3 Ways to Prepare for Lent (When You’re A Parent)
1. Focus on what’s simple
Try these 3 easy approaches for Lent:
- lower your expectations
- make short time for small prayer
- get creative about how you pray, fast, and give
Read the details here: How To Live Lent as a Busy Mother.
2. Find a good book: for yourself and for your child
Here is a list of our favorite Lenten books for children (and more ideas for Easter basket books for birth-6 years and 6-12 years). Don’t forget to think about your own spiritual reading this Lent, too!
Here are a few books for adults, whether Lent is new for you or a season you’ve observed for years:
- A Busy Parent’s Guide to a Meaningful Lent by Maria C. Morrow
- Bitter and Sweet: A Journey into Easter by Tsh Oxenreider
- Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit by Paula Huston
- Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter from Plough Publishing (an ecumenical collection from more than 70 writers and theologians)
3. Find peace in knowing Lent won’t be perfect
Try approaching Lent from the opposite direction (from Laura Kelly Fanucci on the night before Lent begins):
“I would like to humbly offer that many of us do Lent wrong. (Raises hand over here.) We expect that tomorrow we will be different people. We will give up chocolate or coffee, sugar or social media, wine or whining, and it will go well! We will become peaceful and patient, spiritual and saintly, able to achieve best intentions with sheer willpower. Maybe a few minor bumps along the way, but mostly we will become the people that we always meant to be. Starting tomorrow.
What if we tried the opposite?
What if we expected to fall—and fall HARD—but we built failure into our expectations?
What if we saw Lent as less of a marathon and more of a couch-to-5K?
What if we gave it to God rather than trying to triumph in self-control?
This year, I’m trying to flip the Lent I always have. The Lent you might recognize from your own life. The one that bursts with a bang of best intentions tomorrow and fizzles to a frustrated slump by the end of week two. (Ok, fine. Week one.) The “I failed at Lent again” Lent.
This year I’m starting slow instead. Tomorrow I’m going to be the same me. I’m just going to try to do a little bit—fasting, praying, giving alms. The next day, a smidge more. Next week maybe I’ll have made a little progress. Maybe not. This hard season is about humility, after all. But I’ll try to keep going. Keep growing.
Lent is a long preparation for Easter. It’s not an overnight sensation, an instant transformation, or a self-improvement project. It’s holy time to remember ourselves back into the life and love of God. It’s a journey to the end, all the way to the end.
We don’t have to do it right. (Although we can give up tired versions of trying to do it wrong.) All the ways we’ll be changed by Lent’s end will be ways we can’t even imagine now. But God is here, and we’re trying to show up, and good things always happen with that combo.
Couch-to-5K. Ash Wednesday to Easter. Slow and steady, not all at once.
Give yourself the gift of a Lent that grows. See what graces God is waiting to overflow.”
This week’s sponsor of Mothering Spirit is Be A Heart Design, a modern Christian lifestyle brand that creates beautiful products to help both adults and children grow in faith. Check out their Easter offerings to bring joy to your kids in their baskets: dolls, puzzles, toys, and much more!
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