I grew up participating in Ash Wednesday services at church and participating in the practice of Lent. Over the years I have given up a variety of things for Lent in an effort to learn a lesson about the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I'll admit that giving up sweets or sodas or even TV was challenging, but along the way it almost always became more about the countdown to Easter and the day I could be reunited with the sacrifice du jour and less about the lesson at hand...not so much the point of the whole excercise.
Tonight we missed Ash Wednesday services at Tree of Life tonight. Lyvi wasn't feeling well, and as a result she was out of sorts and we just didn't feel right handing her over to the nursery workers in such a state. This year I am not planning to give up anything (more on that later), but this year more than ever, I think I am begining to understand the meaning of sacrifice...real, genuine, sincere sacrifice...Being a parent has taught me this lesson better 40-days without chocolate or Sweet Tea ever could. I would give up anything for my girls. I will do whatever I can to improve and enhance their lives, to ensure that I can give them everything they need. I would lay down my life if it would prevent them from feeling a moments anquish.
I am not saying that I have a complete understanding of the depth of the sacrifice made for me, just that I feel more connected to it. This year instead of giving up something, I am choosing to attempt to further my learning and improve myself as a wife and mother with daily devotional. I am praying that this will help me to grow in faith and help me to develop a habit that will continue long after Lent.