Wednesday, February 22, 2012


During the weeks leading up to Lent, I kept hearing Empty...Simplify. This is where I feel called to lead our children this Lent. Simplify in order to empty. Empty in order to fill with Christ. Our family talked about our Lent goals and we will finish filling in our Lent calendar tonight. Our poster sized calendar has always been an easy way to keep focused. We hang it in the kitchen, where we can all easily see it throughout the day.
My personal Lenten sacrifices in past years have sometimes been too lofty. I remember moments of failing before the first Sunday of Lent. So, this year it will be simpler. We will foucs on more family time with the Lord. My sacrifices in years past were always filled with strict fasting. I can admit my secret goal was more centered on weight loss rather than growing closer to Christ. This year I am looking forward to the simplicity of family time, peaceful prayer, quiet listening.

Simplify... empty...fill with Christ.

We will be reading Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa together as a family. We are also going to try to read the entire Gospel of Mark. Inspired by Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience we will have the children memorize The Beatitudes and keep a journal on living the Beatitudes. After family reading time we will do one decade of the Rosary during the week and a full Rosary Friday through Sunday. Our Lent calendar will include a special intention for the day.

Aside from the required abstaining and fasting, we all have some personal things we will be giving up. The younger kids will do something different everyday. Our Lent guide Bringing Home Lent with Mother Teresa is filled with non-food ideas for fasting. We will also be giving up Friday night family movie night in favor of Stations of the Cross and our parish fish fry.

During Advent we went shopping together as a family to buy food for the local Soup Kitchen. The kids were really moved by the experience of delivering the food the week of Christmas. When we talked about almsgiving for Lent this year, they decided they wanted to do this again.

Lord, thank you for this beautiful season, an opportunity to be closer to You.  I thank you for this precious time to grow in our love for You. I'm grateful today for...

(gifts #360-370)

Our Faith, a gift to be nurtured, cherished and shared.

His never ending Love.

Seeing ashes on all of their foreheads today, even the tiniest forehead.

The Crowns of Thorns we made today.

Our Lent calendar & how excited we all are to begin our Lent journey with Him.

The Holy Spirit for filling my heart with passion this Lent.

All the prayer intentions that the children wrote.

Anna losing her front tooth, her grin couldn't be any cuter.

Big, juicy, pink grapefruits.

Homemade granola.



  1. I love hearing what different families are doing during Lent. Simplify, empty, fill is such a great way to approach, well everything! I have noticed the idea of simplifying popping up all over for me. I think I'm finally starting to understand that this is my chance to live this one life well, and that I truly am in charge of the decisions I make about how my family and I spend our time. I am becoming more and more OK with setting my priorities differently so that I am not putting us through the awful "rat race" lifestyle. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts!

    1. "I think I'm finally starting to understand that this is my chance to live this one life well, and that I truly am in charge of the decisions I make about how my family and I spend our time." Mandy, Yes! All of this! Why did it take me so long to get this? Yet another way 1000 gifts has changed me.

  2. What a wonderful plan you and your family have decided upon for this Lent. And I can really relate to 'too lofty' goals for sacrificing.

    Thank you for sharing

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words Karen.