“Ultimately, we recognize the season of Lent before Easter not because God demands it of us, not because Christ commanded it to prove our mettle, and not because we must perfect ourselves before we’re worthy of Easter,” writes Oxenreider. “We observe Lenten practices because they’re good for us… In a world that celebrates indulging our whims whenever we want, to practice the traditions of Lent is countercultural.”
Today is the first day of Lent—which is holding a new meaning for me this year as I pack up my house and life on Maui and get ready to move to Idaho (ironically in the middle of the Lenten season this year). The message and meaning of Lent is helping me get through this move by bringing in notions of self-discipline and reflection (which I need right now). Many of us think of Lent as a time of lack—of fasting & taking away. But what if we could expand that perspective and see the “lack” or “taking away” as making room for more, for celebration. Fasting making room for feasting. (Lent’s purpose is to quite literally makes room for Easter). What if this year we don’t skip straight to the Easter baskets and egg hunts, but use this time to come out of this season (a two year long season of lack) more meaningfully and intentionally?
If Lent is a new concept to you, don’t worry, we share the basics and history of Lent in this episode. If you’re an old hat at Lent, there’s something here for you, too, as Tsh Oxenreider walks us through her inspiring new book Bitter & Sweet as well her reasons why our world needs the life giving practice of Lent now more than ever.
Tsh’s Bio: Tsh Oxenreider is the bestselling author of several books, including Bitter and Sweet: A Journey Into Easter and At Home in the World, her memoir about her family’s year traveling around the world and living out of backpacks. She’s also a travel guide, teacher, and podcaster, and she lives in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband and three children. She is equally happy snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef with her family and putzing around her own backyard. Find Tsh online at tshoxenreider.com.
In this episode Tsh & I talk about:
- What is Lent
- Why Tsh wrote her new book Bitter & Sweet
- Some Lent history
- Practicing Lent
- How to practice it
- Why we need it
- Lent’s place in the liturgical calendar
- Fasting and feasting
- Lent’s relation to Easter
- Life and death
- 40 days
- Making room for more
- Practical and applicable Lenten practices
- Living in a time of ease in our modern world
- Being shortsighted about our modern conveniences
- Why are things hard? Why are things good?
- Embracing the seasons and stages of life
- Book ending our days
- Gratitude to support discipline
- Routines matter
- “Moms tend to give ourselves too much of the blame and too much of the credit”
- Practicing Lent as a family and as a mom
- We’re not trying to “earn” Easter
- Asking “what did you learn today?” and “what did you fail at today?”
- Looking at our habits
Link to Lent guide: https://www.tshoxenreider.com/lent
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Homeschool Explained: Today’s episode is sponsored by Homeschool Explained, an online course I created to help parents find their confidence on their homeschool journey. I used to teach in-person workshops here on Maui to help families gather all the information and resources they need, answer all their questions, alleviate concerns, and help them get organized as they started homeschooling. Homeschool Explained is the online version of those workshops. I totally get it, starting any new journey can be overwhelming…especially when it comes to re-thinking how your kids are going to get an education—and that you’re going to be the teacher. But don’t worry. There is so much support and freedom in homeschool. It’s do-able. It’s fun. And it takes way less time than most people think. I put almost 15 years of homeschool experience and insights into this easy to follow, easy to use online course that answers common questions, helps you work through worries, and saves you time. No more internet search overload. This is all the info you need to get started homeschooling today from a trusted, experienced source.
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