Saturday, March 5, 2011

Preview of our family lenten journey

If you haven't read any previous blogs, Lent is a big deal to me. In fact, I'll be writing about my forty day journey every day starting Wednesday, Ash Wednesday.

And now, my writings will be getting a whole lot more interesting.

Because I talked to my kids. They are brilliant. Naive and clueless as to what they have signed up for, but brilliant none the less.

Every year I have the family give up something together. In previous years I have been the dictator of sacrifice and picked what my family would do without. No discussion. I would consult Michael, my husband, but I can't remember really giving him much choice either. This year I decided I needed to explain the whole purpose of Lent with my children a little better, and so we had a candid cuddle session where we talked about Jesus. The whole topic arose naturally after my children asked me how old I would be in the year 3000, and my sweet oldest started to tear up at the thought of death. He's my more serious one. Or so I thought. The younger one pulls no punches in the deep thought department, I must say. Anyway, I explained why Jesus died, and we talked about Easter coming up and about Lent, which ushers in Easter. It was good stuff. Then, I asked them what we should give up for Jesus for our forty day journey. I talked about how last year we gave up pork every day and all meat on Fridays. They remembered. I suggested for this year we try candy. That was immediately voted down. So was the cookie suggestion. At this point I expected my babies to move on to things like squash, which is what I did as a child, but no. My sweet, sweet boys took the discussion seriously. They considered legos, but decided that was way too hard. So...they settled on two things. Key suggested we give up shopping for all unnecessary stuff. No new clothes or toys or legos. No taking our allowance to Target, and no buying things for the house for me. No unnecessary things. (This, by the way, does not include food. Candy is still safe.) And for Kelly. My sweet Kelly. No madness. No getting mad at each other. And no yelling. For Kelly, we are giving up anger. Oh, how hard this one is going to be. How easy anger and madness rise up. How easy madness can turn to fear, and resentment, and distrust.

So for Lent, my family is going on a journey like no other. We are living on what is reasonably necessary, and we are not to harbor madness towards others. And I can't wait for Lent to start. I need every day I have left to start warming up. Because this is going to be one strenuous journey. Believe me when I say that Satan can't wait either. And I, in all this, am praying right now that God holds my hand - very tightly - because I will need Him by my side. each. step. of. the. Way.

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