Exhalation of the Cross

It was a joy to be back teaching this past Sunday. The more I teach the kids in Sunday school the more I realize that I truly enjoy it. Every year in the classroom I relax a bit more and let the children lead in a way to explore the subject on their own.

This weeks focus was the cross. With the Exhalation of the Cross coming up this week, the children had a chance to decorate their own crosses. There was definitely a lot of creativity in the room. We talked about the different times the cross comes up in our Orthodox lifecycle and how for each feast of the cross we tend to have a different feeling about it. For Lent, as an example, we tend to feel more sad about seeing the cross as it reminds us about the suffering. The emphasis this time around for the children was the resurrection.

This opened up to a lot of new conversations about “the evil one” and also “jail” since I tried to relate the subject of hades to a prison that Christ comes and knocks the gates down. The Resurrection icon was the main focus of our talk in order to show the victorious Christ freeing people from “jail.” Afterwards, the kids had a chance to decorate their crosses for the procession during the Liturgy for the cross coming up.

What you can do at home:

Do a cross craft of your own. Use the resurrection icon to show that Christ, after his death, did rise again and through that cross he frees people from “jail.”

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Faith

Your faith has made you well

Starting school for mothers that homeschool looks very different than for mothers that have children in school. For us that homeschool it usually means having an increase in work. Because somehow we also have to fit in schooling on top of cleaning and cooking.

There are different reasons why people homeschool, for us one reason is for my kids to spend time with my husband. His weekend is work days so really if my kids were in school they would never see him. So for now we push on with our plans.

It is at times like these that I rely a lot on Gods grace. I rely on the Panagia to help me with being a mother. I rely on the saints to help me educate my children. But it’s not just about Gods energy that gets me through the day, it also requires my own faith. He tells the woman with the issue of blood your faith has made you well. Yes she received healing from touching his robe but her faith also had a lot to do with it.

As I press on with doing what is right for our own family, I remember this story and have comfort in those words from Christ. It is almost an invitation to us. To have faith. Not just with homeschooling but other things in life that require great faith.

Children’s Lent readings

Hey everyone! Happy Friday!

Today I wanted to share with you some of our favorite books that we have been enjoying as part of our spiritual care with kids. All of these books you can get on Ancient Faith Publishing as well as St. Vladimir bookstore website.

Small books about Saints from Pontamitis Publishing

I absolutely love these books. They are very small and can be taken to church. They have stories about different Saints, they also have stories about major feasts, and as of now my kids love using it as a collectors item.

A Child’s Paradise of Saints

We mainly use this book to read a saint of the month for our co-op but I have learned that these are really simple stories of saints that can be implemented in our daily Saints readings. It is great because it is short enough for children to understand the Saints life and remember it.

We Pray

I really like the simplicity of prayer in this book. It explains what we play for and what the different prayers of the church are. I like to take it to church with us to explain what the prayers mean. It’s simple and gentle way to explain prayer for a child.

From I-Ville to You-Ville

This book is a chapter book that we are really enjoying so far. It is a story about a boy that lives in I-Ville full of different vices as peoples names. He goes to You-Ville when he meets a girl that lives there and she explains to him how people live in You-Ville and explains the different virtues as people. We absolutely love this book. I highly recommend this one if your child is able to listen to chapter books.

The Prologue by St. Nikolai

This book is my personal favorite for everyday reading. It has everything for the day that you need. Saints lives for the day, a contemplation, a reflection, and a homily. Depends on the day I either read all of them or I just read the contemplation or I just read the homily or reflection. This is great for busy moms and also a way to read one Saint with your children.

I hope you this list has been useful. Please let me know in the comments below what your favorite books have been this Lent?