Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lenten Preparations and Discussions

Just two weeks more and we are in the midst of Great Lent; so it begins again. A journey onward and upward, toward Golgotha, cross on our shoulders, as we look inward to watch the ways in which we might focus better on God, helping our neighbor, seeking a repentant heart, in preparation for one of God's greatest gifts He has ever given us: His Resurrection!

With Great Lent comes prayer, fasting, almsgiving, selflessness, and the like, as we make efforts to prepare ourselves for Pascha. Oftentimes, when we think of prayer and fasting, we focus on the very tangible aspect of them, such as food. One of the things we are discussing in Sunday school is the concept of watchfulness over our thoughts, actions, and words. I am having each kid keep a watchfulness journal/list, if you will, in which they have written things they hope to do each day during the great fast. Some of the ideas that we have come up with include not fighting with siblings, doing chores without complaint, watching what we say/watch on tv/music we listen to, etc., simply governing ourselves in a manner that is more controled and aware of how our actions effect others. I will also keep a book to walk with them in every way I can, and we are to visit the list daily in the mornings and/or evenings, in order to remind us and keep us accountable.

At home, we are making a list of hopeful tasks to accomplish, from reinstating family reading time in the evenings to getting paperwork done that has been shuffled around for some time now, as well as, menu planning and healthier eating. This is to be added to our family prayer time in the morning and evenings, and before and after meals, saints of the day and daily Bible reading. I would like to focus more energy on crafting for myself, because I have ever so many projects that get swept beneath the carpet when I allow the chatter of the world to creep in and drown out what should be done. Sis is in my Sunday school class, so she will have her own personal list, and maybe Jay will play along with us in his own way; I know he is game usually.

As with as many Great Lent's as I can remember, we will do our traditional planting of seeds in the first week. We will plant outside for cool weather plants, like peas and lettuce, and inside for the warm weather babies, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. With God's help, we will have something to eat and perhaps enough to can for the following winter. The spiced peaches I canned back in August are surely being appreciated by everyone lately, which makes all the hard work totally worth it. Sometimes it seems tedious, especially when learning a something new, but at some point it becomes familiar and systematic. I hope to have enough cucumbers of our own, or supplement from the local grower's market, to make plenty of pickles; we have been without this year due to our growing season being effected by a number of factors, not the least of which being the terrible fires that causes awful smoke and lack of proper growing conditions. 

Ok, I think that is about it for now. Peace be with you.