:) 1. artwork 2. lenten tray 3. countdown cross
The Jesse Tree has been such a meaningful part of Advent in our home that I thought perhaps we could do something similar during Lent. I searched and searched and searched some more, but couldn’t find anything that seemed just right for us. So, of course, I ended up making something of my own. By the time I had everything figured out and ready to go we were well into Lent. But it has turned out great, and we’ll use it for years to come, I’m sure.
I decided to use a flannel board as our background; it just works so nicely, and I like having the softness of felt pieces to place on it. A simple flannel board is super easy to make! Ours is about 30” high and 20” wide.
I cut a large cross from brown felt and tacked it onto the board.
All of the pieces we put on this were made by printing pictures and images onto transfer paper (like for t-shirts), which I then ironed onto white felt.
We began with this little piece, made for Ash Wednesday (although, as I mentioned, we were a bit late):
Then we had tiny little flower bulbs, numbered from 1 to 40 for the days of lent, and we placed the correct one on the cross each day: At this time we’d also read the Bible reading for the day, or, if the story seemed a little too much for M’s understanding, we would read from our Little Acts of Grace book.
Each Sunday we read two of the Sunday readings - one Old Testament story and one New Testament story - and placed small pictures illustrating the stories on the flannel board. Here are the ones for the second Sunday – Moses striking a rock in the desert and water coming out for the thirsty people, and Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman:
Sundays are not part of the 40 days of Lent, so no flower bulbs those days. This is how it looked about one-half of the way through:
We also had some special pictures for Holy Thursday (The Last Supper), and Good Friday (a crucifix):
Then Easter morning came and…
It was really beautiful, and such a nice way to really make Lent this year a more meaningful part of our life.
This went over pretty well with M, although he does like the Jesse Tree more, because he gets “a yummy piece of candy” every day. :) I felt like something was missing each day with just putting a flower bulb on the cross. I think it would be nice to add something else – perhaps a list of little things to do, letting M pick one per day at the same time he places the bulb on the cross…. I’ll have to think about this some more!
Just a little feather to put in your cap and think about… I am planning on making this available as a printable eventually, with more detailed instructions, daily readings, etc., and I plan on making a complete second set and holding a giveaway for it on my blog sometime early next year. :) So if you are interested, make sure to check in around early February in 2012, if you can remember! :)
Have a beautiful day! :)