Our family had a sit down discussion Sunday night about Lent. The boys thought we were talking about the white fuzz found in your pockets. "No, not, "lint", Lent." They have reached an age where they are starting to understand the events that lead up to Easter. Lent begins 40 days before Easter starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Good Friday/Holy Saturday (differs with denominations). Some people give up TV, sugar, food, smoking, meat, etc. As a family, we wanted to observe this time together. There is something very meaningful about the number 40. Think of Noah and the 40 days and nights of rain. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.. I don't know the significance of the number, but I would like to research it more.
I knew what I should give up for Lent and actually started on Monday. It's music. I am a music nut through and through. If you saw my itunes library you would see literally every genre represented. However, last week, my youngest was singing the words to Ke$ha's song Tik Tok!!! Now, he didn't hear that one at home, probably at school. However, I want to play music that will get THAT ONE out of his head. So, for the next 40 days, it's worship music only in this house. I have already noticed in the last 2 days that our home is more calm and the boys are talking nicer to each other.
We asked the boys to think of something they could give up during this time to remember the sacrifice made for them. For Wesley - PlayStation3. Will - he's not concrete in his decision yet, but it will probably be his daily treat from the jar after school.
In the times Paul and I have observed Lent, we find that we are less distracted and more open to God's direction for our lives. It's a good time to clean the clutter out of our homes and minds.
BTW-I have found some incredible music on itunes to fill my home throughout this season. There's some great music for kids too - not at all cheesy. And I don't have to worry about the lyrics. :)
Do you observe Lent? If so, what do you give up during this time?