few days ago?? I'm a magnet board freak. Our parish has used the Little Black Book in past years, as well -- thanks for the reminder about this resource. Good Lent to you!


  9. Love the jar idea!!

    We listen to Christian music all the time here, so it is hard to pick just one song, but my kids love signing One Thing Remains.

    Happy Lent! So nice to find your blog.

  10. I LOVE the family prayer jar idea! :) And thank you for reminding me to get the family to listen to more Christian music. :) Let's pray for each other during this Lent and beyond! :) Thanks for joining the link-up! God bless always!

  11. Hi Gail, first I must comment on how I love your header! Is that a picture taken at your home? Do you own those vintage blocks? Modge Podge the pictures on some of them and letters on the others?

    Your Alleluia was done much cuter than the one I did. I like the added touch of the embellishments and how sweet that your son enjoys singing Alleluia so much! He has a heart for praising Jesus!

    We're doing the CRS Rice Bowl too and I've recently been "recruited" to be part of my church' Peace and Justice Committee. The Rice Bowl is our first project even though are church has been doing it for many years. What does your church do to promote peace and justice in the world? You're living in Ireland, correct?

    I'm here in the US and we're a very secularized society that tends to forget the helpless, the poor and the weak. That's why I agreed to be part of this ministry to learn more about the needs of others.

    May God shower your family with His love and blessings this Lenten Season!

    1. Hi Noreen, Thanks for stopping by Gaels Crafty Treasures. The picture blocks were my very first Mod Podge project. You can find the link to the tutorial I used here. http://gaelstreasures.blogspot.com/2011/09/faith-hope-and-love-picture-blocks.html
      They look antique because I sanded the corners and used paint. It was a fun project and I was happy with the way it turned out. I put pictures on all sides so we can see them from all angles of our family room.
      My husband was born and raised in the west of Ireland but we live in Ohio right now. He still has family there so we try to visit often. Our boys have been there twice already and I have lost track of how many times I have visited. My side of the family is Irish as well but I was born in the States.
      My youngest Finn (age 7) is in our church choir and loves to sing. I hear the love of God in his voice always and feel so blessed that he has given Finn such a wonderful gift.

      May God hold you and your family in the palm of his hand this Lenten journey and beyond.

    2. I will check out your tutorial, thanks! I'd love to make one too :) Your Finn has a beautiful heart! I've no doubt the rest of your children do too but I think it's extra precious that he loves to sing in the choir!

  12. I noted you were featured on Catholic Inspired. What craft or activity was your idea? I'm a big fan of Jennifer's!

    1. Yes Jennifer is great and has wonderful ideas. I had the Lenten path calendar, family prayer jar and hide the Alleluia banner.

    2. I'm going to head back over to Catholic Inspired and check it out!

  13. Those are few but very meaningful things. I think I will borrow your idea of the Alleluia banner and hide it til Easter. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I, too, love the blocks! And the St. Patrick's Day printables will come in handy soon! Thanks.

  15. My youngest likes to sing "Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king!" He did it at Ash Wednesday Mass which made those around us chuckle... We, too like to bury the Alleluia and do other concrete things to help the children better understand Lenten traditions. A big one for us is pray, fast, give jars http://traininghappyhearts.blogspot.com/2012/03/our-2012-pray-fast-give-jarsand-gods.html

  16. I love the thought of the family singing holy songs together....and I think I have the little black book!
    Love your post and the activities you are doing for Lent! Thanks for sharing!

  17. We also should do more singing as a family; I used to sing to my oldest when she was a baby to keep her from fussing all the time. But, I rarely sing to or with the children now. Thanks for the idea.

  18. I love that you all are practicing solidarity with Dad. I see in it a small way of honoring him as husband and father. Music in our family? Oh gosh, that's a toughie! My daughter Katie sings as cantor and we love Hillsong's version of Hosanna. You can find it on Youtube. Katie helps out on the Sundays we have a youth Mass. LOve in Lent!

  19. I love that your son loves to sing the Alleluia. Your prayer jar is wonderful. You have wonderful ideas for traditions and practices here.
    Wishing you a blessed Lent,
    Pax Christi,