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?