The other night my family and I chose not to spend the evening watching TV the way we often do. Instead, we built a fire, turned all the lights off, and snuggled on the couch together while listening to music. We tried to think of songs to sing, and I struggled to come up with something besides This is The Song That Never Ends. It was the first time my six-year-old heard it, and he giggled loudly with his adorable smile melting my heart. I was a disappointment when I let him know that I did not write the song.
After more silliness and singing, we calmed down and played a few lullabies from when he was a baby. The three of us watched the fire crackle as we sat comfortably together, and eventually put Monroe to bed. Just before I turned the lights out, Monroe said, "That was SO fun mom. Let's do it again sometime." Of course, I agreed, and my heart was full.
This precious time together was just a small taste of the beautiful spaces that can be created when we choose to be more present during Lent. Sometimes it means giving up something so that you can make room for something greater. Sometimes it's merely the intentionality of creating connection with those you love. That night, I saw the beauty of God in my family, in the flames of a cozy fire, in silly songs that made us all feel safe and loved. This week, take some time to create a moment like this, with yourself or with people that you care for to see the small gifts God has given us.
Whitney Leigh Carlson