So last week; I spent some time each day; reading and in prayer; when I would have usually been snacking and enjoying some kid free “me time.” This is not at all to criticize me time but I felt that I needed to sacrifice some of this time as well as my usual snack as an effort to focus on my relationship with God. As Lent continues I plan to continue to give up part of afternoon quiet time. Perhaps this isn’t a sacrifice for Lent but the building of a healthy new habit.

This week the focus is on silence. Now, normally I would recommend taking an hour of silence. But in my life this is not so much a struggle as a treat, since I spend my day with small children and there is little silence to be had. But I am focusing on creating intentional silence and choosing my words better. I often feel convicted about my poor choose of words and tone with my children. I know that there little minds soak up this negative remarks and may take them to heart. I know this because I remember things that were said to me and about me by others when I was young. While I have since concluded that many of them were untrue if not deliberately hurtful; I still remember how it felt to have someone say those things about me.

My children are not perfect and part of my job as their parent is for help them realize this. But I also need them to know that they are loved in their imperfection and that where my fallible human love falls short, they are loved by a heavenly Father whose love is infinite. So I want to speak to them more intentionally. I also want to be more careful about when I speak. I like to talk and tend to say too much when less is preferable. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing and I want to learn to use my silence strategically in that way.

I also plan to spend this week repenting of the past ways in which I have misused my tongue; especially to hurt those I love. My family often gets the worst of me because by the end of a long day I have little energy left to be polite. But they deserve better. I often find that by the end of the day I have no energy or words left for prayer. My Lord deserves better. I want to weigh my words this week and whenever possible, chose not to speak when I have nothing helpful to say.

How are you celebrating or acknowledging Lent so far? I’d love to hear your stories.

Restore My Heart, Thaw My Soul: Lent 2014 Week 1