I know it’s been much too long since I wrote...but I don’t think I’m even going to apologizeJ. Feeling guilty won’t make me write more...so I’m just going to enjoy this opportunity to write again. I’ve been kept very busy with being a mom, doing bookwork, running a household...and homeschooling. This year has been a bit more of an adjustment than I expected. Suddenly teaching all 3 kids & needing to keep them all busy has definitely pushed my ability to multi taskJ. I am however, thoroughly enjoying it. Having my kids home & being able to be a part in those everyday parts of their lives...I just love itJ.
Did you grow up giving up something for lent? Or maybe seeing your parents do that each year? I didn’t. I don’t remember ever hearing about it or...once I did hear about it...understanding what it was...until sometime after we got married. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing...that’s just not something that was a part of our family. Or maybe it was & I totally don’t remember! At first I only understood it to be a Catholic tradition & didn’t think much of it. In the last few years I’ve come to realize that many Christians use lent as way to draw closer to God. No, it’s not Biblical, but I really like the idea of giving something up in order to focus on my relationship with Him. I never knew how people knew when lent started...and I would only hear about it the day it was starting. In my mind I used that as an excuse not to do it the last couple of years. Really there’s no reason I couldn’t have started a day or two late! Anyway...all that to say that I’m going to do it this year...and I’m really excited about it.
I’ve been thinking for a while now that I wanted to deepen my relationship with the Lord...but have felt kind of lost as to how to go about it. Or maybe I just felt like I didn’t have motivation. I know that sounds terrible. If He’s #1 in my life then He should be motivation enough. I know that...and I guess that’s why I knew something needed to change. I just wasn’t sure how to go about it. I also feel strongly that I haven’t been setting a very good example for the kids. Not that I’ve been doing anything terrible...it’s more what I haven’t been doing. How am I supposed to pass on to them a passionate love for Jesus...if they never see that in me? Benjamin is already 9 (yikes!)...and they say that we only have till they’re 12 to really influence them...till they start looking at all the “options” & weighing them out themselves. That means I only have 3 more years...double yikes! So what kind of view of a relationship with Jesus will Benjamin have? What have I passed on to him (& the other kids)? Yes we do devotions together (although I have to admit it’s not always daily), yes we pray together daily, yes we have many, many God related discussions (one of my favorite parts of homeschooling)...but really what have I shown them about what it really means to have a RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST??
This is something I’ve been pondering & wrestling with for a few months now...but it hit home again on Sunday. Pastor Kent has been preaching through a series called “Not a Fan”. In a nutshell it’s about the difference between being a fan & a follower of Jesus. It’s easy to be a fan...but I want to be a follower. In the video clip he showed on Sunday it talked of a father whose daughter had walked away from her faith. The father wasn’t asking “why”? Instead he made this statement, “We raised her in the church, but we didn’t raise her in Christ.” This statement put into words what I’ve been feeling the last few months. Yes our kids go to church nearly every Sunday & we do all that other stuff...but how on earth do we truly teach them who Jesus is & what it means to have a real relationship with Him? If you’re hoping for an answer you’re in the wrong placeJ. I definitely don’t have one. But I do know what I’m going to do to start.
The kids & I will be doing lent together this year. It’ll be a first for all of us & I pray that we can all learn something from it. Based on some online research & what my “gut” says I’m going to break up the time for the kids. 40 days is a long time for kids to give up one thing...and I think would be setting them up for failure. So we’re going to break it up into 10 day segments, giving up something different each 10 days. I haven’t figured out just how we’ll arrange it yet, but sweets & screen time will be in the mix. In order to do somewhat the same thing as them so that they don’t feel like I’m asking something of them that I won’t do...I’m going to give up 2 things. I know it’s a big step from never having done lent before...but I really feel God asking me to do this. I’m going to give up sweets...and I’m going to give up my “during the day” facebook time. That may seem half hearted...not to give up facebook altogether...but it’s really a huge sacrifice for me. Since I’m home all day with the kids, I’m quite used to checking facebook 15-20 times a day. I won’t be on for long, but I’m on often. Anytime I sit down at the computer to look something up for the kids, I check facebook. So I’m going to limit myself to once a day for a maximum of 20 minutes. This will allow me to stay in touch with numerous family members who live across the province, the country & the world...but will still be a big sacrifice for me.
Why? What’s the purpose for all this? First & foremost because I feel God leading me to. I pray that God will use this time to bring me & my kids closer to Him & to each otehr. I want to be purposeful about using that extra time to spend time with Him. I want to spend daily time reading the Bible with my kids. I want to seek Him about how to make Jesus real to my kids. I want to start thinking about the meaning of Easter now instead of waiting till 2 days before & then trying to make it meaningful for the kids.
So why am I telling you all about it? Well, I’m hoping that you can help hold me accountable. Ask me how it’s going. What we’re learning. Let me know your thoughts! Offer any advice you may have. Maybe it could even be an encouragement for you to give up something of your own. Not because it’s “lent”...but because you want to deepen your relationship with Jesus!
Side note: Did you know that if you actually count the calendar days, lent lasts for 47 days? I never knew (I’ve never counted) till I was researching last night. It’s 40 days not including the Sundays. The Sundays are supposed to be a break from the fasting because that’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that yet. In one way I can see it being nice to have that “break” from the fast...but it would also make it really easy to “over-indulge” on that day...then again maybe that would help prevent over-indulging at the end of the 40 days. Like I said I don’t know, but I’m not worried about it. Like I said, this isn’t Biblical. It’s a choice I’m making to draw closer to my Lord...so we’ll deal with that when the time is right. I just thought it was an interesting tidbit of infoJ.
I’ll leave it at that. If you’re my friend on facebook & you don’t see me throughout the day you’ll know why. Also, if you use facebook to get ahold of me throughout the day, you may want to email or phone instead if it’s something you need before the end of the day. I’d love to know your thoughts on any of this!