This week was the beginning of Lent.
I spent the first four Lents of marriage pregnant or nursing. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve been pregnant or nursing for the past six Lents! But the years that I haven’t been pregnant or nursing an infant I have gone ahead and fasted, so for the purposes of dietary sacrifices, I’m not counting them. Since I wasn’t able to fast all of those years, the sacrifices that I did make did not seem very sacrificial to me (I did a few Lents of all raw food, and I fasted, as defined by canon law, one Lent as well. I also attended mass every day during Lent one year). Eventually, I realized that I live a much more sacrificial life on the whole now than I did in my teens and early twenties. I may not be making any radical changes in my diet or spiritual life throughout Lent during these early years of motherhood, I know that my extra “little” sacrifices aid in preparing me for our Lord at Easter.
Thus, this year during Lent I will be:
- Participating in Forty Bags in Forty Days – This Lent I’m planning on removing forty bags of unnecessary items from my home. Hopefully most of these items will be put to use in other places (I already went through my stock pile and donated a bag of items that we didn’t need to a local religious order), but the reason my home tends toward being cluttered is because both JR and I tend to hold on to items because we know that they are useful to someone, someday – hopefully I will be letting go of a lot of those items this Lent.
- Spending less time on the Internet – I have a tendency to check my email, Twitter, Google Reader much more often than I need to throughout the day. Today is the first time I have sat in front of my actual computer since Lent started.
- Doing more Spiritual Reading – I used to read constantly, but over time I have fallen into spending more and more of that time on the Internet or watching television. My goal is to, at minimum, re-read The Story of a Soul this Lent.
- Since I am already a vegetarian, I will be fasting on Fridays in addition to abstaining from meat.
What sacrifices and/or extra practices are you engaging in this Lent?