Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwiches, Tears, and Lent

On Sunday in Rite K (what we call our kid's church service), the kids were asked if they would consider either giving something up for Lent or adding something to their lives during this season as a sacrifice and/or service to God.  I wrote this lesson plan, but didn't teach it, so when my daughter came back from Rite K, I whispered,

"What did you decide to do?"
"I decided to give up chocolate," she whispered back.
"That means no Oreos for dessert, you know," I said.
"I know, Mom," she said.  "It'll be fine."

And it was fine.  All through church.  All through the drive home.  All until we sat down to make the grocery list.

My younger daughter said, "Mom, don't forget to buy ice cream sandwiches!"  To which Abby's head snapped up and a look of dread crossed over her face.

"But ice cream sandwiches have chocolate on them.  And if you buy them, I'll see Hannah eating them.  And then I'll want them."

Insert tears, a red face, and intense voice tone.

"But Hannah didn't give up chocolate.  You did.  She can still have it and you'll have to resist the temptation."
"But that's too much.  That's too hard.  I won't be able to do it," she lamented.
"Maybe you can convince Hannah to give up chocolate, too," I offered, but highly doubtful that my sweets-loving younger child would ever, ever consider letting go of that which makes her supremely happy.

A minute later, Abby announced, "Mom, you don't have to buy ice cream sandwiches.  Hannah is giving up chocolate, too.  We want popsicles instead!"


I've been thinking all week about this show of support between these sisters.  There was nothing in it for Hannah to do this for Abby.  It was a gift of pure love, motivated only by the desire to help her sister avoid a pitfall into temptation.  It was a reminder to me of the importance of actively supporting those around me.  Sometimes this might just mean giving up something that I don't necessarily need to give up.  Sometimes it might mean forgoing my right to do something so that I don't cause someone else to stumble.  Sometimes it might mean walking right next to someone, shouldering the burden, because alone, it would be too heavy for just one to carry.

Linking up with Michelle at Graceful for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.  Come see what others are learning!


  1. Awww! Sisterhood is such a neat bond. So glad they have one another. How beautiful it is to share burdens and love like they do.

    On a side note....I now totally want an ice cream sandwich (i have not had one in years!)

  2. That was just the sweetest thing...what good sisters! Love that our kids live out the examples of how we should live without even knowing they are doing it! Thanks for sharing this...

  3. That is a beautiful picture of walking together through Lent! How sweet..

  4. LOVE THIS!!!

    I can't tell you how much I loved it. The love that your daughter showed for her sister is exactly the type of love that we are called to show. It's that art of self- sacrifice just for the sake of love.

    It makes me want to be more like your little girl.

    The passage "a little child shall lead them" has never been more appropriate.

  5. I love this post because I LOVE SISTERS ~ my sisters, my, my sisters in Christ, my Soli sisters and my daughters, who are awesome sisters.

    What a great moment for you as a mom, Jen.


  6. Just stopped by from Michelle's place. This was powerful! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I am thinking how this translates to everyday life for me? what would happen if more often I helped shoulder someone's burden...which may mean giving up something I love? I mean, without really thinking about it? just begin living it. your girls So good you can pick it up and eat it:)

  8. Children always teach us, don't they? Just as GOD would have it.

    "Sometimes it might mean walking right next to someone, shouldering the burden, because alone, it would be too heavy for just one to carry."...wondrous truth

  9. oh yes, we need each other even if it means walking right thru the fire with them.

    This is a big lesson to both girl's. To give to one another's needs. Oh, you should be so proud, you much be doing something right Momma!

    There is nothing like a sister!

  10. What great kids you are raising! You must be so proud of them.

  11. What sweet sisters! And a great example/analogy. Thanks.

  12. What a lovely post. I love seeing examples of sibling support. It's heartwarming to witness.

    Thank you so much for coming by my blog today, and yes, I am in Austin. I'm actually a member of a Austin Bloggers' Girls Night Out that meets once per month for networking. If you are interested, email me and I can get you on the group list!

  13. What a beautiful picture of sisters loving, sharing, and encouraging! Thank you for sharing!

  14. oh, i love this. this is so sweet and a beautiful picture of community.

  15. I bet you were VERY proud of Hannah that night! This is such a beautiful story. I think we can all learn something from Hannah. :-)

  16. I love this message, Jen -- it's often the burden is too heavy to carry wonderful that your girls are learning to support each other at such a young age! I think my youngest would have said, "Tough luck for you!"

    Thanks for linking up, sweetie!


Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.