Sunday, February 19, 2012

Letting Lent Happen

Last Year's Simple Lenten Liturgical Table
When I was making my family’s weekly menu plan the other night, it struck me that this coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.  How did Lent come so quickly?  I just returned many of the Christmas books we had out from our local library system the other day.  Now, it’s Lent.

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that when I realized that Lent is beginning this week, I felt angst, not anticipation.  Instead of looking forward to the season with a mindset about how we might slow down, re-center ourselves on the Spirit and more consciously give our daily lives over to prayer, fasting and giving throughout the next six-plus weeks, I fretted, “What will we do?”

Thus, I became distracted from the task that I had sat down at my computer to do in the first place (planning our weekly menu) and found myself hopping down bunny trails to browse amazing blog accounts about ways others observe Lent with their children.  Not good.  (I mean the digression and my attitude, not the blog posts themselves!)  Had I been in a better frame of mind I would have savored the rich ideas each post offered.  Instead, I became intimidated and overwhelmed.  Just what would be best for my family to do to observe the season?

After spending far too long mulling over how we might most effectively prepare our hearts and minds over the next six weeks, I realized:  I need not DO quite so much.  Instead, I can simply pray and allow the Spirit (and my children!) to lead our experience.  With that thought – and, okay, some additional time on our library website in order to stock up on read-alouds for the season – I went to sleep peacefully.

With books in our basket, love in our hearts and the Spirit in all we experience, I am confident that it will be a blessed and meaningful Lenten season for my family this year!

How about you?  How are you preparing yourself and the young ones in your life for Lent this year?  Are there special traditions you follow?  Any crafts and activities you find meaningful?  New things you are going to try out?  Books you intend to read?  Or, are you, like us, mostly going to follow where the Spirit leads.

Sharing at The Alluring World, Catholic Icing and Equipping Catholic Families, where you can find so many wonderful ideas!


zamjmj said...

Here I am on Mardi Gras, browsing blogs & sites searching for ideas for our family for Lent. Your thoughts perfectly echo mine -- how has Lent come upon me so suddenly, what should I plan for our family to do, ... while what I crave is simplicity and time together & for God. I think I'll close all these open Firefox windows, stop searching others' doings, and just let the Holy Spirit direct us in simply following the course of prayer, fasting, and giving without any grand plan of mine. May God bless you and your family throughout this holy season.

Martianne said...

Thank you, zamymj, and may your season be exactly what the Spirit calls you and your family to experience to make it simple, meaningful, stress-less and blessed.


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