A Lenten “Rule of Life”and A Parenting Plan for Renewal

Lent begins this week, a time of spiritual journeying.  Where are you going in your spiritual life and your parenting life right now?  I have some ideas and suggestions for you in this post to ponder and meditate on.

I have been thinking about Lent as this spiritual journey.  In the Episcopal tradition, we think of preparing for Lent and Lent as this spiritual journey in preparing for Easter.  On any journey, one would pack bags and prepare for travel. Lent is much the same way; we use something called “a rule of life” to prepare for Lent and Easter.   There is a lovely article about what this entails here: http://fullhomelydivinity.org/articles/Preparing%20for%20Lent.htm   but the main components for Lent include:

**Self-examination and repentance and specifically attempting to reconcile with those we have hurt or alienated throughout this year  (also the use of sacramental confession to a priest)
**Prayer, fasting, and self-denial
**Reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.

In parenting, I wonder what creating a ‘rule of life” for Lenten parenting would look like for you?

Would your self-examination of yourself led you to reconcile with yourself?  Would it lead you to forgive yourself for not being perfect?  Would it lead you to forgive your partner for not being perfect?  Would it lead you to a Family Mission Statement or a parenting plan to do things better?  Anglicans have a strong belief in responsible freedom.  How will you be responsible in making yourself better in setting the tone for your family? 

If you fast and deny yourself, can you deny yourself negative self-talk?  Complaining?  Too much explanation to small children?  Can you take up a journey of prayer and meditation?  Can you focus on finding a spiritual path even if you do not have one currently?

In reading and meditating, can you read something spiritual that is uplifting to you?  Can you read something positive that will help you in your parenting?  How can you renew and refresh yourself after the long dark days of Winter?

More about Lenten parenting and Lent traditions tomorrow.

Many blessings,


12 thoughts on “A Lenten “Rule of Life”and A Parenting Plan for Renewal

  1. With the difference in seasons, Lent is a real ‘drawing in’ time for us. It seems very natural to reflect over this period.
    Thanks for making it all a bit more conscious, Carrie.

  2. What a tight little suitcase of ideas, just straining at the latches!

    I had hoped to get into the Lenten discussion at church but with two little ones, a working hubby (during the evenings), and a budget that is very tight (although I already have the book in my ‘library’ : ) I’m appealing to the person running the discussion.

    Fasting? Not while nursing! I’ll have to wait a while for that one. But I have wandered through that thought over the years, and given up ‘giving up x, y, & z’ for Lent. In elementary years I would ‘give up M&M’s’ (and it would be a rough thing!) but the rest of the thought process was just not there, nor was it introduced, encouraged or even talked about.

    I think a far better fast for me would be to fast from ‘speaking too fast’ and directing my children or husband too much. Yes I think I will write a reminder of that and put it on the wall (the fridge is artwork and on the pantry is my unframed reminders to Respond, not react; Gentle touches, voices, actions; and ‘people before things’ – LLL.)

    Am so wishing I could just print all of your site and READ like a book. At over 600 posts….thank you for holding this space open and letting others see so much!

  3. Lent- it usually meant no sweets and no meat. This year I took it a step further, to real lenten in the way I look at it. Sayinf the rosary together as a family, trying not to get angry at my kids more than 10 times for this whole month, reading my Bible daily & now after reading your post to stop the negative talking for the whole lent. Yes its refreshing and I am sure it will help in my journey.

  4. Beautiful thoughts Carrie! We are talking about this on our blog this week too as we prepare to start a new Beacon series about getting rid of our excuses… Lent is a perfect time to give up making excuses! I think it is also a perfect time as we reflect on ourselves, especially for Christians, to think about the Atonement and the gift that comes from it.

    Great post!


  5. In the Jewish tradition, the purpose of fasting on Yom Kippur is to allow time away from the preparation of food so that one can focus on the nourishment of the soul. I like to think of fasting not as denying oneself a fundamental need, but allowing a space and time for reflection.

  6. Carrie, I happened to read the Full Homely Divinity article shortly before reading your blog! It is sitting in my “to print” folder.

    For lent this year, I am “giving up” frowning. I really don’t frown TOO much (maybe I’ll learn differently! 🙂 ), but I want to consciously work on expressing love and warmth even when I need to be firm with my children or honest with my husband. I figured facial expressions was a good place to start.


  7. Pingback: lent: pilgrimage of the soul | The Parenting Passageway

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