Who knew when deciding to embark on the next 30 days to leaving the Shoulds and an Illegitimate Ruler behind that it would coincide beautifully with Lent? Well, Someone knew and ya gotta love how these things work out 🙂 So my Lenten journey it will be.
I’ve never been one to “give something up for Lent.” Why? Because I was raised in a traditional Protestant denomination and we didn’t do that. As an adult I did, however, observe Lent in some way. The one that sticks out in my mind ALWAYS was the year I decided to switch to a Lent focus for our breakfast devotional time, more than a decade ago.
Those were still the days of getting children out the door to school each morning. They were growing up, though, not little girls any more – both freshman that year (longer story) – two different schools, different start times, one requiring me to drive 12+ miles one way. But we continued breakfast together every day – cereal, oatmeal, french toast, whatever, served on the breakfast counter with juice and supplements and a quick devotional to send us all out the out the door wrapped in peace and love against a cruel world.
The year in question I chose to switch to a Lent focus by reading portions of one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado. Max has great books for everything but my favorites for Lent are Six Hours One Friday, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, He Still Moves Stones, Applause of Heaven. My thought was to use a small portion of one of the books each morning, but that was not so well received. One of my daughters began to protest about the extra time it would take, and we all know time in the morning can be at a premium. One thing led to another and in short order our morning sharing time was not so pretty. I was hanging on to my right as the mother to insist. My daughter was hanging on to her position as a young teenage girl. So sparks began to fly, with the other daughter caught in the crossfire. So much for sending my children out into the cruel world wrapped in peace and love each morning.
My good friend, Marlee, veteran Bible study partner and (at that time) mom of teenage daughters a few years ahead of mine, was a great resource. So I went to her with my dilemma and lo and behold, the advice was not what I was anticipating. She was supposed to tell me that I was absolutely right in my right to insist and that I should stand firm. Didn’t happen. What I got was the advice that perhaps the time had come to release my daughter’s relationship with the Lord to my daughter and the Lord. What?? I’m her mother!! It’s not time yet and I’ll decide!! Think maybe I had challenges with the “Shoulds” way back then 🙂
I had to do something and gave sincere thought to Marlee’s suggestion, took it in prayer, and went to separate breakfast times and back to the original plan of a brief teen-centric devotion and less strain in the morning. I don’t remember how long we continued the routine of devotion in the morning, but I believe through most of high school. One of those rites of passage, but a treasured memory in this mother’s heart. AND I just took a moment from writing this post and called Marlee. We had a brief conversation, chuckled together at the memories and made arrangements to get together soon. And Lent 2009 begins in a few days….