Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do more/do less

Lent is upon us. This season is like a new New Year. It's a time to start fresh and examine the heart. My goal- and list-oriented self gets giddy at the thought of a chance to troubleshoot and problem solve my life.

But I'm not going to lie--Baby Harper has sapped a lot of the energy I usually reserve for goal setting and list making.  This is a GOOD thing, as I am learning to adjust my expectations of what can reasonably be accomplished in a day. I'm choosing instead to focus on my relationships with my husband and children instead of stressing about housework and errands. It's a beautiful mess.  

And so it is fitting that Lent, a season that calls us to come closer in our relationship with Jesus, is here. The age-old Christian traditions of fasting, abstinence, and alms giving serve as a guide of how to serve and see Jesus all around us. 

Growing up in a Catholic household, my choice for a Lenten sacrifice was not taken lightly.  My parents emphasized doing something extra as well. I usually gave up soda, and as a family we said the rosary together on Sunday afternoons. In this same spirit, my family is choosing to do more and do less as a Lenten discipline this year.   

That's sounds confusing.  Let me explain.  Each of us can do something to enhance our relationship with Jesus. That's the "do more" part.  Doing more might be following a Lenten devotional, or choosing a special time each day to pray, or saving all the loose change from the laundry to give to the poor.  Lots of options here. I thrive on doing, so this part is not usually a challenge for me.

The "do less" part goes against my very nature. Doing less in Lent might mean less complaining, less swearing, less sugar, or less caffeine.  This sleep-deprived nursing mama needs her chocolate and coffee to put one foot in front of the other these days, so food restrictions are off the table this year.  But wow, could I stand to do less whining, or comparing, or yelling. This one will be tougher, but more meaningful.

All 4 of us (Harper is, of course, exempt) are thinking about what we are going to do more and less of in the coming 40 days and nights. Our choices will be written down on the family chalkboard in the kitchen so that we can keep each other accountable.  

I'll be back on the blog next week with a quick, easy, and meaningful Lenten centerpiece project.  

Have a fun Fat Tuesday and a meaningful Ash Wednesday!

*UPDATE: Here's what we settled on:

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