What are you giving up for Lent? Nothing!

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Yeah!!! It’s spring! We’ve made it!

There are daffodils out, pink and yellow primroses and catkins (no idea if that’s the right word, but I seem to find myself calling all spring-time, yellow-polleny-fluffy things on trees catkins) and the air smells hopeful.

At the same time T has now been to her new school for two weeks and is settling more quickly than we dared to even dream she might. She’s still on-the-edge-tired by the ends of the day but she’s going, and is going out of the house for clubs and groups outside school too. Just a remarkable change for which we are so very thankful to God. We even did school this week with Daddy away, and the wonderful help of a friend, I wasn’t sure that was going to be possible when I looked ahead last week.

This time last year I had already shown you all our plans for lent but this year I haven’t even had the head space to make any plans at all – and here we are in lent. It happens, and it’s okay. Someone asked T the other day what she was giving up for lent, she replied ‘NOTHING!’ – which caused a giggle or two.

However I came away from that conversation feeling quite freed in an unexpected way. No we haven’t given things up, instead we’ve kept tight hold of God – not intentionally for lent, just out of sheer necessity. The last few months have felt a little like it did when I was a child and was holding tight to a parent as we got safely to our destination through a crowded market or street – I’ve always hated being in crowds, everyone and everything pressing in and having to constantly adjust and dodge. As a child, holding tight didn’t stop the experience being a tough one but it was my tangible point of certainty that my parents would get me through. As a family we’ve had a lot of adjusting and dodging to do, it’s been full on and at times has felt like a crowd constantly jostling into us but I have been aware of that tangible point of certainty despite not being able to see over everything to the destination.

So, no we’re not giving anything up this lent – we’ll keep pressing on with God as we are, holding tight. I would, of course, love to fit in time to read a book, and when we get sunny spring days like today I fully intend to get back out into the garden and care for it. All of that will be more than enough of a Lenten challenge this year!

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