Words from Assoc. Pastor Elizabeth:
Lent Blessings. I love this time of year. In my family, it is a time post birthday celebration, and a bit before the craziness of baseball season. It’s the time for unscheduled play dates and dinners with neighbors. It’s a time for us to enjoy the beauty of creation, as warmth and sunshine return to the days.
Lent provides us an opportunity to be intentional about living as Jesus has called us. It gives us a framework to try on something new, with the hopes that it changes us. Lent is a time of returning our hearts to God and learning to live in a new. During the next six weeks, we get to clean up our hearts, as we overhaul our commitments, apply our time differently, and refocus our priorities. For each of this will look different, but the goal is the same. A deeper relationship with God. This takes time, energy, and most importantly intentionality. Without intentionality, we will not make changes and meet our goal.
You also need support and encouragement. I have started receiving a newsletter that has a FAITH at Home practice each month. I want to share these with you as well. This month’s practice is kindness. It’s important to practice kindness with people we love, so that we are prepared for showing kindness in all situations. Kindness does not always come easily. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to be kind. Yet, if we have practiced it in safe places, we are more prepared for it in the difficult times. Just like with baseball, reading, painting or cooking, the more we do it the better we get. Practice kindness this month. We all know the world needs a little more kindness in the world, and it is the smallest things that mean the most to people. The article below is focused on families with children at home, but it can apply to all of us. I want to challenge you, young or old, new to the faith or lifelong faith member, young kids at home or kids at heart to practice kindness this month. What can you, your family, your community do this month to share kindness? What opportunities do you find for practicing kindness?
March Faith at Home Focus: Kindness
All families want their children to be kind to one another, but how often do we treat it as a skill to be learned, alongside any other sport or extra curricular? Take some time to exercise the kindness muscle with your children this month.
• Do a kindness role play at dinner. Ask children to recall something that happened on the playground (whether it be something positive or negative.) Act it out around the table and talk about opportunities to show kindness.
• Reinforce the virtue of kindness by placing a reminder in a prominent location in your home. “In this home we strive to be kind,” or “Be kind to others.”
• Have a “secret kindness week” where all family members do secret acts of kindness for each other without revealing who did what. At the end of the week, debrief about how it felt to be both the giver and receiver of kindness.
• Learn gentle and kind parenting techniques. Not every parenting book advocates the type of parenting that leads to kindness and compassion towards ones children. Most of us could use a refresh in this area.
• During daily check-in time, incorporate questions about kindness alongside questions about other aspects of the day. “Did you have an opportunity to show kindness today?”
Memory Verse: [and] be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Faith Practice Spotlight: Kindness Meditation – Think of three people in your life (they can be neighbors, friends, or strangers) and spend 30 seconds wishing them peace and wholeness.
© Traci Smith, Author www.traci-smith.com.
I love you,
Newsletter (PDF format): March 2020 Newsletter
Monthly Calendar (PDF format) with Birthdays : March 20 Calendar