February 28, 2019

Getting ready for Lent

We're getting ready for Lent here.

All the hearts and garlands and twinkle lights are put up. Surfaces are dusted. The last of the ice cream is being consumed. We've begun to discuss, as a family, what we will do for Lent - the sacrifices and the extra works. There's burlap on our mantle because it looks like sackcloth (maybe? I have no idea what sackcloth looks like) and because I need something up there to cover those unsightly wires.

We've got some plans. Personally I plan to read The Life of Christ. And by "read" I mean start it and keep reading well into Ordinary Time. Let's be real here. I'm also looking forward to using the Blessed Is She Lenten devotional To the End. Having skimmed through it already I think it will be really good.

Usually the kids do our standard Lenten calendar from Catholic Icing. We might just do one this year instead of everyone getting their own, but we need at least one so I don't have to answer multiple times every day for 40 days "how many days until Easter?" Seriously.

I've been building this Lenten Spotify playlist and hope to add to it as I stumble upon more songs - so do tell me if I'm missing something.  In the past we've only allowed religious or PBS Kids shows and Christian music during Lent. I don't think we'll do that this year, but we'll see.

Since we usually do not eat meat on all Fridays of the year I like to add meatless Wednesdays to the Lenten meal plan. Those few extra dollars I save each week are then donated to Catholic Charities or our local parish at the end of Lent. In the past we've encouraged our kids to forgo different treats and purchases during Lent to add to that collection and that's worked really well.

We also usually incorporate the Stations of the Cross into our night time prayer. We tend to do it a couple times a week, using the Stations of the Cross Box I made years ago. The kids love it and I know that it's done a lot to make the actual Stations more meaningful. The kids pray the Stations every Friday after the School Mass and we attend our parish or Cathedral's Stations as a family at least once each Lent. This small catechesis, done sitting on the floor with my kids digging through a box, has been a great way to teach even my youngest kids the responses while also helping them to understand the story of Christ's Passion and feel sorrow and compassion for Him. I explained how we do the Box here, but I first heard about it from Kate Wicker and I'm so glad she shared it.

But you know what, you guys? I'll be 38 in a few months. I have seven kids age ten and under. I'm 30 weeks pregnant. I'M TIRED. If that rickety old grapevine wreath and a couple meatless meals each week is all I do I'm good with that. I have a feeling that God wants this Lent to be more interior this year than exterior.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me...

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, O sinner, come home...


  1. You have the right to be tired. Jesus loves you! And gosh, this is like the latest Lent can start, right? And I’m not ready for it!

  2. Beautiful, Bonnie. I think all Lents should be more interior than exterior, and I'm so grateful you reminded me. Because yeah, I'm feeling like I have no drive to "show up" but maybe this time, it's just about opening up my soul.