How We Celebrated Reformation Day (And Why)

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A few weeks ago, we were working through a history lesson, and somehow I got onto the topic of the Reformation.

"So Martin Luther nailed his 95 points to the church door, and there is a thing called Reformation Day now."

"Reformation Day?" Wyatt asked.

"Yes, and it's actually on the same day as Halloween."

Gwen looked thoughtful for a moment.  "Mom, can we celebrate Reformation Day this year?"

And just like that, we were celebrating Reformation Day this year.

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I already explained a few weeks ago why we choose not to celebrate Halloween in our family, so I am not sure why it hasn't occurred to me to celebrate Reformation Day.  Reformation Day is on October 31st, which is the day that Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenburg.  He was mostly arguing against the practice of indulgences at that time, but he came to realize through this process of studying the Bible that our salvation is purely by the grace of God.  We contribute nothing to our salvation, because we have no righteousness of our own with which to approach God.  Christ took the punishment for our sin and gives us His righteousness when we put our trust in Him, and our salvation is completely through His sacrifice and apart from our own works.

You can read more about the Reformation on your own (that was a very surface-y explanation above), but the bottom line is that if you are part of any Protestant Christian denomination, it all started right here.  With Martin Luther and other Reformers, who studied the Bible, through their study rediscovered the truth of the good news of the Gospel, and brought the church back to the firm foundation of the Word Of God.

This is YOUR history, and you are still reaping the benefits of the work the Reformers did in bringing the truth of the Gospel to light. 

I think that is worth celebrating for sure!

As a mom, I really want my kids to know Christian history, and the heritage that has been passed down to us through the sacrifices of people like the Reformers, who fought and died for the truth of God's Word.  I think in Protestant circles, we tend to get a little disconnected from our history, and I'd really like my kids to have a sense of the history and heroes of the faith between the end of the Bible (around 96 AD) until today. I explain these things to them, but I think making a celebration of this part of our history is a wonderful way to help personalize it for my kids.  As I was thinking about how to celebrate Reformation Day, I was trying to think of some ways to have a little fun while we remember our Christian history too.  Here is how we celebrated this year!



1. Reformation Day Shirts 

Several months ago, I stumbled across Diet Of Worms apparel, which makes clothing for "little (and big) reformers".  I laughed out loud at their "It's Hammer Time" t-shirt, and I ordered one for Wyatt and a "Sola Fide" t-shirt for myself.  They have since gone out of business, so I took some inspiration from them and made t-shirts for everyone else in our family myself!  A little guide:

Sola Fide - Latin for "faith alone".  This is one of the five "solas" of the Reformation.


Image via Facebook



1517 - The year Martin Luther nailed up his theses (this year was the 501st anniversary!).



"The Righteous Shall Live By Faith" - the phrase in Romans that led to Luther's epiphany that our salvation is through faith alone.



"On This I Stand, I Can Do No Other" - This is what Luther said at the "Diet Of Worms", which is actually what they called a church council/trial held in the city of Worms, when church leaders asked Luther to recant his writings.  The full quote is here:

“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason (I do not accept the authority of popes and councils because they have contradicted each other), my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

The kids loved their shirts and asked to wear them again the next day!  This was fun for me, because it was a like a little Reformation Day present/surprise I could give them.
Speaking of the Diet Of Worms...

2. Worm Pudding
As a play on the Diet Of Worms, we had a "diet of worms" in the form of gummy-worm-and-orea-pudding!  I thought this was really funny and clever of myself, ha!  My kids were a little young to get the joke I think, they just enjoyed the pudding.
3.  A Sausage Dinner
This is in honor of a different sausage dinner, and a sermon preached by a priest there, which kicked off the Reformation in Switzerland.  You can read more about that here.  (Sausage dinner not pictured, but it was really good.)

