Each year I find a deeper appreciation for the rhythm of church calendar. The longer services, the solemn music and prayers all in preparation for the great Paschal Celebration! This year lent coincides with my departure from the workforce, with my last day being the third Friday of Great Lent. My professional life will slow, as my spiritual life picks up with the increase in the frequency and length of the services and I am so grateful for this. This child I carry will spend these last few months submersed with the spirit of Great Lent and then Great and Holy Pascha! After Bright week is through we will settle into a period of preparation and waiting for this little one to appear, likely around the Feast of the Ascension.
Our days are full and a bit tiring, as I feel they should be. At this stage, I’m happily embracing the struggle of daily services and increased prayer. Our days are full of worldly cares and the time spent focused on the heavenly is often less than ideal but Lent forces us to change that. Nightly services, fasting and prayer cleanse us. If we make an effort, the change is hard to miss.
I’d like to share with you a typical day during lent for us.
5:45 – Kevin wakes to milk the cow
6:10 – I wake and make my way to our icon corner to light our lampada and candles.
Kevin meets me there to say our morning prayers together
6:30 – Kevin eats breakfast and leaves for work
I eat breakfast (I have time try to read my Daily Psalter assignement at this time)
7:10 – Head in to work
4:30 – Leave work to pick up Kevin from home
5:00 – Arrive at home
Grab pre-service snack & Kevin
5:10 – Leave home for Church
…drive (Kevin does reading homework for seminary while I drive)
6:00 – Arrive at Church
8:00 – Leave Church
… drive (I read while Kevin drives)
8:50 – Arrive at home
Kevin shuts himself in his study to do his seminary homework
I make dinner
After dinner I either read or do housework (Daily Psalter reading if I haven’t done it yet)
10:15 – I go to sleep
Kevin continues his studies & homework
~11:00 – Kevin goes to sleep
During lent there is little time for us to do much more than our normal work, attend the services, study and farm work but if we have free time I’ll often go for a run and Kevin likes to read about farming. Sometimes on Sundays after church we’ll go to the local park and play ultimate Frisbee with a league group but only on days when Kevin’s seminary workload is under control.
It varied a bit based on how much Kevin’s seminary workload is for the week but each day looks fairly similar. On any evenings when there are not services we switch into farm mode. Kevin spends that time, building fences, gardening, fixing things while I make homemade cheeses to sell, work in the flower garden, clean, and do laundry.
I’m so grateful that the timing worked as such that the spiritual fasting and preparation of lent will carry over into what I believe is also the right preparation for us as parents. Preparing our hearts to receive this gift and responsibility of raising a child in the faith.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us!