Each year, I try to come up with some new ideas of things to do during Lent. I try my best to honor the thing(s) I pick, but sometimes (ok, more often than I would like to admit) I forget & then say, "Well, I already fell off the wagon, so what's the point of continuing?" But this year, I am not allowing myself that conversation. Even if I get busy & forget for a week, I will still continue as best I can through the end of Lent.
By our very nature, mothers are constantly sacrificing for our husband & children. And it is important to feel that we are sacrificing during this very holy time in the Church. After all, we are preparing ourselves to celebrate the beauty of Jesus' sacrifice...the ultimate sacrifice. My list of Lenten ideas includes some new ways to sacrifice for others, but also strongly focuses on ways to enrich your spirituality during this time. Pick one or two to do this Lent. I hope you will join me on this journey & I look forward to hearing about your Lenten journey.
1. Get up 30 min before your alarm & spend that time in prayer. If you need a good reflection book, I recommend A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.
2. If you use a dishwasher, wash the dishes from one of your meals each day by hand. Use the time to pray.
3. Donate your time to a shelter for abused women & children.
4. Fast in between meals. Offer it up for the souls lost to abortion & miscarriage.
5. Compliment a fellow family on how great it is to see them bring young children to Mass.
6. Listen to Catholic Radio. We recently got EWTN Radio in our area...it is changing my life! If it isn't broadcast in your area, you can listen to it at iHeartRadio.
7. Find someone to watch the kids so you can go to confession. This can be a tough one for moms because if your kids are little like mine, you can't bring them into the confessional, but you can't leave them unattended in a pew.
8. Take the money you would spend on your Starbucks habit (or whatever other spending vice you have) & donate it to the CRS Rice Bowl initiative.
9. Send a handwritten note to another mom friend. We all know the joy of getting something heartfelt & unexpected in the mail.
10. At bedtime, recite the Hail Mary with your children. If they don't know it, they will by the end of Lent. If they learn that, add another prayer each evening. We are working on learning the St. Michael prayer right now.
11. Invite your priest to dinner at your house. They appreciate the fellowship!
12. Start a weekly family prayer night. Use the Live IT Gathering Guide & weekly videos to open dialogue & prayerfully prepare for the coming week's Gospel reading.
13. When you see your husband doing a habit that drives you crazy, offer it up rather than bugging him about it.
14. Give your husband a kiss before you go your separate ways for the day. Likewise, give him a kiss goodnight.
15. Offer authentic, kind smiles to other moms you see. Sometimes we are too quick to judge each other.
16. Pray with your kids in the car on the way to school. Ask them who they want to pray for. Appreciate the beauty & simplicity of their prayers.
17. Sign up for the Best Lent Ever from Dynamic Catholic. You will receive a daily email/video to help focus your day & challenge you to change your habits. I signed up today & I'm BEYOND excited about it!
18.Pray the Litany of Humility every day.
19. Join the 50 Shades of Grace novena. Let's pray for the end of such a violent pornographic film. You can also join the "50 Bucks not 50 Shades" campaign & donate $50 to a domestic violence shelter or pregnancy crisis center.
20. Dedicate 6 minutes every day of Lent to read the Little Black Book. The book was distributed by our local parish; Jesse & I are both planning to use it this year. You can order one online for $4. They are compact & convenient while guiding you through the Passion story. It only takes a few minutes to read. Put it in your car & read it while waiting to pick up your kids from school or practice.