To really get the feel of Lent around here, we stripped the house of decorations before bed on Fat Tuesday.  Pictures came down, statues (we have a “few”) were removed.  Max kept remarking about how “clean” everything looked. 

Clean. Bare. Either way.

But I think they get it, this entry into the desert.  They understand the paring down, the simplifying.  How when we clear the clutter – whether it be noise, visual, sin – we can hear the voice of Our Lord more clearly.

I also think it’s a good lesson in control and choices.  That we always have the opportunity in front of us to make way for God, or busy ourselves with other things.

The kids were a little drunk with the control.  They were zealous in the removal -nothing was safe.  It was, I’m sure, very powerful for them to be able to move things around that in their wildest dreams they wouldn’t dare touch normally.  And while I hadn’t planned on taking down the familly photo wall downstairs, I awoke Ash Wednesday morning to find it done for me – the pictures were in nice piles and the palms from last year broken neatly into pieces and lying on the counter. 

Max, in his exuberance, wanted to remove art from the bedrooms, too.  But, I reasoned with him, let’s be realistic.  With the baby coming close to or shortly after Easter, what are the chances that everything will get put back up?  Let’s not get crazy!