Friday, March 11

Our New Journey into the Lenten Season.

Life is but a journey, no? As a child, I never celebrated Lent at all. I am fairly positive my first knowledge of Lent came from the lunch table at school. I grew up some good friends who were Irish Catholic, and Lent was serious business in their houses. It affected EVERYTHING, and from those friends, I learned about Lent and celebrating the days before Easter. In college, I first started celebrating Lent myself--choosing something to give up or deny myself as a tool to remember the cross. It really is a beautiful concept. We took it into our marriage and have always found something for the family to sacrifice. But this year looks different. It's been a tough year, and it really is hard to nail down one thing for us to sacrifice for forty days...especially when so much has been sacrificed already.

So I thought about the approaching season. I read through various ideas on websites and blogs. I thought about what I really want my children to learn in the forty days before Easter. I decided to make it simple. We will do the some of the things we normally do: we will read God's Word, we will look at our Resurrection Eggs, we will hunt eggs with our church friends, and we will leave our baskets out for the bunny to visit. But some things on our journey will change this year. We will read a book together, an adult book, and we will not choose just one thing to "give-up." We will focus on sacrifice itself. We will examine our lives, look at our own hearts, and figure out just how much we are willing to do as Christ did...put others first.

I'd link and give credit to exactly who I gleaned this from, but honestly I think I gleaned it from someone who tweaked it from someone else. But this is our Lenten plan this year:

A cup of dry beans. An empty jar to fill. A dry bean for an act of sacrifice, no matter how large or how small. A list of brainstormed ideas of what sacrifice looks like at almost 4, at 7, at 9, and at 34. Forty days to share a favorite toy, play someone else's favorite game, and swallow our own desires and our own pride and reach out. Forty days to talk about and discuss the very things we should be talking about and doing all year long. Yes, Lent will certainly look different for us this year. Our journey is shifting, and I am excited to see God work in our lives. I am confident he will.

We are reading No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado. Thirty-three short chapters/essays focused on the events and people affected by the cross of Christ. Some of it will not be appropriate for my little ones, so I will edit as I go, and I will be sure to share what we're learning.

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