I was inspired by some bloggers who posted Lenten plans and ideas just before or right at the beginning of Lent. I especially liked this simple, yet meaningful approach. I wanted to share some of my own hopes for Lent, too, and had every intention of doing so …
(As I was writing this, I realized that I needed to break up all that I want to share, or it will be too long, too much for you, friends, to read all at once. So, this is Part 1 of 3 that I will post over the next few days.)
Then, unexpected events occurred, and the beginning of my Lent was not at all what I planned it to be. I haven’t had the opportunity to share my Lenten plans. And up until now, I haven’t been following any of the ideas that were in my head and heart anyway.
I think (I hope) I have been living the Lent God has intended me to live. But so far, it has not included any of my own ideas. Up until now, it really has been focused on the death of my step-dad Russ, praying for him, taking care of my mom, getting back into a groove with my family after being gone for five days. (Believe me, the aftermath is way longer!)
Only now have I finally been able to come before the Lord with my plans and ask, “What do You think? This is what I’d like to do.”
Perhaps the timing is just right for examining the first few weeks of Lent and looking toward the time that is left before we enter into the Triduum and Easter. After all, it is about the half-way mark in Lent. Our deacon talked about this third week of Lent being a time of self examination, and then my daughter brought something home from school that talked about the exact same thing (see part 2).
So, going forward, from now until Easter, my focus will be …
1. To be diligent about getting morning prayer every day
2. To pray the Stations of the Cross each week (I attended Stations of the Cross with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament last Friday with my husband. It was so beautiful and powerful to pray the stations in the presence of our Lord! This Friday, we will pray the stations at home with our children. I purchased some prints before Lent that I will hang up around the house. I plan on bringing my oldest daughter to stations at our church the following Friday.)
3. To stick closely to my Lenten cleaning list (see part 3) but not let it consume me so that I neglect the needs of my family
It may be a simple list, but it is what I can realistically do from this half-way mark of Lent going forward. May my little actions be pleasing to Jesus and draw me closer to Him by Easter Sunday.
Here is a photo of our Lenten calendar. (It was inspired by this one and this one, which I found way back in Advent!) We are counting down the days of Lent by stamping a brown heart onto each square at the end of each day. We matted the Sundays in purple (and the fourth Sunday in pink). We marked Fridays with a fish symbol to remind us that it is a day of abstinence. On days of fasting, the fish is colored black. We highlighted feast days and posted some of them with icons or other images.