Sara: It’s hard to believe Lent is already here. For the first time in five years, I’m not working at a parish during Lent, which helped to continually remind me to prepare for Lent. In a lot of ways, Lent snuck up on me this year!
This year, Justin and I really tried to determine how we would attempt to get closer to God this Lenten season. Because of Gus and the busyness of family life, we realized we needed to make our goals and sacrifices attainable.
As a family, we decided we’d continue to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together each night, as we’ve done since before we got married. Many times, Gus plays on the floor while we pray. Several times, Gus has tried to grab the rosary from my hands. He must know we’re doing something important!
Justin: This year we have decided to focus on two things: 1) eliminating distractions and 2) taking steps to recall the presence of God in our life each day.
Therefore, I gave up reading about my favorite sports team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, online. I can be a sports junkie, and over the last several weeks I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading about my team. I was checking three websites multiple times a day for the latest details on who they were recruiting to play on their football team next year. Even I must say that it was getting a little ridiculous!
The first couple of days were really hard to give it up. When I would take a break at work, I almost found myself clicking on my favorite Alabama websites out of habit. However, after only a few short days, I can already say that I am enjoying being unplugged. I already feel more free!
Sara: I’ve also decided to work on decreasing the time I spend on Facebook – especially when Justin is home. While I thought about giving up Facebook for Lent, I realized that many days, Facebook is the only way I have adult conversation with anyone other than Justin. I’ve made a conscious effort not to continually have my Facebook page tab open on my computer during the day, and I’m also not checking Facebook after 6 pm so we can spend time together as a family.
Justin: We are accomplishing our second goal of being more aware of the presence of God through spiritual reading as a family.
Sara: We keep a book of quotes by Mother Teresa on our dinner table. Each night, Justin reads a quote from the book to us so we can ponder. Sometimes we discuss the quote and other times not. Often times it takes just 30 seconds. However, it helps keep us recollected to God during this Lenten season.
Justin: In just 5 days, I have already found both habits to be very enriching.
Sara: For the past year, I keep saying that I need a more regular prayer routine, but I always manage to find excuses on why now is not the right time to develop a pattern. This Lent, I’ve just decided it’s time. I’m determined to make it a priority to pray while I feed Gus in the mornings. So far, that’s been working out pretty well and has even seemed to make our days go smoother.
Justin: We chose these two goals because we find distractions to be one of the biggest obstacles to God that we face each day.
I know Lent has already started, but it’s not too late. If you also find distractions to be a barrier between you and God, I challenge you to find a practical action to remove just one distraction from your life this Lent.