I said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again but...Lent is hard.
Every time I look at the calendar I think, it has to be Easter soon, right? Aaaand I just realized we only just made it to halfway through Lent.
Wah wah wah.
In an attempt to try to push through these last few weeks, and really make the most of my time left, I'm talking today about 5 ways this Lent has [truly, I promise] changed me and my way of thinking.
1. Lent isn't the cure for my ineptitude.
I had big plans for this Lent. Don't I always? (Resolutions, Lenten promises, goals...these are my jam, guys.) But I realized, just like I do every year, that Lent isn't the answer to every one of my flaws and faults.
It's a wonderful season to reflect on what's important, and to scale back on things that may be drawing you away from God, but it's not the end-all-be-all of getting rid of sin and concupiscence. It's a season, a chance to change, but it's not going to magically fix everything.
2. St. Josemaria Escriva is a boss.
H-O-L-Y-H-E-C-K, guys, why has it taken me so long to read Jose??? Caitlin talked about him for years and I just now jumped on that bandwagon and I'm mad that it took me this long.
He's a great role model and his first (and most popular) work, The Way, is the exact thing I needed for this Lent. Short, pithy reflections to get my butt in gear and make me think about important things.
No, I haven't kept my promise 100% of reading every night before bed -- but what I've read has been amazing. When I remember (or don't conk out immediately upon jumping into bed), his book changes the way I fall asleep - more peaceful, more encouraged, more fulfilled. Game. Changer.
I'm also itching to read more about his life, so if you know of a good bio of his, hit me up.
3. Being a mom gives me a chance to grow in holiness.
Last year during Lent, I didn't give up much because Kate was still nursing -- and let's be real, I used it as an excuse to do some different sacrifices that didn't involve food or things like that. This year Kate feeds herself, and I don't spend so much time obsessing over every little thing, but I'm realizing more and more every day that motherhood in itself gives me a chance to grow in holiness.
Sure, that's one of those phrases you hear all the time -- but for me, I've never much thought about it beyond a surface-level recognition. But this Lent I'm trying to take a breath and pray before I react, or offer up a dirty diaper every so often, and it's changed the way I pray throughout the day. (It's not a lot, but it's better than it was.)
4. Lent shouldn't feel short.
I know I complained about that in my opening paragraph here, but if I really stop to think about it every time I lament that Lent isn't over yet and I can't go back to my comforting (bad) habits, I know that Lent shouldn't feel short. What's the point of trying to offer up your sacrifices with the cross if it's a walk in the park? I'm guessing Jesus' 40 days in the desert didn't feel like a walkabout (LOST, anyone?) (Although I'm not Jesus, so maybe that was His version of a walkabout. Pretty intense one at that.)
|credit: Cartoons by Jim|
I complain about it in my head, I complain about it to David, but Lent shouldn't be easy or something to be quickly dismissed. I'm going to keep trying to stay positive and keep my eye on the "prize" aka Easter.
5. I really have time in the day for whatever I choose to focus on.
Sure, I'm busy. I work from home, I have a crazy toddler and a hyperactive puppy, but I have plenty of time throughout the day to do what I want, even if it's 10 minutes here or 2 minutes there. I spend a lot of time thinking about how little I get to do "for myself" throughout the day (what parent doesn't? or really, what human doesn't? obligations come for everyone!) but that's all really my own fault.
If I want to spend more time reading the Bible, stop getting on Instagram so much and pick it up instead.
If I want to teach Kate to behave a certain way, take a breath before I respond and reason with her.
If I want to work on a craft or develop a new hobby, stop writing long blog posts...oh wait. JK JK.
But seriously. Lent helps me focus on the everyday, and seeing my everyday in more acute focus has helped me realize that I can do what I want - I just have to prioritize it.
If this posts comes off high and mighty, I apologize. Just picture me hitting my chin super hard on a window this morning while I tried to close it, and you'll feel better. (I don't even know how I did that, honest. Why I felt the need to bang my head in a downward direction while simply closing a window is beyond me...)
In all seriousness, though...how's your Lent? Has it changed you? Tell me about it.