I’ve been writing about a couple of more serious topics recently, so I thought it might be time to switch it up and get a little more lighthearted. Like by writing a post about Lent. Because Lent is known for being both lighthearted and fun! Ha ha! But, in all seriousness…
People. I am honestly, truly, so pumped about Lent!
I think part of the reason I’m so excited is because last year, at this time, I was approaching Confirmation. I was preparing in my heart for fully uniting with the Holy Catholic Church. And it was just a beautiful time of anticipation and reflection.
Another reason is that I have really grown to appreciate the liturgical seasons. They are such a rhythmic way to go through life, with periods of anticipation, and celebration, of sacrifice, and waiting, and also, normalcy. I think the cycle is so beautiful. And I know many of my Protestant brothers and sisters, in their faith traditions, are already or are starting to re-embrace some of these liturgical aspects, like Advent and Lent, as well. It is good for us to have a rhythm to our life. Like the seasons of the earth, only these are the seasons of our faith.
We move ever forward, and yet revisit that which is good for our souls time and time again as the years go by.
In this particular season of having three little ones at home, my desire is to start incorporating more formal traditions into our family life for the major liturgical seasons and Holy Days throughout the year. But also, not to bite off more than I can realistically chew. I may or may not have a tendency to think I am Superwoman. I submit Felicity’s third and fourth birthday parties as examples of this. One was a Frozen theme, the other Rainbows.
It is quite possible that my children will never experience this level of Pinteresty-ness again. I sure did have fun doing it, and hopefully the husband and grandparents that got roped into helping did too, but this momma has time to painstakingly cut out dozens of paper snowflakes by hand no longer. And if some day, some how, some way I do have the time and energy and will again… cool. But I’m really working on not putting that kind of pressure on myself if I just can’t. Right now I can keep 3 little humans alive and manage to maintain my sanity for the most part. This is enough.
So… I want to start traditions, but keep it manageable. I had a few ideas, but this year, I am settling on this one. Just adding one thing to our Lenten season as a family. And that one thing is… drumroll please…
Oddly named, but pretty cool. I originally found this idea on one of my favorite Catholic Mommy blogs, Catholic All Year.
This Lent, whenever we do something that is a sacrifice for the benefit of another, we get to put a bean in the vase. This will primarily be for the kids, but they are welcome to call out JP or I making a sacrifice for another and we can put a bean in as well. We will continue to add beans to the vase all the way up until Easter. At which point, on Easter morning, they will arise to find that all their sacrifices have turned into Jelly Beans. We can continue this into the Easter season, and this time, when they sacrifice, they get to eat a Jelly Bean.
If things go well, Easter this year may be a bit more sugared up than usual. 🙂
My hope is that this will be a fun way to help all of us to focus on serving each other, and to remember to put others first during this season. Also, hopefully, this will help pave the way for our children, and for JP and I to continue to live just a little bit more selflessly as time goes on.
That’s about all I can take on this year. We can add other traditions as the years go by. But I’m glad to be doing something, and am glad to start our first significant family tradition during Lent.
What about you? Does your family have any special Lenten traditions? Are you going to try something new this year?