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alec vanderboom

In the past, I've been so nervous during Lent. Part of it is being an adult convert to Catholicism. Part of it is being Co-dependent. Part of this is this weird Modern Pressure among the faithful. It's really common for people who grow up Catholic not to remain in the pew as young adults. This might just be my perception, but I feel that there is a hysteria among Catholic parents that I never felt before as a Protestant. There is an opinion that if I don't educate my kids "right" in the Faith, then they will be lost forever.

This year, I've noticed an inner growth. I've hung out in the secular world of the 12 step programs and it's made me chill out about my husband and my children's faith journey. The people I love have their own connection to God. They will walk their own path. As a Mom, I can be a role model. I can be a support. But I can't do it for them.

Tomorrow isn't about being a super educator. I'm not looking up creative ideas on the blogs for how to teach young kids to pray. I'm going to trust that my kids already know how to pray. Prayer is friendship! (quoting my bff St. Teresa of Avila). My kids already rock at friendship. Why won't I trust them to grow into awesome friends with God?

Today and tomorrow, I'm going to take time to carve out silence in our day. I'm going to ask them to sit quietly and ask themselves what they want to do during Lent.

Prayer. Almsgiving. Fasting. These are generic tools to we Catholics focus on during Lent. Outside of the general guidelines for the entire church however, our individual faith journeys are so different. This Lent I feel really good being a leader who really trusts her family's ability to chart their own spiritual path.