“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
In our kitchen we have a frame on the wall that holds different decor each month. It is a fun way to display some homemade seasonal art but mostly it serves as a built in teaching tool for our family. In November this frame holds a "Gratitude Tree," and in December we display our "Jesse Tree". In February we count the ways God loves us and this March we are going to focus on TIME.
My plan is simple: each morning we are going to add one clock to the wall. (There are enough to take us up to Purim.) We will read the verse printed on that clock, discuss what it means, and then pray that God would help us to use our time wisely. I am still thinking often about how time is a gift (you can read that article here) and as Tolkien so concisely states, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
This focus on TIME ties in nicely with three other events/holidays which we will celebrate for the first time as a family this March: Ash Wednesday, Lent and Purim.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on March 6th and while I have participated in several Ash Wednesday services in the past, this will be my first time bringing my children with me. I feel myself increasingly drawn toward church calendar events such as this because I sense that I need these built in reminders. Advent helps me to remember the great love story of God's redemption, Easter helps me to remember and give thanks for the hope and life that Christ won for me and Ash Wednesday reminds me why all of that was necessary. Ash Wednesday humbles me - reminding me that I came from dust and someday my body will return to dust and that my only hope for life eternal is Jesus. If you'd like to learn a bit more about Ash Wednesday or want a good way to explain it to your kids, I found this article to be helpful.
For lent we have decided to try a week-long "screen fast" as a family. We are only doing a week because, well...we're scared to commit to anything longer! Or perhaps a more spiritual way to phrase that would be, "We are easing into the idea of fasting this year and setting a foundation we can build on in the years to come." However you slice it, this will be a challenge for all of us and we are praying about ways we can spend this extra time intentionally. As parents, we realize the importance of teaching our children to manage and budget their money, but managing and budgeting time is even MORE important! I'm hoping our discussions and activities this month will help us all to grow in this area.
We are brand new to celebrating Purim but I am excited to give it a try. Purim is a Jewish holiday which celebrates God's rescue of the Jewish people recorded in the book of Esther and this year it is celebrated on Wednesday, March 20th. I do not yet feel educated enough about this holiday to try and give much of a description here but I would encourage you to do a little research on your own if you are interested in this fun teaching opportunity. (Pinterest has a lot of ideas on how to celebrate Christ during Purim - which is, of course, what we plan to do!) During our Purim celebration we plan to discuss the fact that we have been invited into the presence of the King, we have been saved from death and given life (like the Jewish people), and we were placed on the earth, in this specific location and place in history, for such a time as this. Purim seems like a fun and memorable way to talk about these wonderful truths. If your family celebrates this holiday, I'd love to hear what traditions and activities you include!
***You can download and print some clocks for your wall here.***
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us and when it comes to teaching children the things of God, there is no time like the present.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.