Now compare March to January. The temperatures are warming a little. I am starting to feel the hint of spring. I am desiring to improve my home, my body, my life. Now really is the natural time to make changes.
Lent fits in perfectly. 40 days of self-sacrifice just at the time when you really feel the need to spruce up your home and life, plus the promise of feasting on the other end. 40 days to change your outlook, body, and mind.
"The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to him. However, we must remember that our Lenten disciplines are supposed to ultimately transform our entire person: body, soul, and spirit. There are a few basic tasks that traditionally have been associated with Lent. Many of these have a long history. These are fasting, almsgiving, and prayer." - online sorry lost the referenceAt the same time, SimpleMom is taking the next 5 weeks to simplify several hotspots in the home. So I started thinking and reading. Reading about lent, reading about spring cleaning, reading about detox.
One of the things Tsh at SimpleMom talks about before spring cleaning is having a family purpose statement - a way to frame what you are trying to do. I spent some time with my hubby and kids talking about:
"What makes our family special?" and "What do you want our family to be?"
My 4-year-old said, "We should be red barn people."
My 6-year-old said, "Being together." and "To be nice people."
My 14-year-old said, "Our family is crazy, and we always have fun."
My husband said, "I want to be a farmer."
Being prone to words, I wrote 3 pages of ideas of things I want for us. Rather than write it all out again, I will give you the final product my husband took from all we had written.
We wish to live well on God's land, being good stewards of his creatures, plants, and soil. We wish to raise our children healthy and strong - physically, mentally, and emotionally. We wish to be independent of the economic tide. Work well, play hard, create beauty.When I first read the last phrase, I was excited. It is the perfect by line for Blue House Gardens: work well, play hard, create beauty!
How then do I apply this purpose to my revamping of myself, my home, and my life while taking advantage of this longing for renewal. I want to ready myself to pursue those things listed above. They all require me to be more organized and simplified.
Here is my plan for the next 40 days. I hope to follow a Lenten style fast from the 50s - 2 small meals per day, 1 regular meal. I also hope to integrate a bible story for my kids during dinner. I plan to abstain from snacks, treats, and desserts. I also plan on cleaning up the house and getting rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff. In order to have more time, I need to have less stuff. I am hoping to incorporate a consistency to my waking and sleeping schedule and find time each day for a walk.
More to come.