Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lent is not only about what to give up, but about what can be added

Lent began this week. For many people, it means giving up things. Sugar, alcohol, sex....well, not really. Giving up sex kind of comes with the married with young children package. Even for those of us with a fishnet past... In fact, Lent might be a good time to ADD SEX back in.

In true Lenten fashion, I am giving up some things. Chocolate, coke, and desserts. Oh, and the whiskey. Yes...that, too. I've bartered with Jesus. He can have my JackO'Clock, but BY GOD I'm not going to give up my High Tea. Or...the 3 tsps of sugar in my tea 4X a day, either. Nevah!...she says with clenched fist. It has become quite clear to me that black tea is what gets me through my days, and powers me through some late nights. It calms me, centers me, and if taken away would leave behind a mess of bitchy proportions.

However, I believe that Lent is not only about what to give up, but about what can be added. This year I wanted to do something new that was meaningful for us as a family. So, during Lent, we are sharing appreciations at the dinner table. Each night, one of us has a chance to share their appreciation of the others. It's an opportunity for grace, and acknowledgement. E thought it would be fun for the kids to also share what they appreciate about themselves, an idea that I loved. So we added that to the mix.

Tonight was BOY's turn to share his appreciations:

Do you know what I appreciate about GIRL? Well, GIRL is so kind, and she always plays with me.

Daddy goes outside and plays baseball with us!

And, Mommy loves us.

Do you know what I appreciate about me? I'm really FAST!

Slowing down the world for a few moments, by sharing an appreciation with another human being, is a powerful thing. It unites us, engages us, and makes us feel loved. And, doesn't that very act of love bring us closer to GOD?

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  1. Love the whole sharing idea! I especially love saying something we like about ourselves. I really work to make sure the boys have a good sense of self. I'm sure you won't mind me stealing this.

    For Lent, I try to give up less tangible stuff; gossip, lying, judging (myself).

  2. What a great idea! All of us should tell our loved ones what we appreciate about them. Not just specific acts, but the special qualities that makes them who they are.

  3. One of my students told me she couldn't eat candy for a while. I asked her if she gave it up for Lent. She had no idea, just that her parents told her to not eat candy until they said she could again.

    I'm pretty sure the Lent thing works better if you know you're giving something up, and why!

  4. You crack me up!. . . "adding sex back in for Lent!" (It's funny because it's true :)

  5. I'm currently working on a much more sarcastic Lent post.

    That BOY is so cute. Kids are so refreshing sometimes.

  6. I love this idea! I think this is something that could go on long past Easter.

  7. I love this idea! I like to add as well as subtract at Lent. I think we'll do this too!

  8. This is such a great idea! I got my boys to make Lenten boxes to sacrifice a few favorite toys until Easter. My husband gave up self pity, and I gave up candy. It is so, so hard when there is a candy bowl on top of the refrigerator full of delicious Reese's cups tempting me every day.


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