heart of a Child ministries blog
about family life, mothering, homeschooling, farming, and the things that are important to the hearts of our children
The word "holy" means to set apart. Therefore we are called, as families, to set apart this week from the others.
How do we do that?
For me, it means to draw into simplicity, silence, play, prayer, and to draw further into family.
Jesus said that He came for the poor- to free them from their poverty. We are the poor!
Our deepest poverty in our culture today is the poverty of silence. We are all so busy. There is so much noise and so little down time....and the core of family is being destroyed because of it.
Therefore this time of Lent and Holy Week is a time to recognize this poverty, to draw into it and to allow Jesus to combat it and resurrect through it within our bodies, within our choices, within our prayer and within our families.
Every year is different for us during Lent. as family....because we are at a different place in our lives and in our journey. Yet, I would like to share some things that we have done that have drawn us into deeper stillness and joy of the Lord.
This Holy Week was begun by serving the poor and the homeless. It was so good to connect with the materially poor as we have so much (too much)..and Jesus invites us to holy simplicity. We typically then take this Holy Week to begin the process of clearing out the stuff....of cleaning out closets, clothes and extra toys that we do not need. When the process is done, we bring the items back to the homeless shelter.
As a homeschooling family, we also choose to stop the academic learning. We set aside, the books, the schedules and leave more time for the Lord to move in different ways.
This year, He has moved us to watch the movie Jesus of Nazareth - as in years past. Last night was a joy as we all got out blankets and sleeping bags and camped out on the floor in front of the movie. We ended at the Last Supper and it drew forth a beautiful discussion about the Eucharist and the Passover Meal and how Jesus was the new Lamb, the New Covenant, fulfilling Old Testament teaching. With no time constraints, many then fell asleep on the floor, some crawled in bed with us and continued the talk. What a gift!
Last year, we washed each other's feet on Holy Thursday. We cooked our own Cedar meal and ate it low, on the floor, as Jesus would've done with His disciples. All the kids said that they want to do this again. It was fun pulling out the water and having the 3 year old wash the 14 year old's feet and all the way in between. There was splashing and joking and silliness, as families do. I also invited the kids to say something nice about the person whose feet they were washing - to say something that they appreciate about them, a favorite memory with them, etc.
Going to adoration as a couple and one on one with the kids has also come forth during Holy Week and it has been wonderful to experience the silence and time with the Lord - one child at a time. Sometimes younger kids bring crayons and I love to see what they create in that silence. There is much fruit when we enter into the quiet of our hearts with the Lord and with one another.
Also, Stations of the Cross and Confession as a family during Lent or Holy Week has always been important . To receive God's graces in this beautiful Sacrament is simply gift.
This Holy time also always opens up the space in our family for more natural play - for going into nature. God finds such joy in watching us delight in His creation and I find great blessing in delighting in my children as they come up with new games outside, jump on the trampoline, go on a bike ride of hike together. Praise God!
May each one of us during this Holy Week, choose to set it apart, to enter into the silence, into simplicity and to allow the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus to live big within us and within our families. Amen!
Nikki is a Catholic homeschooling mother, author, artist, speaker and founder (inspired by her daughter in prayer) of Heart of a Child Ministries. She writes about her experiences as a wife and mother, homeschooler and hobby farmer.