As of yesterday March 1st, it’s officially Lent season. And as I have been actively working on (in?) my faith for a while now, I thought it would be appropriate for me to make the sacrifice and give up something for Lent this year.
Lent is the 40 days leading up until Easter, reflecting the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus fasted and suffered in the desert before he started His ministry. According to the Bible, he was tempted by Satan during this time, but each time he managed to refuse his temptations. So the idea of giving something up is meant to be a practice in self-restraint and resisting temptation, in an effort to follow Jesus’ example and grow closer to God before Easter (Honest disclosure: I actually had to Google this, because I only knew that Lent was the 40 days before Easter, and that was it! Ha!).
So as I was thinking of what I should give up, all the usual things came to mind. Wine, chocolate, pizza, coffee (Another honest disclosure: coffee actually never came to mind. Pretty sure we all still want a functioning Amanda for the next 40 days.), but I was confident I could actually give those things up pretty easily. I wanted a challenge, and something that could be the start of a transformation in 40 days. So what am I giving up? YELLING.
I am not a patient person (although I am far more patient than I used to be. Motherhood will do that to a girl). I can be quick to anger at times. And unfortunately, I yell at the kids pretty regularly. In the mornings when they are dragging their feet to get out of the house. When they won’t share or are tattling on each other. When they misbehave and disobey and do anything except exactly what I want them to, I have a tendency to yell at them to move them into the correct action. And I didn’t even think about how much I was yelling at them until I noticed how much they have started yelling at each other. And as I ironically yelled at them to quit yelling at each other, I realized the mistake in my teachings. I want to quit yelling to be a better example for my kids.
SO! Here we are in Day 2 of Lent, and mama hasn’t yelled (OKAY- maybe once this morning before coffee, but I had LEGIT forgotten about my yelling ban, and apologized to the kids for yelling and haven’t done it since). If there is ANYTHING that I pray selfishly for on a daily basis, it is for patience with my children. And you can bet a Cadbury Crème Egg that I’ll be praying for patience every day. I’ll be praying to understand my children and listen to them more, not be so quick to anger and quick to act, but instead to control my emotions and talk to them in a more Christ-like way. During this season of reflection, I want to challenge myself to be a better mother and resist the temptation to simply react in anger or frustration instead of understand and properly address the problem with my children.
There is no question that I will grow closer to God during these next 40 days, because I will certainly be praying for patience, support, and grace CONSTANTLY!
Are you giving up something for Lent? How can I pray for you for support? I know I’ll need all the prayers I can get!