2022 Lent Documentation

We’ve passed the second Sunday of Lent so probably a good time to share some Lenten thoughts and goals and admit I’ve already gone to Confession for failing at the one thing Fulton and Teddy asked me to give up. I used to not like sharing my Lenten practices, then I overshared and did crazy things, now I’m just documenting another Lent for the blog so I can come back to it next year for planning purposes.

It’s a blog post but you get the idea. Is anyone else still writing blog posts???

It felt weird to go through February and not observe Lent. The long, cold, dark and dreary days naturally lend themselves to the quiet whining and longing of Lent. A late Easter, and Lent, means beautiful spring weather peeking through the clouds, more activities, and generally more temptation to do all the things I’ve given up.

On Tuesday we went to Ocean City for the first time this year (Spring Break!!) and it was tough for all of us to only purchase salt water taffy and not devour two thirds of it immediately upon exiting the store. Plus, the frozen custard stand was open, which hardly seemed fair.

I’m SUPER holy for Ash Wednesday and then its a struggle for the next 39 days.

So as you can guess, we’ve all given up sweets (which we do every year as a family). I did wonder how Addie would fair off at college, but at least while she’s home, she’s following our family tradition of pretending fruit is an acceptable dessert. I used this page with Fulton and Teddy to help them come up with some Lenten practices of their own. I can’t read Teddy’s handwriting all that well, so I just have to trust he’s taking things seriously. Edie is sleeping on the floor of her room which means it’s even harder than usual to walk through there, and I think there’s somehow less incentive to pick up her laundry. She did make room for Addie so that was kind of her.

I am once again turning to the Church to just tell me what to do for Lent and following the traditional Lenten fast (which was in place until 1962) Two small meals a day, one regular meal, and only meat with my regular meal. No Coke or alcohol except on Sundays (though I’m doing very bad at the no Coke thing. Some years that’s harder than others.) I’m also trying to plan meatless suppers for Wednesday since we eat meatless on Friday year round, but I’m allowing myself wiggle room there in case I have one of those days. I’m still not as hardcore as our Orthodox brothers and sisters though-maybe one day! To make things easier on myself, I’m prepping lunch salads for the week for Tony and I, and every morning for breakfast I’m having a fruit smoothie with protein powder. Easy, healthy, small meals I don’t need to think about has made fasting easier, though I usually start eating supper the minute I begin prepping food at 4 p.m. “Oh, does this meal call for shredded cheese? Better take that out first and consume two fist fulls to make sure it’s fresh.”

I’m trying to limit social media between the hours of 9-6p.m. and keep my phone either on my desk or in my bedroom rather than keeping it on me at all times.

I’ve got a devotional book I’m reading at night and really trying my darnedest to stick to that daily rosary habit. I’ve written down all my prayer intentions, so now when I pray I just say “For my Lenten intentions” with quiet relief that I don’t need to think of everything. God knows what’s on my list.

Fulton and Teddy suggested I give up cursing during Lent, which I agreed to, but then we had clarify that I was not to say the f-word or the s-word but damn, hell, and a$$, while not ideal, do not break my Lenten commitment. So yes, I already had to confess cursing because both boys are outgrowing their ankle braces and getting them on poses challenges that I sometimes react to with inappropriate words. But I’ve been better since Sunday; fingers crossed.

Or let it get run over by a wheelchair.

I’m not doing any special book or salt dough crown of thorns or beans in a jar thing with the kids. I just didn’t feel like adding one more thing to our daily religion routine this year. Maybe we’ll watch some extra religious movies during Holy Week. …just kicking that can down the road.

Sure, I want us all to suffer and grow in holiness this Lent, but I want it to be simple and straight forward. I’ve had a tendency to over complicate things in the path, for myself and the kids, and I’ve reached a point in my life where I just don’t have brain cells for much outside what I’m already doing. Especially when I know I’ll be fasting. Experience has taught me I’ll be more run down during Lent, and I can’t expect myself to have the energy to be super liturgical Catholic mom!!!! It’s best if I can just be not grumpy, not angry, and not exhausted Catholic mom. (Just a reminder that I gave up caffeine last Lent so I’m doing life on decaf which already puts me behind the eight ball, and probably explains my deep seated desire for Coke at all hours. )

As for almsgiving, I’ve identified a few organizations donating to families with disabled children in Ukraine and one organization helping SMA families in Ukraine or those who’ve left for Poland. Kids with SMA in Ukraine had been receiving the same medicine that Fulton and Teddy take and you just don’t stop taking it. SMA groups and drug manufactures are trying to track down families to make sure these kids can continue receiving the medicine they need to stay strong. If you’re interested I’m updating my Instagram stories with any and all charity organizations helping orphans, or disabled children and adults, including but not limited to those with SMA in Ukraine. Please let me know of any others either on IG or in the comments.

How is your Lent going?

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4 Comments

  1. I didn’t think it through until I read your post, but the late lent coupled with everything picking back up has made lent extra challenging this year. I’m probably going to need to do some revising. I always pick way too much and then quit it all when I fail at one thing and so far that trend is holding strong.
    Like you we have passed on all the grape vine thorn crowns and bean jars this year but I do still plan to follow our Holy Week children’s traditions. You mentioned movies – we always watch Prince of Egypt on Holy Thursday afternoon before mass and talk about the relationship between the Eucharist and Passover.
    Prayers for a fruitful lent!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for your honesty. This is my second Lent as a special needs Lent. Last Lent, we were living in the hospital the whole time so I figured God had chosen my Lenten sacrifice for me. This year, I’m just trying to not be exhausted, angry, shouting Catholic mom. And I don’t even seem to be able to surmount that.

  3. I think it’s so funny that your kids asked you to give up cursing. It would probably be a good idea to ask family members what we should give up, it may be very different from what we think we need to do!

  4. First, thank you for your honesty in sharing your Lenten sacrifices and being real about how it’s going. Last year, I didn’t make much effort for Lent because we were still under COVID restrictions and I felt like I’d already sacrificed enough. It feels comforting to return to more intentional Lenten discipline this year.

    Second, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to refer to just Ukraine, not “the Ukraine.” Just as we don’t say “the France” or “the Brazil” or “the China,” it’s correct to refer to the independent country of Ukraine as simply Ukraine. Here’s a (slightly old but still helpful) story about this: https://time.com/12597/the-ukraine-or-ukraine/
    Thank you for your consideration.

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