lent, observed

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yesterday, I wrote some of my reflections about Lent; today is the practical resource day. Reading back through this post made me realize it sounds churchy and overly serious and spiritual, and if you know us, you know our home isn’t perfectly ordered and spiritually oriented. These are goals, mostly. They are practices – not something we already know how to do really well or are really successful at – just things that we are practicing. It’s not law. It’s not demanded. It’s just a bunch of different things all designed to help us connect with the One who loves us. Some of them might work, some of them might not. I guess what I’d like you to know is that this post is not prescriptive. At this point, I’m not even sure how accurately descriptive it is. It’s just a journaling of the ways that one mama is trying to bring a little spiritual discipline both into her lives and her children’s lives.

 

One of the things I’m focusing on this year is building more of a spiritual rhythm back into my day. With Baby D, we were on the road, gone for much of our day, and when we were home, it was naptime which was necessary both for babies and for mama. I lost many of the meaningful rituals in which I previously found comfort and depth and spiritual connection.

I’ve recommitted to a daily prayer schedule. There are lots of resources out there to help you with this, but I love The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle. There are four prayers daily – morning, midday, vespers (the evening prayers), and compline (just before bed). I don’t make it to all four prayers every single day, but my attitude towards life and more particularly, towards my children is best served when I’m setting aside even a brief few minutes throughout the day for regular prayer.

I have several different devotionals that I’m working through. Every morning, I’ve been reading the 2013 Lenten Devotional from The High Calling. (It’s available for free download in pdf form which I then emailed over to my Kindle app.) I’ve also been using the weekly devotional and Scripture readings from Devotions for Lent (Mosaic) which is quite inexpensive and also available for Kindle. Lastly, I’ve been reading Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement from Kris Camealy. It’s not really organized per day or even per week, but it’s been a pleasure to read bits and pieces here and there over the past few days. (She’s giving away pdf copies of the book during Lent, or you can also purchase the Kindle version or the print version on Amazon.)

One of the new things that I did for the children this year was make them a prayer corner. I put a little table and chair there with a Children’s bible, songbook, and a few books with prayers. We’ve already talked a bit about the things in our lives that we might need to let go of, and every week I plan to add a table activity that they can use to make things a bit more concrete. Next week it’ll be paper and pencils for some reflective artwork, the week after I have a plan involving some stones and a bit of water, and I’m considering other options for the remaining time that might help them tangibly process through some of these ideas. Raniah is not old enough to understand, but she is my little fearless prayer warrior so I hope to corral some of that as I work together with her.

One of the things that’s important for me and for our family to remember is that we are not concentrating on the darkness and emptiness of the season. I really want to echo with every activity, every conversation that this is about hope. We fast so that we can feast. We empty ourselves to be filled. We let go of negative things so that there’s space for the beauty and freedom and joy we need. That’s our focus. That’s our hope.

 

 

Do you observe Lent? What’s that look like for you this year?
Do you observe Lent with your children? What are some things you are doing as a family?

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