We always mark the changing seasons of the Church calendar in our home. I enjoy the rhythm of celebration counterpointed by contemplation, and acknowledging the seasons of spiritual, as well as physical, life helps me to refocus on God and my relationship with him with every turn of the calendar.
We are, however, not Catholic, nor involved in any kind of liturgical church, so we feel pretty free to shape the traditions to be meaningful to our current context. We've done some notable "giving up" for lent in the past. One year we ate vegetarian, which for my husband was a huge sacrifice, and for me took a fair amount of extra planning and work. One year we gave up going to stores and spending money. We didn't window shop for fun, and we didn't buy anything at all. Although there were occasions where my parents bought something for us, and we sort of cheated by using gas cards to fill our tank. Two years ago we gave up our kitchen table. During lent we ate sitting on the floor of our dining room. That worked well with two preschool children, because it was a distinct change for them, but the loss of the table didn't feel like a sacrifice.
This year, I'm planning to participate the the #HolyLens project. Each day of lent there will be a single word prompt based on the Catholic readings for the day, and the goal is to photograph something related to that prompt. More than being about photography, or even the readings, the project is about looking at the world around us with spiritual eyes. Being the non-conformist that I am, I am not taking this on as a visual arts project at all. I plan to photograph, make, or write something every day, again, with the goal being to look at my ordinary life with spiritual eyes, and to be open to seeing God moving in the mundane moments.
Do you do anything for lent? What's your plan for this year?