We haven’t had a ton of snow, or bad weather, or even really cold weather. Yet the cycle of sickness has made this seem like an especially long winter, and our family is ready to shake off all the cozy of the season and trade it for freedom and, just maybe, a few weeks without germs.
But we’re not there yet. Spring is still a few weeks away. We’re looking ahead, but we have to live right here, even as we make plans for the coming of some really, really good stuff.
And in truth, the wait itself is good. It’s helping us to anticipate, yes. But it’s also priming our hearts for the most Holy Day of the year: Easter. In the Catholic tradition, there’s a name for the season of wait and introspection that precedes Resurrection Sunday—Lent. Protestants tend to shy away from it and assume there’s nothing Sola Scriptura about the weeks leading up to the church’s celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I think it’s a shame, to be honest. If we are to approach the Communion table with hearts prepared, why not approach the cross the same way?
Right now, my husband and I are digging in to seed catalogs, and soil tests, and the merits of heirlooms and hybrids. We are acquainting ourselves with all the details so that when it comes time to till the ground and begin the real work of farming this piece of property, we will know the why and how to the best of our ability. It is our goal not to just come to the plate, toss out a few halfhearted shots, and walk away content with whatever comes back our way. We want to get the most out of what the opportunity has to offer.
At the same time, I’ve been preparing a study guide for Lent that I pray will accomplish that same work in the hearts of my own family members, and maybe even yours. Experiencing Lent is an 83-page walk from the Garden, where a Messiah is first promised, to the hill where a risen Christ ascends to heaven. Covering the full 40 days of Lent, this book digs deep into the themes, facts, and history of the season. Each week is anchored in a Scripture study, and encourages families to read, discuss, and memorize God’s Word together. Daily focuses include the symbols of Lent (What’s with those ashes, anyhow?), the men and women who interacted with Jesus in the hours leading to His death, and the great hymns of the faith. Recipes, historical tidbits, and printables are included, and aimed at families with children of all ranges.
Like my Experiencing Advent guide, Experiencing Lent is written to be able to be reused year after year. It’s also low on crafts, and has plenty of built-in grace for busy families. A few minutes over breakfast, or a leisurely hour before bed… whatever your style, this open-and-go guide has you covered.
Experiencing Lent is my attempt to make the purposeful, faith-driven reflection and celebration of the Easter season easier and more accessible. Just like our first go at larger-scale vegetable gardening, this is a primer that will help you get the most out of the planning, the wait, and the anticipation. It’s available via Amazon in ebook format for $8.99. Pre-orders are available now, with books delivered electronically February 15. That gives you plenty of time to peruse the pages and familiarize yourself before the official start of Lent (March 1). Because of the book’s formatting (each weekday being assigned its own focus), you can literally pick any start date, and not miss the depth and wonder of the study.
Yes. We’re still waiting here. Waiting for health (did I mention another kid was diagnosed with strep just yesterday?), waiting for warm weather, waiting for our seed order, waiting for the chance to throw open the windows and bask in the coming of spring. Even more so, we’re waiting on Easter, and the celebration of a Risen Messiah who takes away the sins of the world. We hope you’ll join us in the wait… and the festival of joy that is Resurrection Sunday!