Lenten Journey

“At this time, make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position and that your seat belt is correctly fastened”….it’s Ash Wednesday, here we go!! Today is the official day of take-off, our Lenten journey begins today. Did you pack accordingly? Do you have your itinerary ready? What about shoes, did you pack the right shoes? You don’t want to get blisters! The truth of the matter is most of us are spending more time contemplating footwear for a mini-vacation than we do our entire 40 day Lenten journey. Why? Because, when that flight attendant rolls her cart on down the aisle we will just abstain from pop or alcohol and we’re good, done! Lent just means you give up something, right? If we think of Lent as a Journey and we just gave up drinking something on a journey, without any additional attention to details we wouldn’t get much further than the airport. Thus, what if we treated our Lenten journey with the same respect, time, & attention to detail that we would treat any other journey?

When you take a journey somewhere you need to:

1-Research and map out your journey

When you go on a trip you usually first determine the date of your journey, any special considerations that need to be made, and map out the days

  • Lent begins Wednesday March 6th and ends Thursday April 18th
  • Sundays are not included in the 40 days of Lent
  • Sundays we go to Church
  • Ash Wednesday & Fridays during Lent we abstain from meat

 

2- Make list of items you will need to pack

  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Almsgiving

 

3-Make your itinerary

  • Get out your calendar/planner and plan your 40 days of Lent

 

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CLICK HERE for Walk the Lenten Path Calendar

Once you’ve planned for your journey accordingly all that’s left is to make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position & let the Holy Spirit take flight!

How does your itinerary look? What will you be adding to and/or abstaining from during your Lenten journey?

 

Preparing for the Lenten Journey: Lenten Acts of Kindness & Sacrificial Alms Jar and Love Dare

 

As we begin with Ash Wednesday and its reminder of repentance, let us resolve to do our best each day, knowing that it is not the destination, but the journey that will ultimately transform us. -Father Barron-

So, on our Lenten journey this year we are trying something a little different for Lent. We are merging two traditions, the Lenten Alms Jar & the Kindness Jar (Jelly bean Jar).  I still feel strongly about the need for children to have these traditions during Lent. It is in childhood that we learn what Lent is and these activities are the perfect way for a child to comprehend the Lenten journey. 

We have a jar that is filled with 40 acts of kindness. Each day during Lent the children will take turns pulling an act from the jar.  I really liked the acts that Family at the Foot of the Cross shared. They included, draw a picture of Jesus with your family and hang it on the fridge, help set the table without being asked, read a story with a sibling, say a prayer for the Pope, learn a new bible verse, etc.  They all seemed appropriate for the age range of my children (4-9). Click here for a full list of the acts of kindness.  However we will not be adding any beans to the jar. Instead we will be adding money to the jar in order to enter into the spirit of saving for alms.

The children have decided to give up pizza that we usually have on pizza & movie nights. I know how much they look forward to it and I know how much I look forward to not cooking.  Haha! But that’s okay; maybe they will pull the “help mom cook dinner” act of kindness on movie night.

The older two have also decided to give up the chocolate milk they buy once a week at school in addition to any Tooth Fairy money they might be receiving.  And our youngest, our 4 year old has declared that she will be giving up her Valentine’s candy, which just so happens to be down to 1 sucker…a small sacrifices, but a sacrifice no less. And I have decided to give up Starbuck’s. It will be interesting to see how much we save as a result of self-denial. The next step is deciding where we would like to send the alms fund. The children have tossed around a few ideas…Apraxia Support, American Heart Foundation, Church, a student from school whose family lost an infant.

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And for our marriage we will be taking up a wholesome activity as a couple and doing the Love Dare, 40 days love journey!  My husband’s new job has him traveling a lot. And I am suddenly in a new position myself as the solo parent when he is away. Both our jobs are very demanding, stressful, and draining at time. So it is no surprise that when we do finally see each other we have little left to give the other, if anything at all. Hopefully the Love Dare will help get us back on track.

