Absolutely the best thing we have done as a family, in my mind, is to get the kids to colour in a step of Lacey's Lenten Path every day. It's keeping me and the girls focused on the journey.
And at that moment the journey seems to be going on forever!
I purged the house of sweets and chocolates (and biscuits) because of the girls - I dictated this one, that the family is giving up having these in the house, and they can do something extra than this, but they are doing this at least :-) But, this one came back to bite me on the bum because I've been suffering the most. MY Lenten challenge was to eat more fruit and veg, keep fit and look after my teeth. Verdict:
- I started off really well, but we need to make sure we have a plethora of fruit around the house at all times, and be bothered to peel and chop it for myself, not just the girls;
- My pelvis is pretty bust because I did a post-birth exercise DVD when my aquaaerobics was cancelled. And overdid it. Typical over-achieving, over-enthuiastic, rise-to-the-challenge me. Don't I know that God likes babysteps, not overblown successes?!
- I made a dental appointment. The next one my dentist has free is over a month away, so I am so glad I made it now!
But do you know what? This ain't suffering. Suffering hasn't even begun. Suffering is my friend holding up the due date (today) of the child she miscarried last year. It's a baby who doesn't understand where the pain in her head is coming from, and screaming in agony. It's a mother who can't soothe or comfort her child (and obviously there's a religious analogy in that). The father who knows the things h/His child will have to go to achieve so much to help the suffering of others (ditto.) The sister and friend who slowly watches someone age and die from leukaemia, begging God's help. It's the lost and the injured, the bereaved and the dying, in Japan and other countries in need. It's the wife of the journalist who has to leave his young family to travel to a disaster area. It's many other things. And it's so much more than craving chocolate. I get this. I KNOW.
And I think, it's only been a few days, and I am getting over the worst. It is teaching me patience, humility, how to deal better with frustration, and the importance of my needs being satisfied. It doesn't compare to the real suffering that people endure, but it's still a lesson. I haven't binged on chocolate. I wouldn't think of raiding the sweetie tin. My husband did ask if my period was due, but largely, the family are helping me with this. And I think the days will get easier.
So, first part of Lent - a learning curve along the Lenten Path; a pilgrim's progress if you will....wonder what's around the next corner?