House For Six

Ready, Set, Lent!

Deme Crinion7 Comments
I was hoping to add a 32nd post to our 31 day moving series yesterday, but I wasn't quite able to finish it.  Summertime is typically peak moving season, so I wanted to update our printable moving binder as folks start preparing for impending moving trucks.  We also wrapped up that series before our family had actually relocated, so I have one final post on making moving day (both loading and unloading) as smooth as possible.

I'll have that ready for tomorrow, and then Friday will be a peak at my office makeover!  Hopefully by then it's further along (read: less of a disaster) than it is at this very moment.

But today.... 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent.  Our family is catholic, so for the next 40 days we'll be in a season of preparation for Easter (although Lent is certainly not just a "catholic thing").  Lent's a time for fasting, prayer, penance, and charity....basically it's like pulling weeds for the soul or decluttering the ole heart closet.  And I love it, because I need it.  It's so easy for me to let my priorities shift out of place.

I'm sure those of you that don't observe Lent have at least heard of someone turning down dessert or coffee or meat in the spirit of Lent.  This liturgical season usually comes with a commitment to some sort of personal sacrifice and/or devotion to prayer/charity.......a way for us to actively focus on reordering those areas that have fallen out of place, and turn our hearts fully back to ready ourselves for the incredible celebration of resurrection and new life at Easter.

I always have about a million things come to mind when I start to think about what my Lenten commitment is going to be.  Less coffee?  For sure, my body could use that....or a sugar detox.   Go to bed earlier? That would definitely change the mood of our days.  A spending hiatus and a renewed focus on gratitude?  A good way to be renewed in contentment and fight that feeling of needing more. A time of day devoted to no gadgets and focused prayer....doing a study that touches on themes for my particular season of life...exercising five days a week....a social media hiatus....and so many more.

I've tried taking on ALL THE MILLION THINGS for Lent before and that was comical.  Comical and very unfruitful.  Which is the opposite of Lent's goal.  So, this year (faced again with a million ways my heart has gone adrift), I prayed for direction, and noticed a trend:  the need to better serve my family.

I'll be sharing more of my inner struggle as a stay-at-home mom in another post, but for today just know that it's really easy for me to distract myself with other things and to avoid the sometimes mundane, sometimes hard but beautiful work of caring for my family and our home.  My attitude and approach to this impacts our entire family and it's clear that it's been taking it's toll on all of us. 

So, throughout this Lent I'll be focusing on ways to ease some of the stress we've all been feeling.  Some are related directly to my prayer life and others are more practical....

Wake up early.  This may literally kill me.  I am the antithesis of a morning person. Young children are like a cruel joke to my inner sleeper. But this is one area of the day that causes a lot of undue stress for James.  He's an early riser and so are the boys.  Attempting to get ready for work and knock out all the awesome things he does in the morning (like unloading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, turning up the thermostat, MAKING THE COFFEE, and getting out the door on time for work) are tough when two little boys want to hang all over you, while your daughter and wife are blissfully dead to the world in their sleeping chambers.

Getting myself up with enough time to quickly get dressed and do a short morning devotional before the boys typically get up (6:30am) will make a huge difference for all of us.  Pray for me! Seriously.  Pray for me.

Take care of our home/family first.  I find that even if I get just one housekeeping related chore done a day, it feels like I've been productive.  Since we're a bit more settled in this house, I've been working on a simple and quick cleaning schedule for our family. And now is the right time know, actually do it.

Each day can feel like a million things and nothing are going on at the same the day was so busy but I don't feel like I got a thing done.  I know that probably makes no sense, but I'm really good at doing the not-necessary stuff before the necessary stuff.  Which does zero for our home management related stress levels.  Granted, the children being alive is daily success.  Being able to keep a decently maintained (but never spotless) home and spending intentional time together is like icing on the cake.  And I like icing. 

There are few other ways that I hope to put caring for my family back in it's rightful place on my priority list, and I'll share a couple of them throughout this Lent.  I would love to hear how any of you might be entering this Lent too and would love to pray for you!

*You can catch some of our previous Lenten posts by clicking the individual links below or see them all by just clicking here.

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!