Category Archives: Printable

Lent for the rest of us: 2016 (Free printable reading plan!)

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is on February 10 this year, and leads us to Easter on March 27. Are you familiar with Lent?

I used to get super stressed about this season. Lent. This 40-day journey leading up to Easter… a time to prepare our hearts for Jesus… all He is and all He’s done. (No pressure, right!?)

There are many ways to engage in the Lenten season – prayer, fasting, simplistic living – all with the aim of drawing closer to God. In the past, I leaned toward the Downward Spiral route into “how can I possibly prepare my heart (AND my children’s hearts!!!) to even REMOTELY grasp what Easter really means.” And, being a recovering perfectionist, I can still easily fall into the “All or Nothing” trap. (I can’t do it ALL, so I’ll do NOTHING.) (So healthy, I know.)

This is a simple, meaningful tradition to begin with your children for the season of Lent, leading up to Easter! Enjoy this free printable reading plan!But two years ago, I began a simple new tradition with my children for these weeks leading up to Easter: we read The Jesus Storybook Bible from the very beginning through the Resurrection story. One chapter a day, for each day of Lent.

(If you’re doing the math, don’t despair — the 40 days excludes Sundays — so yes, there are actually more than 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.)

And you guys – reading this together has been so powerful. (Even if you don’t have children, please get a copy and read it anyway. I promise you’ll be glad you did. I get at least as much out of it as my kids.)

“But Lent and Easter are about JESUS. Why would you start all the way back at the BEGINNING of the Bible? Doesn’t Jesus show up much later?”

I’m so glad you asked!

Did you know that the entire Bible points to Jesus? All the way back to the beginning. As The Jesus Storybook Bible says: “Every story whispers His name.” Where better to start than the beginning?

To help you stay on track with which chapter you’re on, I’ve put together a new 2016 Lent Reading Plan. (And bonus – if you fold it in half lengthwise, it makes a great bookmark!) Click here or on the image below to download the FREE printable file!

Don’t have a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible yet? You can click here to purchase a copy on Amazon. Order quick and you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the reading! 🙂

What do you think of this idea? What does your family do to prepare for and celebrate Easter? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

This is a simple, meaningful tradition to begin with your children for the season of Lent, leading up to Easter! Enjoy this free printable reading plan!

Click to open free printable!

 

A reminder for when it’s all too much.

In the face of suffering, I often crumble. Empty & helpless, I put my hands in my pockets & look the other way. But, NO MORE. THIS truth changes everything. Don't miss this short post packed with comfort and inspiration.In the past two weeks, I’ve read two stories of tragic loss & suffering – one in my own city, and one a world away – and I’ve all but shut them out of my mind just to preserve my sanity.

I’m not proud to admit this.

Just READING about the suffering in the world threatens to take. me. out. It rocks me to the core. Because, how? How can such loss and heartbreak and destruction – and the evil and depravity that often inflicts it – exist in the world? How can God possibly allow it and how can anyone possibly survive this?

And I feel empty. I feel as though I am not enough, I am not up for this – even though my “this” is simply READING a blog post about incomprehensible atrocities or a news report about a local family’s unimaginable loss. I cannot even endure a blog post without crumbling!? I become paralyzed, feeling empty and helpless. My footing gets shaky and my hope gets shifty.

Empty.

Helpless.

Disarmed by my discouragement, I put my hands in my pockets and look the other way, convinced I don’t have what it takes to even READ about suffering, let alone DO anything to help.

But that’s a LIE. A lie I can’t afford to believe anymore. A lie sent to steal and kill and destroy me and the good I’m here to do.

I AM NOT EMPTY.

AND I AM NOT HELPLESS.

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.” Psalm 46:5

God is within me. And God is with me. So when I feel my footing shake, my hope shift — I must turn my eyes to Him. He who is steady and unshakeable. And from that steady, unshakeable place, reach out my trembling hands to help.

God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day. Psalm 46:5

Click image to open free printable file.

Prayer (and a free printable!)

The other night, a friend mentioned these words from Oswald Chambers, and they’ve followed me around the past few days.  I’ll be printing this and putting it somewhere to remind me that in all I do – and hope to do –  prayer is more than an afterthought, a last resort, or even a preparatory step. Prayer is CENTRAL. Prayer is CRUCIAL. Prayer MATTERS.

Prayer IS the greater work! Free printable of a powerful quote from Oswald Chambers.

Click image for free PDF download.