My idea of Lent is not just the sacrificing of something I enjoy but also the sacrificial act of adding something to my life that I may not be good at or may not enjoy or be good at remembering.
Since I was in college, I started writing to my grandparents and great aunt once a week during Lent. I have done that probably more often than not each Lenten season since. I have to take time away from facebook and blogging and reading and movies and cleaning (ok, I don't mind that part) to sit down and write something caring and thoughtful and genuine. This practice means that I'm giving of myself to someone who has given so much to me. People who love me unconditionally and whom Jesus has used to teach me. Writing a postcard or letter to these people is a reminder of who I am as a child of my earthly family and how they have taught me that I am also a child of God.
This year is different. There is one less letter to write each week. Gran passed away in October and it's still sad and different. I just called my Aunt Loly to wish her a happy 94th birthday and it was strange to not talk about Gran and how she's doing. The way I grew up, Aunt Loly was really like another gramma and talking to her tonight makes me miss Gran even more.
God uses everything to His Glory. I believe that. I don't always see it but I believe it.
So this year for Lent I am committing to two things for sure: no more pop and write a letter a week each to Grandad James and Aunt Loly. I think I'll add my folks this year and maybe my two sisters as well. Everyone loves real mail, right? And this is a great way to show love, I think.
Time to write a couple of letters!