I’ve really been praying about what to do for Lent this year (it starts tomorrow, February 13th and ends Saturday, March 30th). I’m not Catholic, but I find great satisfaction in committing to bettering myself in some way that challenges me to rely on The Lord. Are you familiar with Lent? I really wasn’t until a few years ago when Superman was in poor health and I committed to getting up early each morning specifically to pray for him. It was an amazing experience. Last year, I committed to engaging in physical activity with our kids for at least 15 minutes a day. That was a challenge, but I did it, with God’s help. It may not seem like much, but being home all day every day with 5 kids makes it difficult to want to actually engage more with them. You can read more about what Lent is HERE.
So, back to my dilemma.
There are lots of things I could “give up” for Lent. But in some ways, giving up something is easier than actively doing something that I’m not used to. So, I decided this year, for 40 days, I am going to commit to only saying uplifting words to my kids. Now this doesn’t mean that I am not going to discipline them. But, I tend to be sarcastic. Ask any of my friends, and they will tell you that many things that come out of my mouth are sarcastic. And I’m ok with sarcasm, as long as it’s not at the expense of someone else. And for some reason, when it comes to my kids, I tend to be very sarcastic when I talk to them. I’m ashamed to say that I often use sarcasm as a mask to make it seem ok when I’m cutting down my kid for doing or saying something that they shouldn’t. Wow, even as I’m writing this, I’m seeing my hypocrisy. I would never treat my friends like that. And it doesn’t even cross my mind to talk to Superman like that. But these innocent children? I guess I subconsciously see them as easy targets.
That was hard for me to write.
In all honesty, I’m pretty upset with myself that I even have to make this a Lent commitment. Why the heck do I do it? I’m sure it has a lot to do with childhood issues, a dysfunctional childhood, blah, blah, blah. But c’mon. I’m a big girl. I have no excuse to treat my kids that way. Ok, it’s not like I’m abusing them, but I bet if I were to videotape my interactions with our kids all day long, I would be ashamed to show that video to anyone outside our family. So, that’s a big red flag for me. It’s time to take this bull by the horns and own it. I’m looking right into that bull’s eyes, and I see my reflection. Now, am I going to get pummeled? Or will I be its master? Well, I’ll tell you in 40 days. Actually, I’ll keep you posted over these next 6 weeks or so. I’m sure some of my mishaps will make it in to my Friday Confessions.
So, do you practice Lent? If so, do you want to share what you’re doing? If you haven’t done it before, I encourage you to pick something you’d like to better in yourself, something that would be a challenge, and share that info with friends (or with me!). Accountability is key!