First things first: I have a new Lenten Calendar for you!
Updated with all of the 2022 feast days, it’s big, it’s full color and I’m hoping it will keep the little hearts and minds of your children engaged all Lent long.
It’s also 100% free ;).
Feel free to share this calendar with any family or classroom that might be interested!
And now, for the work of making it a Holy Lent…
Lent brings up all sorts of complex feelings, at least for me.
I dread Lent…but I also crave it. I dread saying ‘no’ to myself, but I also deeply, deeply need to cut ties with all of the junk that keeps creeping back into my life.
Things like Netflix, sugar, Instagram…things that I seem utterly incapable of using in a balanced way.
It is a challenge, though, to live a Holy Lent for all 40 days. I can do anything for a week, but for 40 days? That’s hard.
The real key to living a Holy Lent is understanding on a fundamental level what that even means.
Because here’s the thing, in the past I have gone about setting my Lenten resolutions in completely the wrong way. I saw Lent as an opportunity to jumpstart a diet or kick a bad habit to the curb. Lent was, simply put, an opportunity for self-improvement.
But that is not what Lent is at all.
Lent is not about you, and if your resolution leads you to focus on yourself MORE, then it is not a good resolution.
Lent is about MAKING ROOM.
A lot of our Lenten Resolutions are a good start on this quest of making room, but on their own, they don’t quite get the job done.
- Give up Netflix.
- Sign off of Facebook.
- Abstain from desserts.
Cutting these things will give us more time and space…but just cutting something can create a vacuum.
- What will we do INSTEAD of watching Netflix at night?
- What will we do INSTEAD of scrolling Facebook in our downtime?
- How will we FILL OURSELVES if not with sugar and desserts?
These are the key questions we need to answer before Lent begins.
The simple answer, of course, is that when you clear away the junk, you need to let God fill that space.
If you resolve to stop…
- scrolling your phone while nursing the baby, then use that time to pray a Rosary.
- eating out as a family, then use that extra money to feed the hungry.
- If you resolve to cut Netflix, then use that 45 minutes to spend time with your husband or read a spiritual work.
- And, if you resolve to limit your outside commitments as a family, consider adding an hour of Family Adoration.
Be bold in your resolution, but keep in mind that Lent reminds us that we have limitations.
We only have 24 hours each day. We are limited in our energy, resources, and emotions.
Over the past year, we have said “yes” to a million little things, and those little things have piled up. It’s time to step back and start clearing away the clutter. With each thing we clear away, we are saying “yes” to God. We are giving Him the space He needs to heal us, love us, lead us.
It’s time to make room for what is important.
So, what am I doing for Lent?
I’m getting my butt out of bed 30 minutes earlier, every day, to pray. That’s the plan, all 40 days.
I’m telling you this in the hope that you will be an accountability partner for me! It is my prayer that after 40 days I will be able to reclaim my full morning prayer, which was interrupted and derailed after baby #5 arrived.
What about you? How will you make room?
Leave a comment and let me know! I’m happy to be an accountability partner for you too!
Be well, my dear friend, and happy Lenten planning!
Your sister in the small things,