It’s Ash Wednesday, Time to Get Serious

I yammered on yesterday about the many reasons I love Lent and the graces it brings. Today, I’ll probably hear – “Hey, I think you have something on your forehead” – about 962 times. It’s cool, though, I’m ready.

Busted Halo has an awesome two-minute video that explains it all way better than yours truly. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

In the spirit of being accountable, I thought I’d share what I’m doing, personally, and what we’re doing as a family to celebrate Lent. These 40 days are really focused on three areas: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Our parish offers a Daily Mass every morning that I can attend before the little people awake. Scott and I will figure out the workout schedule so that I can attend twice. I realize twice doesn’t sound like much, but for me, it’s H-U-G-E. I cannot wait.

In previous years, I’ve fasted from all social media. Eek. It was incredibly hard the first few days and then it was awesome. Yes, I was excited to log back on Easter Sunday, but I found that I wasn’t logging on as much after my fast. I spent that social media time reading, hanging more with the kids and enjoying the absence of drama. It was lovely. This year, though, I am on Pope Watch 2013. There is no way I was giving up that real-time drama. That’s the kind I love.

Instead, I’ll be fasting from all shopping that isn’t necessary to the survival of the people in my house. No Container Store, no Target, no White House Black Market, no Pottery Barn. I know. This will be a sacrifice. I’m a spaver – spending while saving – kinda gal. It’s not like I rack up hundreds of dollars in unnecessary stuff, but I could stand to rein it in a bit. This is the Lenten sacrifice that I know will make my stewardship-loving husband very happy. Don’t worry, HEB will still get my money. I guess people need to eat around here.

This one brings me great joy. 40 notes for 40 days. I did these a couple of years ago and wow, was it a game-changer. I have always been a fan of a handwritten note. A priest friend of ours coined it the “ministry of the unexpected note” and it is great fun. There’s nothing better than focusing on your gratitude than your bad attitude. No doubt, this will put my heart where it needs to be this Lent.

Family/Kid-Friendly Lenten Sacrifices
As a family, we give up eating out (yeah, that includes beloved Happy Hours at Sonic), we’ll be serving the poor through Mobile Loaves & Fishes and on Fridays we’ll say a decade of the rosary all together. The kids have all chosen different things and we’ll see how those go. Last year, we debuted the PFA Basket (prayer-fasting-almsgiving) and it was a huge hit. It’s a keeper for this year, too.

As I said yesterday, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just do it with great love. Are you excited about what you’re doing for Lent 2013? Leave it in the comments!

40 days of love, baby. Bring it.


  1. Erin {Home Everyday} on February 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

    We talked about our promises last night at dinner. My five year old said he promises not to be a sore loser. My 3 year old said he wants to use kind words when he is angry. My 2 year old just said, “manners.” What is amazing to me is these little people already are finding ways to be better versions of themselves. So cute!

  2. Verdina on February 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I went to the school Mass at St. Maria Goretti this morning. Our brand-new priest (ordained last June) was the celebrant. I always enjoy his school Mass “homilies”… he goes down into the congregation and asks questions of the kids based on the Scripture readings… brings it down to their level. Today, of course, he was asking what they were doing for Lent. They are always very open. Loved it!

    God bless!

  3. Valerie on February 13, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Great video on Lent and Ash Wednesday. I love reading about what others are doing. I’m working on contentment these 40 days!!!

  4. Deme @ Crinion Clan on February 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Loved your “40 days of awesome” and love this! As a fellow “spaver” (my new favorite word) part of my lenten commitment is no unnecessary shopping too….and a partial social media fast 🙂 Bring it indeed!

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