4. Reformation Day Books
I first toyed with the idea of celebrating Reformation Day last year, for the 500th anniversary, but I was hugely pregnant, and to be honest, I wasn't sure if my kids were old enough to "get it".  This year my oldest two are 7 and 5, and I have to say, it's been really pleasantly surprising to me how much they understand about what the Reformation means!  The got an idea of what we were celebrating just through conversations together, but I wanted to find some books to drive it home.  These are the two I picked:
Reformation ABC's - This is a thorough book for kids, covering a different aspect or hero of the Reformation for each letter.  We didn't read this whole book, since it's probably geared for kids a little older than my kids, but we read several pages, about the Bible, Luther, Hiedelburg and Westminster.  my kids were excited when they recognized a catechism question on the Westminster page!
The Life Of Martin Luther: A Pop-Up Book - This is a pop-up book (obviously), and my kids asked me to read it three times!  It's the story of Martin Luther in a nutshell, and the pop-ups make it so fun.  The only thing I'd change about this book is a line on the last page that mentions Luther introducing "new ideas" - I would rephrase that "biblical ideas" - but other than that, it's just perfect!
5.  Reformation Reading For Me 
This whole celebration of Reformation Day really started with my reading challenge this year.  One of the categories was to read about church history, so I picked up a couple books about the Reformation.  I have been a Christian since I accepted Christ as a child, and I grew up in the church, and it was shocking how much of this history I DIDN'T know!  If you want to celebrate Reformation Day with your kids, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the history too!  Not only has is been helpful in teaching the history to my kids, but it has made me pay more careful attention to different verses in my Bible reading, and really enriched my own faith this year.
The Reformation: How A Monk And A Mallet Changed The World by Stephen Nichols - This book is short and sweet, and most importantly, very readable!  I found this whole book really fascinating, and learned about how I've benefitted from the sacrifices of Reformers I'd never even heard of.  This is a must-have primer on the history of the Reformation, in my opinion.
Why The Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester   -  If the book above is about the history of the Reformation, this book is about the nuts and bolts of what the Reformation was really about.  A lot of the theology discussed is more subtle than I originally thought, but the distinctions are so, so important.  I'm almost done listening to this one on audio, and highly recommend it!

Also a heads up - one of my favorite podcasts/websites has a free "Reformation Day Celebration" for download!  I haven't had a chance to watch it yet because our internet was out last week, but it's still available here!


Stay tuned for Reformations Days in years to come, because I have more ideas already spinning in my head for next year!

Have you heard of Reformation Day?  Have you ever celebrated it (and how)? 

I highly encourage you to give it a try next year!  We had fun with it!









Birthday Girl


Dear Georgie Bea,

A year ago, I was feeling completely miserable.  I didn't think you'd be coming any time soon, but I didn't see how I could endure weeks more with the way my back was aching.

Around dinnertime I realized that maybe I was feeling so awful because you were going to surprise me with an early entrance - and a few hours later, we saw your sweet face!





I was not expecting you to arrive early, but it was such a blessing!  And that has been your story from the start, darling.  An unexpected blessing.  It was unexpected to see that positive pregnancy test.  It was unexpected that you would arrive when you did.  It was unexpected that you'd have such a wonderfully sweet temperament.




I look at you now, and you stare back at my with your deep brown eyes and give me a dimpled grin.  I love the way your hair curls in the back, just like your daddy's.  I love how you "talk" to me and act disappointed until I reply.  I love how you stand up in your crib and bounce up and down when I walk into the room.





I didn't know we'd have a fifth baby, but there was a small part in the corner of my heart that dared to wish for you.  And the Lord saw that, and blessed me beyond what I expected.  You are my little dream baby, and I can't imagine not having you here.  I'm so glad the Lord gave you to me.







I will love you and like you forever, Georgiana.  Happy day, Birthday Girl!

Love Always,

Mama

Pumpkins And Donuts - Georgie's First Birthday Party



Georgiana Bea turns one year old in about a week!  I might be in denial a little bit.

We are going to be buried in boxes and renovations on her actual birthday, so we decided to have her first birthday party a couple weeks early while we are still in this house!  It seems fitting to have her first birthday party here, since this is where we brought her home when she was just tiny.  

Our last party in this house.  I am a little sentimental about it.  We've celebrated so much here, from our very first gender reveal party, through all the kids' birthday parties, and now this is the last one.  I can't believe my tiny little baby is almost one year old!

I decided to go with a autumn/donut theme, because it was easy to pull off.  It ended up being perfect to celebrate our sweet girl and send this house out in style.  

I got most of the decorations from the Target dollar spot and Hobby Lobby.  My friend Danae did the lettering for Georgie's wood sign (which will now live in her room at the new house).  I told my sister I wanted a simple sprinkle cake this time (she's the master cake decorator in this family), and she made it come to life!  

The centerpiece of our donut-themed party was the donut peg board, which Derek made for the party (I got the idea from Ashley's gorgeous baby sprinkle).  It all came together really well!  I am so thankful for my family and friends who helped me put it all together this time.  I love going all out for the first birthday party, and this one was so easy with everyone's help!























How is my itty bitty baby so big?











I let Georgie have a taste of cake when we took birthday pictures a few weeks ago, so at the party it didn't take her long to remember that cake is pretty good!





It was so good to celebrate one last time in this house, with our dear family and friends.  I'm glad we had a chance to celebrate our baby girl here.  I might have cried a little after the party was over.  It's bittersweet, leaving this house, and watching your last baby turn one.  

But good things are on the horizon too.

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