Monday, March 3, 2008

2008 Lenten Resolution

Lent is very rapidly approaching. Due to not having much extra time this year with 3 under 3 in my charge, please refer to my lenten posts and pre-lenten posts from last year for suggestions. I might occasionally update an older post, but I am not quite sure how feasible it will be.

However, since the Lenten Fast is that which tends to occupy most of our thought, I want to spend this post on that issue. The whole point of the fast is to simplify our lives that we may devote more time to prayer and more money to charity. You should approach a spiritual father to help determine your own personal fast for your family, but remember that simplicity is the key (both in preparation of food and in cost).

As I am nursing this year, the questions that will be guiding this year's fast are: 1) Could I make a cheaper meal? and 2) Could I make a simpler meal? I chose question #1 as the primary question because it is my goal this Lent, to save at least a 1/3 of our grocery budget to give to charity or a family in need. My kids and I will be decorating our Lenten savings can this week to put in the money saved after each week's shopping trip. My goal is not to cut out anything necessarily, but to make wise choices.

Now, for the 2008 Lenten Resolution!!! Each year, I try to make one change in our daily routine to help simplify our lives. Last year, it was to start using my Slow cooker. I am pleased to announce that I now use it for nearly every meal and the dinner hour is no longer an opportunity for a mental breakdown!!!! Now, although I have learned to plan our dinners efficiently, I cannot say the same for lunches and snacks. There is many a morning when my husband asks what he can take for lunch and I think, "Hmm. Good question." Then I frantically try to figure out something out of nothing or send him away telling him to just buy a sandwich. The same goes for my kids snacks. I have the food, but it isn't prepped and I find myself getting annoyed and stressed when my girls ask for a snack because I'm most likely in the middle of something and can't cut up that apple right now!!! So, this year's goal is to prepare lunches and snacks for the week ahead of time. In other words, if tuna salad sandwiches are on the menu, I'll make the tuna salad at the beginning of the week and have it sitting in a tupperware ready to go. Carrots will be peeled and cut up ahead of time. Eggs will be boiled. Apples will be sliced and tossed with lemon juice so they don't brown. And it will all be sitting, ready and waiting, in the fridge for their time of need. So, instead of spending 20-30 minutes accumulated throughout each day preparing snacks and lunches, I will spend about 5 and when my kids want a snack, I can tell them where to get it...all by themselves.

Yes, it sounds simple. That is the point. Sometimes the simplest things can make a very big difference. Please share your resolution for this year!

What is your Lenten Resolution this year?