Monday, April 14, 2014

Kick Start your Holy week

In the hand full of holidays we celebrate around here, Easter and Holy week are easily my favorite. No twinkling distractions, no pressure to gift beyond our means, no weeks worth of preparing... just simple, heart filling and slow paced days leading up to a celebration of the best gift we will ever receive. Eternal life...all looked upon and praised on Resurrection Sunday.

There is so much to be passed on in our homes. Traditions, I believe, sit high on the priority list. However, truth always sits at the top. To tie in truth with traditions, making holidays, and any other family habits we do that point to His word worth the efforts, energy, and any endeavors that need to happen to complete such a task. This is an ultimate win/win in my book.

If you've never done anything...not a darn thing for Holy Week...don't be scared off to start now. It's never too late. Let me repeat's never too late to start traditions that point to His Truth.  If you have been living with me here on this blog for many years, you maybe remember some of my firsts attempts at starting Holy week traditions. If not, just find an oldie here! There are so many creative ways to bring His word, His lessons, and His love into this week. In the days of Pinterest and Google, ideas are anything but lacking!

We do a few different things around here and in the beginning it felt a bit awkward. I was making stuff up as I went and trying things out as a new Mama. After a few years under my belt and some trial and error ideas, some of them started to show some promise for being keepers and thus started the beginning of our yearly Easter traditions. Even after some good years, there is always room for some growth as the family grows and some new dynamics to our traditions need to happen. Just look back to last year when I just recently added our Grace Garden to our Holy Week of celebrating and learning. Like I's never too late!

My biggest goal is to have my heart and my children's heart prepped for the heavy, life-changing truth that Jesus died for us. I want to know His heart through His story... I want to push aside what tends to fog my vision for His way of living and see His face on Resurrection Sunday. I want my kids to know they are loved, they are saved, they are forever created with a purpose, and live with that Truth.

To know His story, we must read it. We must talk about it. We must repeat it. We must hear it. We must write it and create it in our lives. 

As a former teacher, naturally I used the Truth as my content and a reading lesson as my experience. I think kids learn through experience and I kind of just made this up as I looked at what stage my kids were at and worked from there. We simply use the two words "Holy Week", 8 letters, 8 days from Sunday to Sunday of this week. Each day we read a different part of Luke. Depending on where my kids are at that year, we use that acronym to learn the story of Jesus death. This year Jaxon reads the verses and the boys together find the main idea. Jaxon writes one sentence, Austin sounds out the letter for that day and circles any of his sight words in that sentence.  The memory verse for the week simply points to the King who comes in the name of the Lord...our destination on Sunday when we read about His rising. 

I use my own Bible for the readings, which Jaxon is using this year to read out loud. I follow up with the kids Bible for my younger ones...pointing out pictures and a word or two that 'sticks" with them for that lesson. I typed up verses in the Bible I wanted to use a few years ago that made the story of Jesus flow well for kids to understand. Luke seems to be a good book to use for my kids. 
After each reading, there is usually some sort of activity or experience for the day to help "hold onto" what we've learned... we've done everything from build crosses with blocks, color donkeys, carry logs out in the woods up a hill, wash each other's feet, and so on.

The point is less about doing something Pinterest worthy. Rather, the main purpose is to teach ourselves and our kids the story of Jesus. How our stories and our lives are connected and the story of life through Him.

I could give you all the details of how we do our Holy Week activities here. But, what my kids need right now and what your kids need are different. They all need truth. And only you, as their own unique Mama or Papa, can share that in a way that they will learn it. I use reading and nature to teach my kids. Maybe you are an artist and you will paint a picture of truth each day... Maybe you are a construction worker and you will build a vision of truth for your kids... Maybe you are a gardener and you will plant the story of Jesus this year with your young ones... Maybe you are a musician and you will sing His truth... however you are made, whatever feels natural and right to you, wherever you feel confident to share what you know with His story...use that. Share that. Give that to your children this Holy Week. And's never too late to start.

Do you have a fun way you connect Easter and Holy week with your children? I'd love to hear them here...just comment below!

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