It’s Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. There are 40 days from today until Easter (not counting Sundays). 40 days during which Jesus walked toward the cross, laying down His life for you and me.
In our family, we try to mark these 40 days of Lent in ways which help bring us and our kids closer to the heart of God. Sometimes we talk about giving things up. Sometimes we talk about adding things in. We share with our kids what we are feeling called to do, and ask them if there’s anything they feel God prompting them to do.
This year, one of us is giving up phone use from 9:00pm to 9:00am. One of us is reading a Psalm a day for the next 40 days. One of us is limiting Pokémon card play to 4 days a week. The others didn’t share with me their plans—and that’s ok. We talk about how walking through Lent is between the person and God, and talk about the seriousness of making promises to a holy God. And we remember that it is never in our own strength that we carry out our promises, but only through God strengthening us each moment of each day.
My prayer is that my kids will see Lent in the way that I’ve come to see it…a time when the burden of living each day the same is lifted, and that there is a refreshing that comes from daily following Him where He leads and stepping away from the constant pull of some of the things that consume us. It’s (surprisingly!) become one of my favorite seasons of the year, as so much of the unnecessary falls away and I’m freed to focus on what truly matters.
How does your family mark the Lenten season? (It’s never too late to begin!)