Verbing Lent

I think I can say, for once, I’m glad Lent is here.  Between the baby, the holidays, life in general and winter I’ve been in a bit of a slump and sometimes slumps are hard to work out of.

A big part of the slump is that I’m new to a lot of this.  I don’t know how Catholic families raise their kids faithwise and kind of making it up as I go.  That’s fine and dandy, but thanks to Pinterest and a wealthy of sites, books and other things it’s hard to find something and go with it because there are so many other options, and maybe that ones better or should I be doing more crafts or reading more books or…or… or…

I got to the point where I felt like I was drowning in options and kind of froze up.  Plus I got to the point where I wasn’t sure why I was trying to do some of these things and the answer I came up for a lot of it was that it looked really cool or I really respected that blogger who did them, but that in the end it wasn’t a good fit for me.  Baking lots of goodies we never ate?  Not our thing.  Crafts we just rushed through?  Not worth it.  Books just sitting on our shelves?  Waste.

The thing is, I grew up Methodist.  Methodists are a liturgical church, but what makes them Methodist, in part, is that Methodists do things.  They’re big on action and that’s what I’m used to and without that I feel a little empty, but when I couple action to our family plans I feel much more fulfilled.

Sometimes that action is big – like gathering up items for the shelter with my family and sometimes it’s small, like our Thank You window or even filling up our bean jar – it’s not just making a thing or reading a book, I think I need a way to verb our experience a bit more and I think that’s good for me because I can be quite anti-action in my day to day life, preferring to be a bit more sedentary and complacent.

So that’s all well and good, but what are you DOING for Lent?!  Well, let’s keep thinking in terms of verbs here.  This Lent I feel like I need to focus on these verbs for me and my family:

Prayer has really took a hit in my life recently, and I can’t really say why past what I’ve already talked about.  There’s so many ways and places and prayers to learn!  I used to get by with the Lord’s Prayer, that was easy.  It’s become a little overwhelming and I need to simplify that again.  At the same time I need to be exposing my kid to more prayer in his day to day life.  I grew up with prayer being very private and very quiet; I developed quite a skill in mental prayer, but that’s not the best teaching tool.
Plans for Lent:
  • Learn a new prayer with Henry
  • Exposure to the Rosary

Attendance is a rough one for me on two accounts – once again I grew up without super mandatory church attendance.  If you had a reason to miss, that was fine – see you again next week.  It didn’t develop the best habit formation in me and while we’ve been doing much better over the last year or two, the first tri of this pregnancy just blew that record away.  I’m also an introvert!  I don’t wanna go to functions and events because everyone will see my ackward and I’d much rather stay at home and read.  Once again, good spiritual reading is fine, but like my habit of mental prayer not so great with the teaching.
Plans for Lent:
  • Go.To.Church.Molly. 
    • and you should probably hit up confession
  • Get to a Church event – we’ve got a lot of them Ash Wednesday soup suppers, 40 days of Life events, Stations of the Cross.  We need to show up and do at least one of these.  That community building isn’t going to do it on it’s own.
Learning is a tricky one because so often I get wrapped up in the doing and the making, but don’t focus as much on the retention of why we did a thing.  Henry’s old enough that I want him to start learning a bit more – not just knowing that we make a craft or eat a food on a certain day.  Of course he’s five so the bar isn’t too high up there, but still – we need to focus more on the why we do things that the what we’re doing.  That’s not saying I’m banning crafts and activities, I think it’s more of a challenge to me to step it up a notch.
Plans for Lent:
  • Regular Bible Stories
  • ???  Not quite sure how this one is going to pan out yet….

Other things for Lent:
  • Lent Countdown Calendar
  • Lent Bean Jar
  • Work with Henry to give something up this year
  • Focus on limit excess in our family
  • Almsgiving box
Hopefully this Lent will see us doing a bit more, how about you?

2 thoughts on “Verbing Lent

  1. Molly, I love this idea of “verbing Lent”-that's a great way of looking at things! Our prayer and relationship with God really should move us to action. For Lent, I usually try to come up with one or two things for “prayer, fasting, & almsgiving,” and work with that. Sometimes things don't work out, sometimes I add other things. This year, for me, it's 10 minutes of silent prayer (something that I keep wanting to do but keep failing at), no radio in the car or sweets on Fridays, and giving away a bunch of clothes to a local homeless shelter or woman's shelter. Our parish also does the Stations and is starting up a young adult Bible Study, so I'll try to make those a couple of times. I'm really excited to see what God brings in this coming season!


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