The big Catholic to-do for Lent is no meat on Fridays. This has been a little lackluster for me over the past five years since I don't eat meat to begin with. Surrounded by friends who have to think twice before ordering pepperoni on their pizzas I've wondered what I could do to tell that tiny tinge of sacrifice over the next weeks fews until Easter.
I visited Community Partners of Dallas on my Junior League bus tour this year and have been very excited to get involved with them since touring their offices and learning more about their inredible work. Their programs are inventive, detailed and strive to help each child in Dallas feel respected and empowered. I'm more of an add-an-extra-good than subtract-a-kinda-bad person, so a mini-project with this organization came to mind as a great way to get the same feeling my omnivore friends do when passing on the grass-fed beef on Fridays - just that little above and beyond to remind us that we believe to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
I hit the mini-project motherlode with Community Partners of Dallas' Storyline - a hotline that any child can call at any time and hear a recorded storybook read to them. These stories make children feel special and cared for when they may not have a parent that is willing or available to read to them, and we also know the developmental benefits of reading to a child is nothing to sneeze at either.
I simply created my Storyline account on their website, picked dates to record that worked with my schedule (one a week through the end of Lent for now) and then went off to find my books. Turns out my first pick, Mean Soup, was a bit of a challenge to find and was not at any local libraries, bookstores or available for download on my Nook color. The only thing I was able to find was a YouTube video of a mom reading it to her son, which Markus helped me transcribe so I would be ready for my performance!
My next reads over the month are Enemy Pie, The Lotus Seed and The Grouchy Ladybug. I am very excited to end Lent with an Eric Carle classic! I am also not ashamed to admit that things like Eric Carle books still excite this childless 26-year-old.
Mommies, teachers and fellow picture book savants, have you read any of the books below?
Any tips for finding these titles and adding flair to my recordings?
As far as daily Lenten practice goes, instead of giving something up I am adding something in. Markus and I hope to adopt a child one day, so we've been taking this time to pray for the mother of our future baby. We don't know who she is yet, but this might be the time in her life where she is developing that part of who she is that will help her decide to help our family one day. We've prayed for her peace, her strength and her health so far. There's not much else we can do right now as we plan for a family a few years from now but this little exercise has been a great daily reminder that we're headed that way. I wouldn't be surprised if it continues to be part of the nightly routine long after Easter!
Do you do anything this time of year to take stock on your blessings?
If you practice Lent, how's it going so far?