Friday, March 7, 2014

Good Deeds!

Well Wednesday was the start of the Lenten season.  I really enjoy this time of year spiritually.  It can garbled up with jelly beans, Easter baskets which are all a beautiful reminder of spring but the real present is the journey of Jesus to the cross.  His promise to us that there is life after death and that suffering in life is apart of everyones path, even his.

One thing that I enjoy is thinking of what we will do to honor Jesus during this season.  Of coarse there are the "giving up of things for Lent" and in our house the kiddies give up candy and soda (which they got a little used too on vacation).  But I want to also focus on the good that Lent can bring out, the compassion for each other living in Gods grace.

When we lived in CT our church religious ed coordinator did Lenten bean jars for the kids.  The main purpose is to bring charity and good deeds to the forefront during the season.  My kids ages 7-13 still think this is a fun idea.  We talked about it at dinner a few days before ash Wednesday and they wanted the bean jars.  Unfortunately when we moved I have no clue what happened to those bean jars.  So I had to make new ones, and these I will keep track of for sure for use years to come!

It was simple to create.  Here's what you will need:

  • 3- 8oz jelly jars
  • rement fabric for the top of the jars
  • pinking sheers/scissors
  • tags/or stickers to label for each child
  • 1 bag of dry navy beans
  • purple food coloring

To dye the beans I put them in a large zip lock baggie.  I put a few drops of purple food coloring into the bag and smushed the baggie until all the beans were covered.  I placed them in a large mason jar with no top for easy access.  Then I took the tops out of the jelly jars and placed the fabric in the top screwing the lid back on.  Using the pinking sheers I cut around in a circle until I liked the length.  I then put a small slit in the top of each just big enough for a bean to fit in.  To make the tags I simple sewed a piece of fabric to the tag and drew each childs initial on the top.  I put together a card with some basic bean earning deeds.  This is where you can customize this for your family.

Here are some of our Bean Earning Deeds...
Doing a favor or chore without complaining.
Sharing with siblings.
Being kind and polite all day, no fighting.  (This one will be a challenge for sure.)
Doing homework without whining.
Cleaning up without being asked.
Eating your dinner without complaining.  (I don't see many beans in my two son's future for this one.)
Being good during church and saying prayers nightly.
* Beans can be given at mom or dads discretion!

You get the idea.  At the end of Lent you can fill the jars with jelly beans for the amount of beans they earned.  We will probably be putting some little surprise in them, I'm just not sure what yet.  I'll keep you posted.

I just thought I'd share a small creative way to bring forth compassion and grace this Lenten season.

xoxo~ deana

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