I'm really not prepared for Lent this year. Usually there is a nice long break after the season of Christmas where my "religious body clock" recuperates from the joy (and exhaustion) of Christmas and enjoys a well placed Ordinary Time consisting of at least 7-8 weeks. But this was not meant to be this year. Lent is earlier than it's been since the year 1825, and no one told my "body clock" that it needed to prepare. But here is the fact of the matter: When mom is not prepared for Lent, no one around this house is ready for Lent either.
When I asked the kids what they wanted to give up/do for Lent, each of my children looked at me unenthusiastically and chanted what they would give up/do for Lent. Their sacrifices started out pretty good, but went down-hill fast.
Here is the list:
Becca: Pray the rosary every night
Nick: Change Henry's diaper more often
Jack: No chocolate
Gus: Can I give up school?
Henry: No pulling of siblings hair while yelling, "Die, die, die"
On Fat Tuesday, Chris and I took the kids to a favorite Chinese Restaurant to celebrate the beginning of Lent with a feast. The dinner conversation evolved into what mom was going to give up for Lent. Oh, the kids were fast and furious when suggesting possible options for their mom:
Nick: Mom, maybe you could, like, stop yelling at us to do our chores and instead use a soft voice. (All nodded in agreement.)
Me: I'll consider it, Nick. Thanks for the suggestion.
Becca: Maybe you should give up going to
Panera Bread for your daily tea fix.
Me: Well, that's a possibility; although VERY challenging.
Becca: On second thought, you better not give that up. It would be hard on all of us if you did not get your caffeine.
Me: Huh. Very Funny.
Chris: Maybe you could hold your emotions in more.
Me: Wha? (I held my emotions in on that one. Good start.)
OK well, you see where all this went. Downhill people. Downhill! You see that I have my work cut out since I plan to work on two of my family's three suggestions. (There is no way I could give up my tea and work on the other two suggestions with charity). There is nothing like having your family decide what you need to do to sacrifice more. The whole dying to self and sacrificing more for others makes good sense and challenges me, especially when God speaks through those I love.
Are you still needing ideas for how to celebrate Lent in a more meaningful way? Be sure to check out Our Sunday Visitor's Downloadable Lenten Calendar It is colorful, attractive and ready to print out. You can hang it on your fridge, or give it to members of your bible study!
Busted Halo has a wonderful article called, 25 Things you can do for Lent. which is generous with options for the person needing something new to practice.
May you all have a wonderful and blessed Lenten season, and here's to family...always keeping us humble before the Lord.