Observing Lent

This time of year in the Northern Hemisphere can bring to mind eating cleansing greens such as nettles, dandelion, leeks, chevril and fasting.  It can also bring to mind spring cleaning.  For those observing Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday through the Thursday before Easter,  this season can also make one think of:

  • Stillness
  • Focus
  • Promise
  • Transformation
  • Self-Reflection

I think this can be tricky with children, especially small children as much of the true Lenten work can be a  time of true adult inner growth and spiritual work.  However, I do think there are ways to observe Lent as adults and to include the entire family.

My church and I think of Lent in three parts, with a few ideas for each area gathered from my spiritual advisor and myself:

Self-Reflection, Repentance

  • Keeping a daily journal of thoughts and feelings
  • Praying
  • Hiking in Nature (yes, this may seem an odd one but what better place to feel connected to the world and to connected to onself for reflection than being out in nature?)
  • Schedule a meeting with your spiritual advisor

How to observe with children – setting a Lenten mood can be as easy as watching the sun rise or set every day, or observing the same tree every day at a particular time, or hiking and seeing the wonder in the world, make a Lenten calendar

Reading and Meditating on Spiritual Matters:

  • I will be using Saying Yes to Life as a daily meditation
  • Read a poem a day, create poems
  • Re-read a profound children’s book such as Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Wrinkle in Time
  • Create music and art

How to observe with children:  Attend church together, read together, start a gratitude jar for Lent, share music and art creations

Prayer, Fasting, Self-Denial

  • Turn your screens off on Sunday
  • Get off social media for Lent
  • Create a prayer list for those you don’t know and those you do
  • Skip a meal a day

How to Observe With Children – sit for one to five minutes in silence, create a ritual of praying for others, do secret acts of kindness, writing a thank you a day or a week to someone special, creating a true day of rest for the family with lots of family games and family time

More ideas from past posts regarding Lent:

2019 Lent: Pilgrimage of the Soul

2018: What I Want My Children to Learn During Lent

2018: The Wonder of A Simple Lent

2014: Celebrating Lent and Holy Week With Children

2013: Favorite Books For Lent

2011 Lenten Ideas

I would love to hear your amazing ideas for Lent!

Blessings,
Carrie