Seven Bible Verses To Meditate on During the Season of Lent

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Hi All, I hope everyone is having a great week and that some even got an extra day off for the holiday weekend!  We have been busy as ever and Jules and I are in the midst of a new project that we can hopefully reveal to you in a few weeks!

With Easter being early this year (March 27th), Lent arrived before we barely had the Christmas decorations stored away!  Many people choose to give something up for Lent as a way to draw closer to God during this time of repentance and preparation for Easter.  Personally, over the past few years I have chosen to give up some types of social media in order to gain some time back, which I try to spend in prayer and devotion.

This year Little One and I also decided to also add something during Lent.  She chose to add Bible/devotion reading each evening and I have decided to try to add more words of encouragement to others through spoken and written words.  As part of adding words of encouragement to others, I wanted to share with you seven of some of my favorite Bible Verses (one for each week of Lent).  I hope you find encouragement, hope  and peace as you read these words.

1. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

2. “Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

3. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23

4. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

5. Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

6. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

7. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

~Blessings,

Jen

 

Why Ashes?

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“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered why today is called Ash Wednesday?  Today is the first day of Lent, which  is the forty day period (excluding Sundays) of the church year that begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. The Bible tells us that Jesus spent forty days alone with God in the wilderness in preparation for His public ministry.

On Ash Wednesday, ashes, which are traditionally from the burned palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service, are placed on one’s forehead in the sign of a cross.  The ashes symbolize mourning and repentance for sin.  In allowing a cross of  ashes to be placed on our forehead,  we acknowledge that we are in need of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness and that we have hope in the gift of his Son Jesus Christ.

Some people choose to give up or add something to their life during the Lenten Season as a way to limit distractions and turn their attention and focus more fully on God.  This year, I saw another friend post on Facebook that she was taking a break from it for the Lenten Season.  When I read it, I immediately knew this was what I needed to do this year too.  It has become a bit of a time waster for me and after Jules post on stepping away from technology, I thought it would be the perfect thing for me to give up for the Lenten Season.  It has only been one day, but it feels great to have a break from this distraction in my daily life.

How about you?  Are you giving up or adding anything to your life for this Lenten Season?

~Blessings,
Jen

 

Traditions

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, I started thinking about traditions.  Little One had a homework assignment over Thanksgiving weekend and we had to pick four of our favorite Christmas traditions for her to share.  As we worked on this assignment together I realized how special traditions are and how they connect us to our loved ones and give us that warm, cozy  feeling that comes with familiarity .  We have a variety of traditions  in our family,  some are tried and true and can’t be missed, and some have to be more flexible depending on circumstances that are out of our control.  I love traditions that have been around forever, but I also like creating new ones as our family grows and changes.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas traditions:

1. The Friday after Thanksgiving, our family (including my Mom, my brother and his family and Jules and her family) all make the trip out to the cemetery where my Dad is buried to place a Christmas wreath by his grave.  This tradition is comforting as it gives us a chance to honor my Dad’s memory.  We always follow this trip with lunch and the latest family friendly movie.

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2. Jules and I like to do some kind of crafting project.  For this year’s project we made hand-painted ornaments and the wreath for Dad.  I love spending this time crafting with my sister and look forward to it all year.  This year my Mom and Little One joined in on the fun!

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3. The girls, hubby , our pup Louie and I all like to take a drive and look at Christmas lights (this usually involves a stop for hot chocolate).

4. Baking cookies with the girls is a fun-filled adventure every year.

5. New Christmas pajamas for the girls- this is the one gift they get to open on Christmas Eve.

5.It might not always be on Christmas Day, but my siblings and their families and my Mom gather together  each year to celebrate Christmas. This involves lots of good food, games and laughs!  The only time I missed this celebration was the year we were in Russia bringing Little One home, which is a story for another day.

6. Hands down, my favorite tradition is going to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church.  Sitting in the pew, surrounded by my family in the soft glow of candlelight singing Silent Night and celebrating the birth of Jesus is the best part of Christmas for me!

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How about you?  What are some of your favorite family traditions?  I would love to hear what you do and maybe get some new ideas for my own family.

~Blessings,

Jen