Monday, March 10, 2014

Why I'm giving up my time for Lent

In the last few months it's been a little hard to maintain this blog to level I'm used to.  My time is being eaten up lately, by school, work ... but not as much by family.  At least not as much for my family as it should.

Last week I had two mid-terms.  Two weeks before that I had two major papers due in the same week.  I will say this - I'm blessed to have a wife and kid who understand when dad needs to study rather than play, read rather than go out, write rather than sit back on the couch with a glass of wine.

Although we make time for all of these things, it's tough, and we have to literally schedule everything in.  Leanne and I have a family meeting every Sunday night after the kid goes to bed just to walk through the week's schedule.  It's crucial time.  We're both spread out, both trying to bring excellence to our careers while I'm also trying to win at school.

We're doing a whole lot of thing at once these days.  And trying to be awesome at it.  But sometimes we come up short.

A lot of that has to do with time, which there's just not enough of.

So, as a family, and it just kind of happened, we're giving up time during Lent, or rather, giving time to each other as a family, and to our friends.  We're hoping to find renewal, that calm and quiet center, that the season of Lent is calling us to.

Three things have come together in just the last week where we'll be focusing more time for team building, toddler raising, and good discussion.

  1. Leanne went to see author, speaker, and UMC clergyperson, Rev. Leanne Hadley last week give a seminar on family prayer.  Leanne, was pretty fired up about it, so we decided during Lent that we'd give her model of family prayer time with little ones a try during Lent.  The first time was last night.  We read scripture, colored, and prayed as a family, giving little man a chance to share what he could.  All in about 20 minutes.  It went pretty well!
  2. After the kid is off to bed on Sunday nights, Leanne and are reading Love to Stay, by Adam Hamilton together.  We haven't done any kind of book study together since pre-marital counseling.  We figured this was a good one to do together, and the church had everything we needed.  Every marriage needs 'regularly scheduled maintenance', so we're setting aside about an hour to go through a chapter a week.
  3. We're hosting another online Bible study for young adults during Lent.  Sure, this one is technically work ... but, any time devoted to discussion of the Word is good for the soul, and something I don't do enough of in my church context.  Bible study only done at seminary doesn't lead to a balanced theological life.  We kick things off tonight, tying our study to our sermon series on the Seven Last Words of Christ.
Time is at a premium in all of our lives, but it's through the giving of our time that we can not only make room for the friends and family around us, but make room for the Lord to come in and stir things up - which as I understand it, is the whole point of the season of Lent.

How much time do you devote to your people in the name of Jesus?  Maybe rather than giving up caffeine, or chocolate, or Facebook, it's time to think of what we're called to take in during this wonderful season of prayer and introspection.