I think you’ve got something on your forehead

Indeed, with many folks sporting a little “smudge” on their foreheads, today is the beginning of Lent.  HAPPY ASH WEDNESDAY!

There are lots of cool things we’re doing for Lent this year.  I’m loving hearing what other folks are doing – always inspiring – so I thought I’d share.  And, for the record, don’t get too consumed with what other folks are doing and what you’re not doing.  Don’t be a “Keeping up with the Lenten Jones'” this Lent.  Not worth it.  Just. Do. Something.  Just to be clear, Lent is not exclusively a “Catholic thing.”  Feel free to come aboard and make the next 40 days about drawing closer to God.  That’s right.  I’ve thrown down the gauntlet.

As a family, we gave up eating out.  That’s always a tough one because it means no Sonic Happy Hour Fridays, no quick Chick-Fil-A or even take out pizza.  But, we are always happier with how much dinero we save and how much family time we enjoy cooking.  It’s a sacrifice, but one we look forward to making.

I gave up Facebook and Twitter.  EEEEK.  I even moved the apps on my iPhone to the end so I’m not as tempted.  It’s definitely weird.  But a good weird.  Then again, I’m only a half day in…  I was smart enough to not give up wine, so there’s always that.  Scott has committed to working out everyday and I’ve committed to making good on my promise to be more grateful.  More deets on March 23 when that post debuts on Catholic Mothers Online.  The promise began today and it was so awesome!

For the kids, rather than require them to do something or give something up for 40 days, we’re opting for something a little different.  First off, 40 days is an eternity if you’re a kiddo.  We adapted this idea from several different folks and it’s our first shot at it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  We have a bowl on our kitchen table with ten slips of paper, each with a “fast”, “prayer” or “almsgiving” activity.  At dinner, we’ll draw one out and that will be our Lenten activity for the following day.  Some of them should go over well, like “Talk a family walk”, others like “No screen time (Wii, TV or computer)” may be harder.  It’s possible there could be anarchy, arguing over who gets to draw the paper and perhaps a tantrum.  But, I’m aiming high.  Maybe, just maybe, they will be stoked about what they get to do for Jesus.  A mom can hope.

A long time ago, we tried taking everyone to 7pm Stations of the Cross.  DI-SAS-TER.  I mean, really.  What crack cocaine were we smoking?  Our kids go to bed at 7, so the church programs really aren’t all that realistic…especially week after week during Lent.  Since that painful evening, we’ve decided to adapt this lovely Lenten practice.  We do SOTC at home.  I have a “Mary’s Way of the Cross”, a kids’ version and a few others.  We might try one church setting with the older kids while one of us stays home with the littles.  Gametime decision.

I am already feeling myself detach from the crazy and embrace the quiet.  I was just talking to Scott this morning about what I’m giving up.  Then I remarked, “I’m not sure I could ever give up the blog.”  And then I immediately felt guilty.  I mean, shouldn’t I be able to give up anything for God?  Scott then observed, “You know, I think the blog is a way you connect with God.”  For me, I think it is about that.  I find myself blogging during naptime and bedtime, once the kids are already asleep.  It’s my haven.  FB and Twitter however sometimes interfere with time that I should be spending with the kids and Scott.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a social media lover.  Moderation is the key, though.  Lent is proving to have impeccable timing, once again.  That God, He’s a good one on the timing.

I’d love to hear what your family is doing this Lent!

Tomorrow I have a fun post in store.  Life has been so insanely ridiculous, one must find the humor.


  1. Debra on March 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Kathryn, I gave up FB in 2009 & I deleted the App from my phone. It's free so it's easy to get back afterwards, and a WHOLE lot less tempting. My two cents, but if you can handle it still being on there, rock on!

    I will be joining Scott and striving to work out 5 days a week.

  2. The Ball's Blog on March 10, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Hi there. YOU were my inspiration for giving up FB for lent. I took the app off a long time ago, but can still access through the internet. However, all things being equal…I'm done. Thanks for the inspiration and time of reflection, BK. I have so much to catch up on with my free time – ha ha!

  3. Tuckers on March 10, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Well, no screen time for the kids during the week evenings ( Sunday-Friday). For them- that is BIG! The boys will most likely help at the food pantry once a week ( when Sr. is better). Thomas was SUPPOSE to give up the computer…not working so well right this moment.
    I am just trying to slow down. We as a couple are taking on a "bible study" of how to listen to God's voice.
    Interesting and will pass it along.
    Much love.

  4. Laurie M on March 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I'm with you sister. I've known He was leading me to give it up for a few weeks now…and now that I've done it, peace abounds. Praying for your sweet Luke and for health and wellness to be restored in your home.

  5. Michelle Bellomy on March 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Okay, Kathryn, I actually gave up something for Lent! I'm not Catholic, but I was inspired 🙂 I gave up wine, which may turn out to be a HUGE mistake, but I'm givin' it a go because I knew it would test my spirit. Thanks for blog…prayers I can hang in there! Michelle

  6. Verdina Louisa on March 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I have fallen behind on the blog updates… things not so calm around here (my son's family; an "emergency" every day — they have 7 children from 21 to 2, so the "emergencies" are varied). I am grateful you haven't given up the blog!!! I agree with Scott that it is a way you connect with God (and so many people). I have deactivated my FB account (yikes!). Other than that, I still follow the old-time fasting rules (two small meatless meals; one meal with meat; nothing between meals) + no ice cream!!!

  7. HDYDI: Celebrating Lent as a Family on February 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    […] I said last year, Lent isn’t just a Catholic thang.  We love to celebrate at Easter, but make the celebration worthwhile.  Die to oneself, surrender […]

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