I am also looking forward to Matthew Kelly’s Best Lent Ever!! BTW, in his first message he say’s don’t give up chocolate and to not do ANYTHING you have done before for Lent, which is precisely what we are doing!!  Click here to sign up for your best Lent Ever.

Here is to a magnificent Lenten journey!! God Bless

What are you doing for Lent? What have you done in the past that worked our well? Have you ever done the Love Dare?

 

 

 

Tribute to Fat Tuesday that includes a GIVEAWAY!!!

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday!!!

Today is the day to celebrate; it is the last hoorah before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  Which means it is time to get those indulgences out-of-the-way before tomorrow. My indulges include, and in no particular order……

Paczki

Fat Tuesday means Paczki, pronounced (poonch-key). Paczki are traditional polish pastries that are deep-fried, sugar-coated, glazed, or iced and filled to the point of bursting with fruit or cream filling. In terms of a historical perspective Paczki are a special indulgence and tradition on Fat Tuesday because the idea was to use up all the fat, sugar, eggs, and fruit before the fasting of Lent begins. 

Son eating Paczki, he actually likes the lemon ones, yuck!
Me shoving my face….Fat Tuesday only comes once a year, what’s one Paczki in the grand scheme of things?

GIVE AWAY

Shopping….(I might not have to give this up thanks to Sneakpeeq)

Hello!! What women amongst us doesn’t enjoy perusing the mall or web for stylish (insert favorite fashion ensemble or accessory here) and/or delectable treats to eat? Well, I have a confession; I might have found a loophole for this one. I planned on giving up shopping due to the financial strain it can cause and throwing money out the window is not good. But, what if there was a way to nurture the fashionista or foodie inside of you without breaking a sweat or your pocketbook (Really!?! Who says pocketbook anymore? But you get the point). 

GIVEAWAY….So here is the deal

Sneakpeeq, the largest and fastest growing social shopping company on Facebook that has “all the things you love, but haven’t discovered yet” (such an honest tag line) is giving everyone 20% off their first purchase just for signing up. AND…that’s right sisters there is an AND….you will be entered in a giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card to purchase items for the fashionista, foodie, or interior decorator in you (and $25 is a substantial amount thanks to Sneakpeeq budget-friendly boutiques).

To receive your 20% off and enter the $25 gift card giveaway you must CLICK HERE and join sneakpeeq! Winner will be announced on my blog March 9th, 2012. Happy Shopping Ladies!!

 

 

Skinny Girl Margaritas…..

I’ll be honest; I do enjoy a glass of Skinny Girl Margarita at the end of the week, often Friday evening once the kiddos are in bed.  I can sit down and sip on this refreshing and less guilt margarita while daydreaming of a tropical beach somewhere, just me and my hubby, (and my flat pre-babies belly of course) just laying on a beach soaking up some sunshine (there is no need to worry about skin cancer or wrinkles in a daydream) it is beautiful!!  Goodbye to my daydream inducing sipping pleasures.

Girl Scout Cookies…

We just picked them up yesterday, time to hurry up and load up on my Samoas before tomorrow. Funny Story….Our preschooler came downstairs this morning and was greeted by this site.

His eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, “I love Fat Tuesday”.  I had to laugh, I could contain myself. I then of course explained to him that they are not all our cookies, they do belong to other people.

Starbucks…

Hello Old friend. For Lent I will be giving up Starbucks.  To clarify this means I will not walk into a Starbucks OR drive through the Drive-thru (Wow! That was difficult to type; I can only image how difficult it will be to drive past).

I have decided to make time with my children an even stronger priority during Lent. This means reading more books (yes, even the same book 8 times), playing more games, and doing more crafts. 

In recognition of Mardi Gras I am including a fun craft you can do with your kiddos, simply click here.

How are you celebrating Fat Tuesday? What are your Fat Tuesday indulgences?