It might be thought rather too early to be thinking about Lent … but IME it needs some planning!

As a ‘non-conformist’ in my early years, Lent and other fasts were largely ignored … for good reasons. But discovering both Lent and Advent when I started going to (that is, working at! :icon_mrgreen: ) an Anglican church has been good for developing my understanding of Christian spirituality.

My most successful Lent observances have been of the ‘giving up’ variety. In the past I have conquered time-wasting habits and bad practises such as having sugar in tea, watching Neighbours and playing Tetris :lol:

I’m not sure they added much of a spiritual dimension to my life, but I learned a lot about self-discipline (Galatians 5:23) at the time!

That was mostly before I married. Since then, we’ve tried to plan a Lent observance together, with the children once they were old enough to understand. We’ve used Love Life, Live Lent to good effect, partly through DD2’s commitment – there are some very positive aspects of having Aspergers. We tried not eating meat (Monday – Saturday) with less success – we gave up after four weeks. I ran out of ideas, DH didn’t feel well, and the girls were just fed up! It was their own idea, and I was proud of them for trying. Last year, we didn’t do anything very much – we simply didn’t have any inspiration.

I have sometimes tried to keep my own observance alongside family efforts – usually an additional reading at some time during the day. But it doesn’t have the same sense of discipline as going without …

So I need to start thinking now about something we can do together as a family, as well as a discipline of my own. Since I’m supposed to be losing weight on medical grounds (with little effect in recent weeks :rolleyes: ), food is probably not the best target. As the idea is for it to be a spiritual discipline, praying about it seems a good idea! After all, Lent is only 10 weeks away …

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