Why We Celebrate Lent

To put it simply, Lent, according to History.com, is the forty-day period leading up to Easter (it’s actually more than forty days, but it doesn’t include Sundays).  Lent is supposed to be, for Christians, a time period where we reflect on the past year and confess our sins.

Why forty days?

This forty-day period represents the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his ministry–a time in which he was tried, tempted, and tested by Satan.  Typically, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  The day before, “Fat Tuesday,” is the day when everybody consumes the fat remaining in the house in order to cleanse during the next forty days.  Where I’m from, we eat Fastnachts.  I’m not a big Fastnacht fan, so I eat donuts (because they’re so much better for me–HA!)

Many Christians don’t even celebrate Lent.  For instance, Prince Charming doesn’t celebrate Lent.  He can’t make it forty days.  Some people don’t see the point.  My parents never celebrated Lent.  As far as I know, my extended family doesn’t either.  But my church does, and I find it to be a good time to reflect, as we are supposed to, on the past year, identify the places where I struggle, and work to right these wrongs.

I have celebrated Lent for about eight years now.  One year, I gave up secular music (this was really hard!), one year chocolate (even more difficult!), caffeine (that didn’t really work out so well), soda…this year I’m thinking about either ice cream or soda again.

Why do I celebrate Lent?

Jesus gave up His life for me.  Can I sacrifice forty days out of my life to give up something in His name?  To better myself?  Prince Charming may not celebrate Lent, but I hope to instill in my childrens’ lives the same value–of reflection, self-improvement, and sacrifice: a tiny sacrifice compared to the sacrifice given for me.

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Best Free Android Apps for Parents (Also According to Us!)

Okay, so last week I gave you the list of our recommended free apps for kids (on android devices).  This week, I’m presenting you with our list of our recommended android apps for parents.  Whether you use them or not may depend on how old your child is and what stage she’s in, but nevertheless…check it out anyway.  Hopefully you’ll find something useful.

cozi


Cozi
We absolutely LOVE this app!  We’ve had it for over a year now and use it all the time–from scheduling, to “to-do” lists, to grocery lists.  We each have a wish list on it, so I don’t have to remember what everybody wants when it’s time to buy gifts; we can color code each person, and have text or email reminders sent to each person at a specified time before an event.  Add extra alarms or additional features for a nominal cost.

Parent App Logos


First Aid
Self-explanatory.  Have a boo-boo that you don’t know how to fix?  Check out the American Red Cross First Aid app.

life360


Life 360
For anybody in your family who has a phone (especially those teenagers!), add the app to all phones and create a username and password.  Wherever the phone is, you will be able to track it.  I’ve used this when my husband leaves work late (and I’m panicking), but I’ve also used it to find my phone when I left it at church.  You can also check in, request a check-in or call for help using the buttons on this app.  I’ve never had to call for help using this app, but I’ve checked in when it’s late at night or can’t talk.

focusonthefamily


Focus on the Family
Sign up and login with Focus on the Family to view articles and advice from this Christian resource.  For those of you who love Focus on the Family and/or whose children already receive Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., or watch JellyTelly, you’ll enjoy this app as well.

workingmother


Working Mother
The Working Mother app is another one of my favorites, because it allows you to be interactive with your Working Mother magazine.  If you receive this magazine but don’t use this feature, download it, because you can find some additional information when you scan the icon in your magazine.

giftstogrow


Pampers
I know I’m not the only mom who loves Pampers–or Pampers Gifts to Grow points!  For a simple way to record your points (rather than logging into your account), download this app, type in your code, and go!  Nice and simple.  🙂


Which free parenting android apps do you love the most?