Our family is in the middle of packing for a big move across three states North of us so when I thought of what creative things to plan for Lent I fell a little short. Then I remembered that one of my favorite Catholic authors, Donna Marie Cooper-O'Boyle had released a new book for Lent! Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections and Activities for Families is now a permanent fixture in my purse (since we are on the move)!
Today was our first day. Todd and I decided we were going to do this first thing in the morning, everyone gathered around and we began. In just two short pages, we prayed, we argued, we discussed, came to terms, and found workable solutions for things that our children individually and all of us, as a family, would do for Ash Wednesday. We agreed (with a little kicking and screaming from the two eldest) that unplugging for the whole day would be the family sacrifice. Then each person spoke about what they each would do individually. It was amazing! My seven year old looked at me as if I had lost my mind: "No computers and NO TV? Mom what are we supposed to do with our spare time?," he asked bewildered. "I don't know you tell me, what are some suggestions for your brother?," I questioned the rest of the children. READ! TALK! PLAY BOARD GAMES! DANCE! PLAY! GO FOR A WALK! ~ a wave of suggestions crashed into the room! Smiles filled some of the faces of our five children, the others full of doubt that they could actually "survive" one day UNPLUGGED! I ended with suggesting that each time they felt like "plugging up" that they say a prayer of thanksgiving for all of the sacrifices Christ made for them on the Cross! My teenager shoots me a look that says, "Yeah right mom! Come on!" I just smiled!
And the day has started! We started our day with prayer, not rushing to get breakfast on the table, or to start school, or any of the usuals - "FIRST victory!", I thought to myself!
Next, as I prepared breakfast I announced that it was time to get ready for the day while breakfast was being made. This, is not anything new in our house, what SHOULD usually happen...what was different? They were all working on today's task: being better listeners, so they RAN to get ready. I looked over at Todd and said, I think I like this book!
Breakfast was not an issue, everyone prayed and ate without a fuss and the rest of the day was filled with similar reactions. We went to Mass, ran some errands, came back home, had some cheese pizza, no dessert, played some games that had lots of dust on them from sitting on a shelf, and we even danced a little, laughed a lot!
I am happy to announce that we all made it! Yep, we survived one, whole, day: Unplugged! :D
I think I like this book...and unplugged living, well maybe a little (I know I'm blogging but I HAD to tell you about this amazing book!)
Oh and did I mention the book was ONLY $2.50 - yep, love it! :D