Lent in a time of grief (and how I’m savouring Lent with my daughter)

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Advent is something that I love to celebrate and focus on. As I included more of Advent in my years, I naturally turned to Lent as well. I have purposefully sought out devotionals and reflection activities in the past few years to bring greater meaning to this season. This year? Life has hit in full force. The intensity of the past few months both physically and emotionally has required all of my focus. Lent began the day before we held a memorial service for my grandmother who passed away the week before. I was ready to write Lent off completely this year.
On a whim, I purchased the digital copy of the All Good Things Collective Lent reading plan. A couple of short passages of Scripture to read and consider each day. I’ve been doing that each day. As I have moved through my days, navigating grief and attempting to bring normality back to my days, I was reminded of my word for the year- “savour”. I knew that this word was about savouring and fully experiencing the full range of emotions and experiences in my life. My natural inclination with Lent is to gloss over the deep emotion and pain contained in this story and just keep focusing on the outcome. This year, I feel more connected to the grief and pain contained in the lead up to and the aftermath of Christ’s death. I am choosing to sit with this, to feel it, to experience it.
I am giving myself the grace to let go of big expectations of myself on what this will look like each and every day. It may be merely a few minutes of sitting and thinking about the Scripture I have read. It may be journaling. It won’t be some elaborate process. This year, it won’t be giving up anything or participating in some of the wonderful ideas I have seen around.
What about you:
Maybe this is your year to start taking notice of Lent. The beauty of it being a 40-day lead up to Easter is that you still have ample time to participate in Lent. Maybe you have tried to do things that you have been told that you “should” and it is time to re-evaluate and decide what this season will look like for you in this particular time of your life. There are always so many good options out there but that doesn’t make all of them the best choice for you.
One of the only Lent activities that I am carrying over from previous years is doing the Sense of the Resurrection with my daughter. I wasn’t sure I would get to it this year until I remembered that it is only 12 activities. I can find time for that. I love seeing her depth of understanding and connection increase each year that we do this. I love the opportunity for us both to connect and savour the lead up to Easter in such a hands-on and unique way. I love that we get to remember together that Easter is not about a bunny and chocolate. I am finding this is of greater importance now that she is at school and surrounded by other voices. I want this voice of truth to be the loudest in her life. We are starting today and she is excited.
If you have kids and want a fresh way to teach them about Easter, check it out here. There is also a Facebook group that Amanda White (the author) is running for us to share our journey and tips with each other. Join us! (I will likely post about our Sense in the Resurrection fun on Instagram.)

Whatever your season of Lent looks like this year, I pray that you will be overwhelmed (for the first time or again) with the truth that you are so completely loved and desired that Jesus would die for you. May you sit with the depth of emotion within this story, putting yourself in the place of different characters and realise that you aren’t so different from them. May you give yourself grace and choose to connect with Lent in ways that refresh and uplift your soul. May Easter be full of joy and meaning because you have taken the time to stop the flow of busy and tune in to this season.
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