I prepare for Lent like most people prepare for New Year’s Day. In fact, my husband and I decided one of the new commitments we are making for Lent way back in the fall, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since.
Looking forward to sacrifice?
Lent is the best time of year for me, because I always refocus and recenter on God, so much more so than the rest of the year when I’m typically not only falling off the horse, but holding onto the horse’s tail for dear life as it tries to gallop away from me.
I need Lent.
Ash Wednesday is just over a week away. Have you prayed about what God is calling you to do this year?
I always told my third graders to choose three things to do, one in each category of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, the tradition set by the Church.
Fasting does not have to be from food; it can be to sacrifice anything (like complaining) or abstain from non-food vices (like when I gave up Twitter last year). The point is to develop and sustain your self-control, however God wants you to practice it.
Almsgiving also does not have to be monetary. Any sort of service for the Lord is giving alms, as long as it’s done out of love for Him. You might look into a new volunteer opportunity, or simply commit to spending special time with each of your children.
Here are some of the Lenten gems from the archives at KS to get you thinking:
- On Lenten sacrifices (why we do it)
- First time giving up all white sugar
- Can You Decorate for Lent? (as many of you know, we’re selling our house this spring, so I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to allow the house to enter into the season of Lent. I don’t think potential buyers need to be wondering why there’s purple cloth on the door…my decorations will have to be interior only this year!)
- The “What are you Doing for Lent?” Carnival from last year – lots of inspiration from amazing women!
- Celebrating Lent with Children (some amazing ideas here that I need to read through again)
And how about what I’m doing this year?
Believe me, I need each and every one of these:
- Curb my sweet tooth, which has been rampant lately in spite of the fact that I should have motivation to eat exceptionally well. No white sugar of any kind again this year, and I’m considering doing Donielle’s Sugar Detox (look down in the right sidebar if you want to sign up), which would wean me from even natural sugars like honey.
- No grains, at least for the first two weeks. Then we might transition back to non-gluten grains like we did in the fall. My husband’s digestive system needs this boost again after the holiday season, and we’re dragging our poor 5-year-old along to see if gluten-free improves his eczema, which is still mild, but twice as bad as it’s ever been. I don’t want to risk him messing up his insides if it’s something I can figure out how to avoid. (Yes, this will interrupt the Seeking the Perfect Homemade Whole Wheat Bread series, but it’s probably time for a little break before finishing up anyway.)
- 10 minutes of special time with both children individually, every day. We all need this structure so I don’t get to bedtime stories and realize I’ve been running all day and haven’t spent quality time with my dearest blessings.
- What for prayer? I haven’t decided that one yet…it needs to be something structured and manageable, because there’s not much of that going on in this arena right now.
- I pondered giving up Twitter again, but I don’t know if that’s a wise business move. I pondered posting only 3 times per week and was almost attached to that one when I started planning my March posts calendar and had so many things to say. I’m starting to think I just need to set a bedtime and waking time and stick to them, no matter what. This may end up in some no-post days, which might teach me to prioritize when I sit down to work. OR I could commit to always praying X minutes before sitting down at the computer. Maybe both. Thoughts? Counsel?
I’m excited that the beans book will at least be in time for Friday meatless meals to help people out of the cheese pizza/meatless spaghetti rut.
How about it, ladies and gents: what are you contemplating for Lent this year? How will you stretch and challenge yourself?
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.