The other day, when thinking about what resolutions to take up for Lent, I was wondering what my new years resolutions were and I had no idea. I literally could not remember one single one. never a good sign. Turns out it was more mom-brain than anything and I have been keeping up with most of them pretty well, so YAY for that.
Turns out that I picked good ones, they aren’t easy so I am growing by trying to achieve them, but they also aren’t so far out of reach that I have to be consciously thinking about what they are and how to succeed at them in order to do so.
Anyway I have decided on some Lenten observances and hopefully they fit the same bill. Difficult enough to cause some stretching and growth and improvement in me as a person, but not so challenging that I forget them, give up, or fail miserably.
Taking most of my motivation from Christy and Haley and their guest Meg on the recent Fountains of Carrots podcast episode, I decided to choose something to Pray on, Take on, and Give up.
The Pray On will be to read the daily Gospel OUT LOUD during breakfast with the kids. The out loud is key for me because I also want the kids to become more familiar with scripture. I’ve haven’t been waiting for Ash Wednesday to start this one, and already Hugh cries and wants to “me read bible book!” during breakfast so I guess he has a deep love for scripture already? I ends with even more tears usually when I give in and pass him the missal and he is confounded “Wheres pictures!?” If we fall into a routine with this I will try to add more – the Rosary, silence, prayer at other times during the day. But I am starting small and reasonable.
For Take On I have crafted a simple “rule of life” for our days in order to have some structure (I am not a schedule person, probably even a stretch to call me a routine person) So this way some of the decisions are already made and I just have to Do Them. I wrote down when to get up, what to cook, and the big one is when to go to bed. Brian and I decided we would both try to go to bed soon after the kids are asleep, but by 9 pm at the latest. Ouch.
And for Give Up I know its cliche bust really love candy and as a mother with few other luxuries during the day, I depend on sugar a little too much for a burst of happiness when everyone is yelling at me. So good by secret stash of skittles.
I really loved this quote I got in a email from Christopher West ‘s Cor Project the other day: Christopher quotes Pope Benedict XVI who said,
“Prayer, the Fathers of the Church tell us, is nothing but becoming a longing for God.” Elsewhere he wrote, “When the Christian prays, he is seeking nuptial union with the Lord.”
Love it. That’s the kind of prayer my heart needs right now. Not guilt for not fitting 50 hail mary’s in every day. But I want to do that to.
Here are some links to other awesome things to read that might help you get motivated for Lent. My big take away from my reading of everything is to try to best we can, not to get discouraged, not to quit if I mess up once or twice, and to be willing to ad to/subtract from/change or adjust my penances during Lent. So if you haven’t decided on something, don’t despair and tell yourself “next year..” just try! and listen to the podcast or read one of these much more eloquent writers because I am saying this terribly.
Meg has 100 things to do for lent If you can’t think of something yourself or need new ideas. Her print out is pretty cool, it would be neat to do as a family with older kids. (and this is the same Meg as from the podcast episode linked above)
Kendra also has 66 suggestions and I love that her ideas come with beginner, intermediate, and advanced options. Growing in holiness is for everyone!
And Rosie said it best if you are pregnant, nursing or in any other way sustaining someone else with your body, please realize you, we, are exempt from fasting for a very good reason.
Ok, that’s most of all I have to say.
I have been a little absent around these parts because I decided now was a good time to organize a saint peg doll swap (so I have to paint 40, Ah!) and also teach myself how to quilt (but its coming along nicely – take that new years reso!) And my phones sent off to be repaired, AHH!! so frustrating, but excuses excuses. I love you all and pray for my online friends and readers daily! Have a blessed Lent!