Lent Cometh: perhaps everything you’ll ever need to know to have the best Lent ever

by | Feb 3, 2015 | February, Lent, Liturgical Living, March | 19 comments

Okay, folks. Now that Candlemas is over and all things Christmas are officially behind us, it’s time to quit being in denial that Lent is coming. Fast. It is for me, anyway.

Two weeks from today is Fat Tuesday. Then, it’s on.
A pretty significant percentage of my all-time most popular posts are about Lent. I figured that since I’ve gotten quite a few new readers over the last year, it might be nice to put the best of the Lent posts in one place. So, here they are . . . (Just click on the post title, not the photo, to read the whole thing.)
All about how we celebrate Fat Tuesday in our house, including recipes, crafts and activities, music, and our favorite Fat Tuesday movie.

A little guide to how we decorate, sacrifice, and celebrate through Lent with our kids.
A close up look at what our home looks like during Lent. Simple but meaningful, these small touches around the home really help our family be mindful of the season.
My very first post to “go viral,” this is how I have come to view Lent . . . “not everything I have tried to do (or not do) for Lent has worked.  Today, you get to hear about what I don’t do during Lent, what I avoid not doing during Lent, things I tried not doing but couldn’t, and how I find mortification without suffering except in relation to Dr. Pepper.”

Looking for something new to give up or take up for Lent? Maybe this post can help. It is my all time most popular thing on the blog. It’s been featured in newspapers and magazines, and was even mentioned in a homily by a bishop!
More of my Lenten philosophy . . . “THIS Lent, let’s win. Let’s have a Lent that will benefit ourselves and the people around us in our particular lives and our particular circumstances. Let’s see the big picture and remember that it’s not about not eating chocolate, it’s about WHY we’re not eating chocolate. Let’s do Lent right, and hope to find a better version of ourselves this Easter.”
My take on the age old question of whether Sundays “count” during Lent . . . “Sundays in Lent seem to be a genuine source of confusion among Catholics. Both the ‘I don’t cheat on Sundays’ people and the ‘Sundays don’t count’ people believe that Church teaching is on their side. Or perhaps they just think there isn’t a formal Church teaching on it, so it is a matter on which good Catholics are allowed to disagree.
But we can’t ALL be right, right?”

A little guide to exactly what we do for each day of Holy Week, and how to do it yourself with very little advance planning.
Details about our Spy Wednesday and Holy Thursday celebrations, including Thirty Pieces of Silver for kids, the Seven Churches Visitation, an at-home Last Supper — complete with Rice Crispy Treat Lamb, and Family Foot Washing.
Details of our Good Friday and Holy Saturday observances, including Hot Cross Buns, our favorite stories and movies, a real Southern Catfish Fry, egg dying, and the official eschewing of Easter egg hunts and other early celebrations.

And finally . . . “How much of Jesus’ suffering and death to share with little ones is a question many parents struggle with.
It can be overwhelming to feel like you have to introduce so many facts and concepts and characters all at once, especially if your kids are perhaps more concerned with how close they are to getting to eat treats again than with the details of Jesus’ passion.
How to handle it in your own family is going to depend, of course, on your particular kids.
But here’s how we do it in our family.”
So, hopefully these will get you in the mood for Lent, or at least ready to start thinking about it. My own perspective on Lent has changed so much over the years. I’d love to hear how YOU plan to approach Lent this year. Also, I haven’t decided on what my own voluntary Lenten disciplines will be this year, so if you’ve got any ideas, lay ’em on me.


  1. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    You know, my all time most popular posts have to do with Lent too. Perpetuating the thought that us Catholic love the suffering 😉

  2. Kirsten

    Awesome post! I can't wait to read through it all. For Lent I am going to do the Whole30, or should I call it Whole40, because you can eat like, nothing, no sugar, no cream in my coffee, no butter, nothing! I started to do it in October and it felt very penitential. I stopped because all of the good baking was starting and I didn't want to miss out on all the fun. I thought it would be perfect for Lent. At least now I'll have a good reason for eating practically nothing!

    • Brigid

      This is what I am also planning to do. I am with the lenient Sunday folks, though, so I might get to have a weekly glass of wine… 😉

  3. Julie

    Wow this is a huge wonderful post..and I am really looking forward to taking my time through all of the past posts 🙂

    I am curious about the industrial fan in post #4 though. (I caved and read this one at work)

    • Kendra

      Hah! Sorry. My kids and toddlers have all been really light sleepers, pretty much any loud noise wakes them up. Now, we have a really noisy fan in the hallway where all the bedroom doors are, so little nappers can sleep through pretty much anything that's going on in the house. But when I lived in that squeaky, creaky, tiny house in Chicago, I literally could only sit quietly no the couch during nap time. If I tried to get anything done, or even just walk around, they would wake up!

    • Julie

      Sounds like my old 1940's squeaky Chicago suburban house.

  4. Natalie Zambreski

    Yes! Thank you! I am one of those "new readers" so I really appreciate having all of this in one place!

  5. walking dot photography

    Ooo, checking out your 66 ideas for what to give up! I feel like i haven't challenged myself enough in the past few years and I need something really good for this year!

  6. Christy

    Last year I tried "turning off lights in empty rooms" as my Lenten sacrifice. It was really hard (but my husband was really happy!) and now I actually do it all the time. I think I'll try something else along those lines this year; a small thing I can do around the house that just might become a habit by the end of Lent. Thanks so much for the ideas!

    And I just realized how ridiculous I sound saying that turning off lights is hard. But it's all relative I guess!

  7. Melissa

    I actually searched "Lent" on your site like a week ago. I read almost all of these posts. I am deep in preparation for Lent.
    One question I have is about the bean jar. Do you have a post that explains what it is? I found a few little tidbits here and there, but I am wondering if there is a more in depth explanation for how it works.

    • Kendra

      It's in the second post up there, "Keeping Lent: A Guide to What we do for Kids" :0)

    • Melissa

      Thank you! I love that idea. I am definitely going to steal it.

  8. Sophie שרה Golden

    Since I grew up in an atheist country and now live in a liberal one with 80% atheist population and the rest of Lutherans, I hadn't met any catholic in flesh till my 20's 😀 I travelled to Venice with my friends and there was a nice catholic priest on the train. We talked so nicely and oh, he wasn't that scary as in the movies 😆

    What I meant to say is that, it's so nice to read posts like this and get to know what real people do. Because all I know about catholicism is from movies and your blog here, Kendra 😀 you win so far.

    • Kendra

      You're always so sweet Sophie. I'm glad to have you around the blog!

  9. Cammie Wollner

    I am so glad that you put these all together in one place and I just pinned it so I can keep coming back and reading through them! Every year, even watching the calendar and trying to prepare, I feel like Lent sneaks up on me… I can't wait to read the posts that I've missed!


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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