Every year I begin with the same manta - "This Lent will be the best Lent ever." Spiritually speaking I hope that at the end of each Lenten season my family and I are closer to Christ ready to celebrate in his resurrection. I'm sorry to say each year I fail to meet my expectations. You see this is a very busy season for those of us who work for the church and what tends to happen every year is that I am so wrapped up in ministry duties that family duties get put to the side. Usually because I'm usually home late and way to tired to do anything else but go to bed. I think the other reason is I never walk into the season with a plan. Ironic because I plan every other aspect of my life. I'm usually still deciding what to give up for Lent on Ash Wednesday. One year we decided as a family to pray the rosary every night. This was when Jacob was getting ready for his first communion so he was in 2nd grade. This was wonderful idea until his teacher pulled me aside one afternoon to tell me that Jacob has been falling asleep in class and was wondering why he was going to bed so late. Opps! Well our problem was that with my frequent evening meetings I wasn't getting home until close to 9 so by the time we were done with our rosary it was close to 10 pm.
This year will be different - Why? Because we WILL have a plan, we WILL stick to the plan, and we WILL use this blog to hold us accountable to the plan.
I found this great resource on Pinterest to help us get started. It's a list of Practical Fasting Ideas. You can find it at: http://www.nicksenger.com/csc/101-practical-fasting-ideas-for-lent
So here is our plan so far:
Jim actually began his spiritual growth journey by joining the Knight of Columbus. Last night he was installed as a 1st Degree Knight. Apparently he was sworn to secrecy, so he won't tell me anything about the ceremony. It's killing me that I can't know. I'm so happy Jim decided to join because he is always getting dragged into helping me in youth ministry which I know he enjoys but now he has his own way of living out his faith. Jim also gives up chocolate every year. This is incredibly hard for him because it's forces him to cut out pretty much every treat he loves - cake, cookies and most of all ice cream. Yes he knows he can still have strawberry or vanilla ice cream but really it's not the same.
For me I'm going to get back to a set prayer time. Right now my prayer time is very hit or miss. I stop everyone once in a while in my day to say a prayer for someone but I'm not really sitting down talking with God like I used to. So I'm going back to Praying in Color.
I purchased this book several years ago and absolutely love this idea of prayer doodles. I have a very hard time concentrating so being able to doodle my prayers really helps me to stay focused. You can see examples of prayer doodles on the Praying in Color blog.
I am also going to finish this book. Twice I have tried to finish it and something always gets in the way of my reading. I plan to write a review when I'm done, so I need to finish. You are counting on me.
Jacob is still deciding what to do, I think giving up Facebook and YouTube would be a great idea but we probably would need to hospitalize him due to the withdrawal symptoms he will suffer from. So I'm giving him some time to really think about what he would like to do.
Alexa who will be 16 months by the time we get to Easter really has no clue what's going on but I know she will enjoy the daily activities we have planned from her Play and Pray Bible:
I also found this wonderful hand print art project I want to try with her on the blog Prayer Glow
Our journey together will begin on Fat Tuesday with a trip to the Jelly Belly Factory. We are pigging out on candy before the big day. Then on Ash Wednesday we will attend our parish prayer service and continue with all the activities our parish has to offer especially during Holy Week.
At home we will be collecting our spare change (really its our coffee money). Since we love Starbucks, this Lent anytime we want a coffee, we will pass on our favorite treat and take the money we would have spent and place it in a jar. On Holy Saturday we will take the money and purchase an Easter gift for a needy child at our parish. We will give them the gift at the Easter Vigil mass.
One last blog I found that I just fell in love with and plan to use not just during Lent but year around. It's called Happy Saints and there you will find the best Saint pictures and bios I have seen for children.
So there you have it, our plans for Lent. Please keep us in your prayers and if you have any prayer requests please add them to the comments. I would be happy to include them in my prayer doodles.
Until next time,