giggle giggle giggle
We were discussing Ash Wednesday and Lent and what the kids could sacrifice.
I’ve only ‘done’ lent once or twice before, both times only nominally ‘successful’. So in preparing to talk to the kids about it, to try and figure out a way that this could be meaningful for them too, I started reading, hoping ideas would be sparked.
I’ve always found it to be a time of owning my fragile and fractured ways. Laying them out, saying, ‘here they are, my struggles in this life, in this body, in the place.’ Something about moving out of the shadows of denial begins a gradual healing. No argument, no defense or trying to justify why I limp this way or that. Just an honest statement in God’s company about my own feeble attempts at following His way.
Entering brokenness doesn’t necessarily come from giving something up. What can I do to own my brokenness?
As I read these various reflections, a couple of themes resonated:
Brian: Jesus went into death so that we might follow Jesus even in dying. This is a great mystery. Jesus leads us into death…that he might lead us out of death.
Reflection and repentance.
Kurt: Lent, is a time to enter into the dark places within our souls. We are invited to allow the Holy Spirit to search us and to know our hearts. We call attention to the things that bind us up from living out the reality of the Kingdom of God and attempt to starve them.
SheLoves: “You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”
Sarah: No, it’s about making space for mourning and justice, about anticipation and new life. Lent is making room for the death and the resurrection, and it’s about miracles and life.
Scot: “fasting as a response to life’s sacred, grievous moments”
J.R.: At Lent we take hold of this peculiar Christian calling, to embrace the death of Christ in hopes that this death in us might work the newness of resurrection life in those with whom we come in contact.
And I wondered. How can I include my kids in this? How can a 10 year old embrace death?
Where are we already broken that we can simply acknowledge it together? How can we reflect on it, and eventually seek renewal and restoration?
So I’m trying something that sounds strange. I took a drawing pad. Painted some pages to make it pretty. And we are going to write down every time someone does something wrong. No shame, no different discipline than what we normally do. Just an acknowledgement of our brokenness.
But also an opportunity to ask why. When mom is yelling, is it because it’s too noisy and I need a quiet break? When someone is whining over a messy bedroom, is it because they are being lazy or do they need help? When kids are fighting, why are they upset? If someone is being rude, is there a reason why? Are they being selfish, or do they just need to take a Vitamin B?
I’m not sure how it’s all going to work. Maybe we’ll see some patterns emerge, that in light of Easter and redemption, we can focus on new ways of interacting. But even if nothing changes, I think intentionally talking about what we do and the reasons behind it will be helpful.
The sacrificial element that they decided on was the television. Since giving it up was not a unanimous decision, and because I don’t want to go insane, we decided that it would only be during the day, until 5 pm. Evenings and weekends were allowed. ”But that’s not fair. It won’t be a sacrifice for you or dad.” Oh honey. You have no idea.
The last thing we’re going to do is food related on Fridays. Some days we’re going to eat foods normally eaten in third-world countries. Some days we’re going to pick 3 or 4 ingredients and only eat those all day. And on Good Friday we’re going to fast during the day. We have already had tears about that one. In the discussion about food and what we should give up, someone decided we should give up school, because “kids in poor countries don’t have school, either.” Nice try.
So we’ll see how it goes. It’s only been one morning and I’m already missing the TV.
Help My Unbelief – Red Mountain Music
Songs For Lent – New York Hymns