I have been asked several times how our Lenten plans have been going. You can read about them more thoroughly in that post, but the general gist of it was that we were going to give up TV/computer/video games for one day each week (as a family). In addition to this, we also decided to buy only perishables (meat, produce, dairy, and breads) during Lent and try to “grocery shop” from our pantry and freezer instead. (We also added to this that we would donate food to the food pantry at church as part of this.)
I was afraid when I made these plans that they would fall by the wayside at some point. Of course, there is still time in Lent for us to stop doing them, but I am pleased to say that so far, so good.
Our Computer/TV/Video Game Fast
We originally set Wednesdays as our no computer/TV/video game day. We have switched this up quite a bit, as we have found ourselves with company at the house on several Wednesdays. (I figured it wasn’t fair to make other kids give up what we had given up.) So, while we haven’t always stayed with Wednesdays, we have managed to keep it up.
Now, this is where I admit that we’ve kept it up because we made a couple of exceptions. I have allowed myself to check email first thing in the morning (with the kids hovering nearby to make sure I didn’t linger), as well as in the early evening. I leave most emails unopened, but do watch for anything that is time sensitive and deal with those.
We also decided that we could all watch one hour of television, though we haven’t used the whole hour on most of the weeks. It was just a little something that we did the first week to reward the kids for not complaining at all throughout the day. I was so impressed with this!
Our Grocery Shopping Fast
This was the one that I thought I would struggle with the most. I will admit, upfront, that it has not been a perfect fast from grocery shopping, even with the things that I made allowable. However, we have done so much better than I thought we would have done.
As I mentioned above, we have continued to buy produce, dairy products, meat, bread items, baking staples (like sugar, flour, etc.), and a few other perishables. Prior to beginning Lent, I did stock up a bit more than I might normally when I do my big shopping trip for the month. But, I didn’t spend more, just seemed like I bought more.
Things that I bought that weren’t allowed: candy (two times — I know — very bad choice), Saltine crackers (because Eric wanted them for chili), and Cadbury mini egg candies for these yummy scones. In addition to these, I was asked to pick up a couple of boxes of Pop Tarts and snack bars when we were going to see family out of state (for multiple families to eat on). Considering, however, that it’s been over a month now, I’m really proud of how we have done so far!
I think we’ve been eating more fresh produce, because it is something that I am allowed to buy as much as I want. (I will admit that it has made me extra excited for when I can pick things out of the garden though!) So, this has been a great side effect of this fast. (It was one that I hoped would happen.)
One thing that I didn’t expect from this is the feeling I get when I take the food up to the check out. I feel really good about the things in the cart. On the flip side, the time when I had to buy the Pop Tarts, some donuts, and snack bars, I felt bad looking at the things I was taking up in that basket. Even though it made me feel bad taking those up there, I also felt kind of good that I felt bad, if that makes sense.
We have already taken around $30 of groceries to our church’s food pantry, and we plan to buy more to take there after Easter.
How We’ll Change
I hope that we’ll be able to translate some of these fasts into some lasting changes for our family. I hope that we’ll find more times when we unplug from everything, as well as continue with healthier grocery shopping.
If you’ve given up something for Lent (or for other reasons), how are your changes going? Challenges? Successes?