Monday, March 3, 2014

The Lent Police Force

So, Ash Wednesday is this week, and I'm kind wondering what people are doing to prepare for Lent. Last night we sat down with the kids and we each shared what we are planning to do for Lent. Part of this exercise was to have the kids think about what would be a good 'sacrifice' for each of them, given the spread in ages and maturity. And the other part was to allow us to hold each other accountable as a family. To make sure we keep on doing what we said we'd do. Hopefully the kids will also see this accountability as a way to help each other on the journey, and not just be the "Lent Police Force".

We took it another step and added a 'penance' if we have a misstep. Not everyone added this to their Lenten activities, but I think everyone saw the value of doing something extra to refocus and get back on track. Most of the 'penances' were extra prayers.

So, the big question that I am sure is burning in everyone's head. What did I pledge to do? Well, the first was to give up playing all games on my tablet. First and foremost, Candy Crush Saga. The kids just about fell over in disbelief at this one. Yes I play the game, but I'm not one to go at it for hours on end. I really haven't traversed that far into the levels, compared to other people I know. But it seems to be the "go to" thing to do to waste time or procrastinate. My intent is to then use this newly available time to do something more constructive. Like read, or get some of my to do list completed, or wrestle with the kids, or show some lovin' to my wife! But, I decided to use this extra time (at least during Lent) to share at least one positive comment on social media per day. Yep, more snow loving like status updates coming down the pipe!

Oh, and the penance side of the coin? Well, I will say a rosary every time I play a game on the tablet. And I threw in the caveat that if one of the kids 'tricks' me into playing, they get to share in my penance! And so, ever since listing out our Lenten activities, the kids have been on me like stink on poop whenever I pick up my tablet. "DAD! No Games!" is the common phrase I hear, and I am guilty until I prove my innocence. It seems the Lenten Police Force is on high alert already!