Lent in a Box
The Lent in a Box resource is a collaborative project between Rev. Melissa Gepford (Great Plains Conference) and Rev. Kathy Pittenger (Michigan Conference).
If you are looking for more ideas, check out the other Lent Playlists! We also recommend the following:
How to Use This Playlist
The ideas in this playlist (collection of activities, ideas, links, books, and videos) goes along with the Lent in a Box resource. Included are 2 “simple” ideas, 2 “medium-sized” ideas, and 1 “big” idea. The simple ideas will take 10 minutes or less. The medium ideas will take 30 minutes or less. The big idea will either take more time to do or has more prep time. They may also be more appropriate for older kids. While the playlists are labeled by week, they can be done in any order or you can come back to them at any time.
The “simple” ideas are also in the downloadable resource, but may include more links and additional information here. We hope you enjoy these spiritual practices for your family.
To make a meditation jar: Pour an entire 6 oz container of glitter glue into a clear jar. Add any additional glitter, confetti, beads, or other waterproof craft supplies. Fill jar with hot water (not boiling, just hot). Twist the lid on tight (you might consider adding hot glue around the perimeter). While water is still hot, shake the jar vigorously until glue is dissolved.
To use the meditation jar: Shake it up! You can do this for as long as you need to shake out any extra energy, anxiety, frustration, or jitters. When you’re ready, set the jar down and breathe deeply as you watch the glitter settle. Imagine that the glitter represents your thoughts, words, and actions, and remember that, just like Jesus calmed the storm, Jesus can calm our hearts.
Choose a word or brief phrase to repeat in one breath. If it is a phrase, say one part as you inhale and the rest as you exhale. You can say breath prayers out loud, in a whisper, or silently. Breath prayers are wonderful as a calming, meditative practice. Use these Breath Prayers that you can cut out and use.
Sit around a table, on a blanket on the floor, or in a location of your choosing. Light a candle (or use a battery powered one) and place it in the center of your family. Say, “when we light this candle it reminds us of the light of Christ and how God is with us. As we light this candle, we remember that this is sacred/holy/special space.” Guide your family to take three deep breaths. Then let each person share a celebration and prayer request. When you are done, finish with a family prayer or the Lord’s prayer or Amen. You can either blow out the candle or leave it light (if it can be done safely) as a reminder that Christ is always with you.
Quiet Time Bags
Put together quiet time bags with activities that each person in your family enjoy – a small puzzle, an inspiring book, a coloring book with crayons/markers, blocks, fidget toys, etc. Use the bag to encourage rest and silence. After the amount of time you specify that will work with your family (it could be 5 minutes or 30 minutes or more), talk with your family about their experience. Sample questions include: “What was restful about our quiet time?” or “What was hard about our quiet time?” or “What did you learn about yourself?”
Yoga can be a wonderful way to calm, stretch, center, be wiggly, and even be silly. Below are two options from YouTube that you may find helpful, are from a Christian faith perspective. The first is designed for children. The second is more like a workshop that parents can learn from and practice with their kids.