It's been a long winter.
I understand, this goes without saying; however, after yesterday's episodes of "thundersleet" and powerful wind gusts carrying a negative wind chill along with them, I found myself moaning at yet another day that is too cold to go outside. Another day cooped up.
I pressed my forehead against the cold windowpanes and sighed. A lot.
Our church services were cancelled yesterday. I brewed my morning cup of coffee and turned down the hallway where our calendar hangs on the wall. My eyes searched the days, stopping over Wednesday.
Lent begins this week.
I've said it before: I am always ready for Lent. After winter's footprint has left its deep impression on my corner of the world, my heart aches for growth, for hope. And, as mentioned above, this year is no exception.
I did not come by Lent until I was a college student, so I'm careful about how I present it in our home, as it is not a part of the tradition in our place of worship--I want my kids to decide later in life if it's something for them. For me, it is a fast. No meat, with the exception of seafood. A practice that points my heart towards Christ and the cross throughout the day for forty days, through prayer and memorization (this year I am memorizing 2 Corinthians 4, a passage I memorized as a child but have mostly forgotten--I would love for you to join me!).
For my kids, Lent is about anticipation. Our paper chain countdown to Resurrection Sunday is hung on our mantle. I have recipes for Shrove Tuesday's pancakes (thanks to Jerusalem Greer's "A Homemade Year", given to me by a dear friend...and maybe we'll do a King Cake, too) and small activities of service we can do throughout the 40-day period.
As winter stretches forward, pushing itself into March, I realize that I set the tone for our home. My sinful heart is grumbly and angsty, but, when I allow myself to be settled and still, God's quiet voice nudges me towards gratitude. A warm home. Food to eat. And the conviction quiets my heart.
It is only appropriate that this last (maybe?) burst of winter arrived right before Lent. It is a tangible example of the barrenness of a world in need of Christ, a representation of the soul longing for the hope that can only come from Him.
Do you celebrate Lent in you family? If so, how?
Have a lovely day, friends.
Also...hang in there. :)