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Unlike many years in the past, I have actually been thinking about what I can do for Lent this year.
My perpetually disorganized and always time management challenged personality longs to be neither of those things.
I have almost always felt behind in tasks and in survival mode.
Enter being a homemaker (and I use that title very lightly) and mother of 3 children under the age of 7. Never mind that – enter my twin one year olds.
As I type this I am putting off cleaning up the 300 wipes all over the living room floor and I can’t even talk about my kitchen.
The easiest thing for me to do for Lent would be to give up something – like wine.
But Lent shouldn’t be doing something that is easy.
Lent is meant to cleanse our souls and draw us closer to the Lord.
Recently I was on a talk show called, The Positive Side, with the host Anne DeSantis and a college friend, Maggie Riggins.
Maggie, the Campus Minister of DeSales University, talked about Lent in a way that made me want to take notes.
And I did. I totally went back and took notes. Here is what she said about Lent:
Lent is 40 days to renew our relationship with God.
When we are considering what we are going to “do for Lent”, focus on simplicity, sacrifice, and challenge.
“I liken it to a 7 day cleanse or detox or a whole 30 program that people do to change their attitudes and behavior in order for a cleanse.
Lent is a 40 day spiritual cleanse and renewal that at the end you have a deeper understanding of yourself and a deeper relationship with God.
What we do for Lent should be simple – something that we can accomplish.
It should involve an element of sacrifice – we want to sacrifice the fact that we enjoy something, but that is meant to train our will to help us give up things that we DON’T LIKE.
We don’t like sinning.
We don’t like not being fully present to our kids or not making time for prayer.
And lastly, It should have an element of challenge.
Maggie Riggens, DeSales University Campus Minister
Maggie summed up her Lent wisdom the following way:
Lent is the challenge to build upon our spiritual strength. We start where we are, but build upon it with a spiritual practice or a new sense of sacrifice that you can take with you through Easter and hopefully the rest of your life.
If I (Amy Brooks) gave up wine for Lent, it would be simple.
But, it wouldn’t be that much of a sacrifice because if I’m being honest, I rarely drink it nowadays. It might be a sacrifice on that rare occasion I go out – but for the most part, even if I want a glass of wine one night, by the time I put the children to bed, the desire has passed and I just want to go to sleep too.
You can listen to Maggie talk about Lent on this episode of The Positive Side: The Positive Side with Amy Brooks and Maggie Riggins
So what would be simple, have an element of sacrifice and challenge my soul?
Giving 20 minutes a day to God. Just God.
- This is on the borderline of simple because – once again – twin one year olds. However, they do nap, I do have a husband that is home by 5:30 most nights AND I have a neighbor that comes over to help me during the week. So, I can check off simple.
- Sacrifice – I want to write, I want to go on social media, I want to go through my to-do list, etc. This time would be me sacrificing those wants.
- Challenge – I am sure I will have excuses. There will be days when I might not want to do it because, “I have so much to do”! It will definitely be a challenge for me.
Time is the biggest challenge when I think about all my goals.
My ultimate goal should be heaven.
Will you join me?
I believe that when we set goals with others, we are more likely to achieve them.
Would you like to give God 20 minutes a day for Lent? If I’m being totally transparent here, I need to say this:
I need you to join me. I can’t do this alone. Please help!
If I post a video once a week for us to say how we succeeded in giving God 20 minutes some days and how we fell on others (if I am being totally realistic, it’s probably going to happen. I am going to fail some days). . .
If we meet up once a week in the Prayer Wine Chocolate Facebook group <—- click to join
Would you watch it – even if you can’t catch it Live? Maybe together we can do this.
Let’s NOT GIVE UP WINE for Lent, together.
Let’s give God more of ourselves.
Let’s give up our desires and wants for 20 minutes and ask the Lord to use that time in our lives for
His will, and
If you are not on Facebook, or you are giving up Facebook for Lent – I can send out a post to my mailing list 2 weeks into Lent and share all the ups and downs I – and others have experienced!
Just make sure you subscribe here 🙂 Subscribe to Prayer Wine Chocolate
When you do subscribe you will get a ton of free resources – including prayer journal prompts for Lent.
I’m hoping some days I will be able to spend my 20 minutes prayer journaling – but we will see.
Other ways to give God 20 minutes (besides prayer journaling):
Saying a Rosary while I drive instead of listening to the radio
Going to Adoration for 20 minutes
Going to Mass on a day other than Sunday
Praying at 3:00 pm for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Getting together with friends to pray the Rosary
Participate in a Parish event during Lent
Read a Lent themed book (Give Up Worry for Lent looks GREAT!)
Pray the Rosary with family after dinner – we did this last year and it was great!
You might be thinking, “but I already give God 20 minutes a day”.
Could you give Him 20 more?
What are you thinking about doing for Lent? I’d love to hear and I KNOW others might need ideas too. Please comment – tell us! What are you going to do for Lent in order to renew your relationship with God?
Great article Amy!
I am giving up “my heart’s desires” – but, you can read more about that on Wednesday. 😉
It’s actually similar to how you figured out what you wanted to give up – based on the pillars of Lent, but manageable and doable for a mom with a lot going on.
Praying you have a spiritually rewarding Lent this year!
Isn’t it funny how the first things some people think of, aren’t even tough for others. Lent is a personal spiritual journey and there are many great ideas here!
These are great ideas! I will think more about them!
I was trying to figure out what to do in order to be “better” for my husband and kids – whether that was giving up Facebook, tempering my emotions and reactions, or something else. I think I love this idea, though. By devoting 20 minutes to God, I think I can accomplish my goal of being more present to those I love. Thank you for this post!
I’m also going to attempt to add a Holy hour each week and at least one daily Mass. The Mass isn’t all that difficult to add in, as I’m already dropping my kids at school 30 minutes before Mass starts, and they attend Mass as a school every Friday.
Hi Courtney! I am also thinking if I do a daily Mass at least once a week that will help me dedicate at least 20 minutes to God! My 2 of my 3 children are under the age of 2 – so only one goes to school- this makes going to Adoration tough. I really enjoy going, but it really is a challenge at this stage! I hope we both really make this happen and grow closer to the Lord!