The first day of Lent was yesterday, Ash Wednesday. For the past couple of weeks I have been praying, journaling, thinking, and meditating in hopes God would make very clear to me something I need to give up or take on this year. I was beginning to think it would never happen. But in God's timing, right?
I began talking to the girls yesterday morning during our car ride to school about Lent, reminding them what it is, and asked for them to consider giving something up or taking something on this year. We continued the conversation during and after dinner last night. I suggested we as a family give up fast food. I am ashamed to admit just how much I have depended on drive-thru and take out dinners over the past few months. It's gotten really bad. Well, one would have thought I had snatched away the girls' most loved possession at the mention of no McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Sonic or Wendy's (no, not the frosty!!) for the next 40 days. Their reaction and begging backfired - now I'm even more convinced we need to give it up. Let's be honest here though - giving up fast food will be a lot harder for me than them. I'm the one who has to get the meal planning and cooking back on track regardless of how long and busy the day has been!
In addition and much more important in my opinion, we decided to take on daily Bible reading, devotions, and prayer just before bedtime every night for the next 40 days. The girls were excited by this suggestion and as soon as it occurred to me, I knew it was God-inspired (in his perfect timing!). Another really honest moment here - this will be more challenging than no fast food! I have become incredibly rushed with bedtime routines. At the end of the day I'm exhausted. Wiped out physically, mentally, emotionally. Most nights I'm fussing to get them in bed and rushed with tucking in and goodnight kisses. Adding 15-20 minutes of Bible and prayer time every night regardless of how tired I am, regardless of how late past bedtime it might be - well this will be a challenge.
We were unable to attend our church's Ash Wednesday service - 7:00 pm on a school night at this age just was not going to work unfortunately. But we did begin our daily devotions. I think it will take a few days to figure it out. Gabrielle read a passage from her Bible about Jesus' baptism then I read the same story from Samantha's Bible. We then read a short devotion and took turns praying. I hope to have more discussion about what we've read in the future (hopefully I'll be able to answer their questions!) and maybe on the weekend incorporate some sort of activity to go with what we've been reading.
It will be a challenge but then I think what the next 40 days might look like, what will Easter be like after 40 days of the girls and I together focusing on Jesus. I'm hoping for an amazing experience. I'm hoping the girls and I both will learn so much together. I'm hoping at the end of the 40 days we will have enjoyed this time together and this time with God each night that we won't want to stop.