Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lent... not to be mistaken for "lint"

As we all know, Easter was last weekend. And in the hustle and bustle of activities... plus the fact that I hadn't started this blog until just days ago... I have not had a chance to blog about how my first stab at Lent went. First, let me share the inspiration for participating in Lent this year. Enter Kathryn Whitaker. She's a Texas livin', Aggie lovin', Catholic momma of 5 beautiful children, a loving wife, a business woman, and a prior NICU momma of a child who also has some special medical needs. She. Is. Awesome. Now, as I've mentioned before - I'm Baptist. However, I have always been intrigued by the structure and beauty of Catholicism. Reading this woman's blog has given me wonderful inspiration to delve deeper into my relationship with God. And this brings us to her post about celebrating Lent as a family. I LOVED this concept of getting children completely involved in this holiday that is so important to the Christian faith. Plus, it's teaching them wonderful things like prayer, and having a spirit of giving. She breaks down the three aspects of Lent. Most people are aware of the fasting aspect, and not the other two:

Alms giving

I thought long and hard about what I could do to deepen my prayer life, what I could give up that I could actually adhere to that would be a true sacrifice and bring me closer to God, what I could do to give back and show thanks for what God has done for me and my family. And here's what I came up with....

Prayer/Fasting - I decided that my prayer and fasting could be best done in a complementary way. I gave up listening to the radio in my car. It seems silly when you think about it.... but try driving around with it off... some people can't handle the quiet (my husband is one of those people, so my fast was broken if we were riding together somewhere). This gave me time to reflect on everything about my day.... things I could've done differently. It gave me time to pray. Every morning Carter and I prayed on the way to school for his friends around the globe with OEIS, our family, his teachers, for him to EAT! We sang songs and "talked".... and sometimes it was just quiet. It was the best thing I've ever done for 40 days... and even now that Lent is over, we still are doing it some mornings :)

Alms giving - I stole this idea from Kathryn. 40 notes of thanksgving. Over the last year and a half I have been through so many life-changing events, and have had so many people by my side to support and encourage me. These people deserved a thank you from me, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity. I will be honest... even now, I have only mailed out half. I didn't want to rush my thoughts onto the notes and have them coming out sounding insincere. I will eventually get all 40 of them out, and every one of them will be heart-felt.

So this was my first Lenten experience, and I can't wait for next year! You have a whole year to decide if you want to participate in Lent, and come up with the perfect concoction of PFA. I can't wait for Carter to be old enough to participate actively with me!

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