Sunday, April 8, 2012

Why we've added Lent to our Easter traditions...

When our children were younger the Easter bunny always came to our home on Saturday so Sunday was all about the Savior. As I was pondering how to make Easter more meaningful now our children were older and especially thinking of Mychel being home with us as she prepares for her mission, I remembered my sister, Kathy. While she was at BYU she shared with me that she's given up chocolate for Lent. I seriously thought she was crazy, at first. Mind you she's my much younger sister...awesome, supportive big sis move, huh!

So I gathered my thoughts and for a FHE in February I proposed we prepare for Easter:
Our stake president had challenged our stake to read the Book of Mormon and finish by General this one was already in motion.
By doing our own version of lent which was choosing something to give up for 40 days...
in essence a 40 day fast.

In their wisdom, my awesome family jumped on board.

Tonight after eating our Easter dinner and watching some videos about the Savior,  we shared our feelings about our Easter preparations. I personally found it a wonderful opportunity to strengthen my spirit. Every time I physically wanted to partake of the thing I'd chosen to give up for 40 days, I immediately thought, no, you're doing this for the Savior. It made my sacrifice powerful because nearly daily I was prompted to think of the Savior and His atonement at a time or in a context that was completely different than my usual pattern. I wasn't pondering, praying, reading...I was just going about my day. A physical desire was eliciting a spiritual response. Mychel-Anne shared how it became a way for her "open her mouth". Her item for lent was soda. So when someone would offer her some she'd say, "No, thank you." When they'd question her, she'd explain about our Easter preparations and lent. Some responded as I did to my sister, Kathy, but for her the power was in starting a spiritual discussion.

While there are things I miss about having a home full of little ones, I am so honored to be the mother of these three teenagers/young adults. They are valiant spirits figuring out this earthy journey. I pray we've done enough. I pray they know how much they are loved. I pray they know how much we love the Savior. The atonement and Resurrection mean everything to me. While I cherish each day, each moment with these children that are growing way to fast. I long for the day when our family is all together again. I yearn to sit at the Heavenly table with NO Empty Chairs!

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