Today is the day I get to walk around waiting for people to tell me I have something on my head. That's right! It's Ash Wednesday!! Lent begins today and because of the weather the whole family was able to attend Mass together to start the day. The kids are out of school again and Ken doesn't have to be at work until noon, so the 7 am service fit perfectly into our schedule.
It also prompted a good discussion with the kids this morning about Lent and what their plans are. I'll be honest, I'm not sure yet what I'm giving up. I already don't drink caffeine or eat chocolate very often. I could say I'd give up Facebook, but I know that wouldn't really happen. Plus I use it for business and that would not be a good fiscal plan. I think I'm going to give up fiction. That's a good stretch for me and it also lends itself well to fulfilling my resolution to read more non-fiction this year (which I haven't technically started yet...)
I also asked Henry about Lent. Technically, he's young enough that he doesn't have to observe all the obligations of Lent, but since he's having his First Communion this year I told him he could practice. I think it's funny that every time I ask him to give up something he names the iPad. I'm not sure where that comes from. Does he regret all the time he spends on it? Does he think he can trick me by playing on the computer and watching TV instead? I'm never sure with him, but I'm proud of him for wanting to challenge himself.
A little later he was yelling at Benjamin about something inconsequential. They resolved it themselves just as I was walking by. I looked at him and said, "Maybe you could give up fighting with your brother..." The look he gave me was full of wisdom and chagrin. Like he knew that would be a good idea, but also knew it not be something he could actually accomplish.
Let is a good time to really take a good, hard look at yourself and think about what needs to go. What can you change to make yourself a better person. As I just explained to someone who asked me about my ashes, it's a good time to think about your path and how you can re-align it with God's path. Are there things you frequently regret doing? Things you regret not doing? Are you on the path you want to be on? What can you do to get back on that path, if not?
If it's okay to say, I like Lent. I like the introspection of it. It's like another new chance to start over. An opportunity to shift the focus of my life back to where it should be.
How about you? Do you do Lent?
I'm linking up today with Lisa's One Word Challenge. The word choices were paradise, alone, and regret. This week I only got one! Did you find it?