I love creating and continuing traditions with my family. Traditions that make us laugh like always getting ice cream from 'Captain Sundae' the day it opens in the spring (even if temperatures are in the 30's!)
Then, there are more serious traditions that I love, like Lent. I am not one who believes you must always 'give up' something for Lent. Instead I believe that it should be a time of remembering, improving, and growing. Remembering the sacrifice, improving and growing in to a better person over the course of the 40 days. This year I did 'give up' two things. The point of the 'giving up' however, was to inspire growth. I gave up refined sugar and shopping for myself. These two things may seem random and disconnected, but in my life there was a very logical connection. When things are busy and I feel stressed two of my favorite stress relievers are shopping (just a cute little shirt) and sweets. I use these things to create a false calm in my life. My goal for Lent this year was to fast from shopping and sweets as a way to remember that I cannot always have what I want at the moment I want it. As a way to find strong, nurturing, and healthy ways to relieve stress and feel real moments of calm. I have found wonderful replacements in things like pottery, reading, snuggling, and creative cooking/baking. This message carried over to the Lent journey of my 9 year old triplets who all gave up their 'DS' in the hopes of finding more time to play. Play outside, play with legos, play with crafts. It was a wonderful conversation around the table that brought them from the act of simply 'giving up' to the question of 'how do you want to grow and improve by doing this?'
As we approach Holy Week we are reflecting on what we learned over these past 40 days and asking new questions about how we can carry the traditions of Lent with us for the rest of the year. Remembering the sacrifice made for us, improving and growing as we live our lives.