The Lenten season is upon us. I must admit this is one of my favorite times of the year. Growing up in my faith tradition, the liturgical calendar was not really celebrated–no advent wreath, no “true” celebration of Mardi Gras and observance of Lent.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve wanted to incorporate these more into my life and the life of our family. I want to have an advent wreath in our home, discuss the reasons for the seasons–preparing our heart for Christ’s arrival and his Resurrection. The idea of a very personal and real faith as a part of our family–celebrating these things as well as observing spiritual disciplines such as sabbath–make our faith tangible, real and meaningful to ourselves and one another.
Not even realizing that this would coincide with Lent, the Beau and I began observing a more intentional Sabbath this past week. I was really challenged by a visit from Nancy Sleeth last week who spoke at Gtown. She didn’t even mention Sabbath in her talk, but spoke so reverently of it at lunch that I knew this was something that would be so beneficial if truly pursued.
Typically our Sundays are very low-key and chill, but they are full of movie watching, music, and before you know it the day is over. We wanted to be more intentional with our Sabbaths specifically cutting out mindless media. After church, we came home and read for a while, I took a nap (I’ve had a nasty “habit” lately of falling asleep as soon as I start reading), we did watch one movie (this will be a slow fade) and then fixed lunch. After eating we read some more, just enjoyed being together and then played some games and read aloud the chapter on Sabbath from Ruth Haley Barton’s Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation. It was a beautiful day.
I hope that our season of Lent will be just as satisfying. Honestly, I’m still contemplating what to sacrifice. Lewie and I have given up quite a bit of our own vices that really “tempt” us through our desire for a healthier life, many of which I’ve given up before during lent– fried foods, diet coke, coffee, chocolate, desserts in general, etc.
Lewie and I were discussing at the gym this AM what we might “give up” and I’m still at a loss. I’ve looked at some interesting articles about what to sacrifice. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, alms giving and self-denial. Sometimes (such as mornings like today) I need to give up my complaining attitude at the gym. That is easier said than done.
I’d love to hear what you might be “sacrificing” this Lenten Season. Check back in tomorrow for the scoop on what I’ve decided.