Lent has begun, and our plans are in place. I'm being careful not to overdo it, but I have high hopes for a fruitful season for our whole family. We made our Crown of Thorns on Ash Wednesday, at the repeated request of Max. I love that the kids have such a sense of tradition already; it's just not Lent without the Crown of Thorns! Each evening we remove a thorn from the crown as we tell of something we did for Jesus that day. At ages 6 and 4, maybe the understanding of sacrifice, of going above and beyond, isn't quite there yet ("I wanted to punch my brother, but I didn't"), but the seeds are being planted.
We are also attempting to start a new tradition this year: Soup supper and Stations at the church! We have always in the past prayed the Stations of the Cross at home; Max has illustrated them, or we have used coloring pages. But... deep breath... I think we're ready to try. (Ask me on Saturday if we will ever try it again.)
Paul and I are replacing our evening television watching with an evening rosary and reading time, and two days in I can already feel a difference. Oh, and there's the unexpected benefit of a slightly earlier bedtime... or should I say that I've been falling asleep in bed instead of on the couch. As for myself, I have my own list of resolutions, but I am going nowhere near giving up any foods or drinks this year. I plan to eat and drink whatever I want whenever I want, and I will not feel a bit guilty about it. Baby says so.
The boys, with little interference from me, decided on their Lenten sacrifice: No juice! No hot chocolate! Only milk and water for the entirety of the season (but we'll definitely splurge on the feast of St. Joseph). However, it is only Thursday evening and Lucian has already told me three times that he didn't really mean to give up juice. When I heard him say "yes" to Max's idea, he was in actuality clearly saying "no". And he definitely did not give up hot chocolate. So we'll take it a day at a time.
I love the season of Lent. I know that I should have the ability to form good habits any time of year, but for some reason I am much more able to stick to decisions I've made if I can label them as Lenten resolutions. I am hoping that by the time Easter comes, some of the changes in my daily routine will be ingrained enough to become permanent... or at least last well into the Easter season.
I am praying for all of you, that your Lent will be filled with grace and peace. Pray for me too!