This has been the biggest lent I think I have ever had. My whole spirit has drastically changed. I feel like I’m going through this mid-life crisis, that’s not really a crisis at all. Just a big flip. BIG flip. Like, there’s not a lot left of the shy, self-conscious, doubting me. I have found strength, community, and a fiery happiness that is burning inside of me, because of ME.
In the beginning of this great shift I posted about coming back to the church in Finding My Faith. That was where it all started. Since then, the family has become members, the kids and I go every Sunday, attend stations of the cross some Thursdays, C is in RE and sings in the choir. It’s great.
But lent. That’s where I was. It brought about the self discipline that I’ve always possessed but rarely used.
If you’re not familiar with Lent, or just don’t know why us Catholics do what we do, let me tell you what Fr. Michael told our congregation the first Sunday: Lent is a time to reflect on ourselves, and a time to challenge ourselves. We do penance for our sins. We fast to realize that we are more than our physical bodies, as Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (the length of todays lent) in the wilderness. We pray to bring us closer to the Lord. Almsgiving is a sign of care for those in need. Catholic Online explains this wonderfully in great detail, if you’re so inclined to read.
Fasting & abstinence don’t give me much trouble. I love a challenge and always wonder how far I can push myself (quite far, I’m happy to say). Plus, fish fry is the best thing ever.
There’s also almsgiving. I love to help. It makes me feel good to do something other than what I do every day. Personally, being very tight, I give what I can monetarily, and make sure that I give at least that much time. Help cook food for the soup line. Give to the pantry.
Then there is prayer. Talking to God seems very natural to me. I can ramble on while I’m driving, in the shower, laying in bed at night. But there are the moments when lil’ old ADHD me just can’t finish a thought…”Good morning, Lord! Thank you for waking me this morning and letting me walk in the glory of your love! Please be with my children while they go through their day and….scouts tonight. What’s going on? Pack meeting. Ok. Gotta put dinner in the crock pot. Did I bring the laundry up? When is J’s practice this week?…Shoot!! Sorry. ….and please help them to be the best versions of themselves. I’m also still asking for your support as I journey through my changes. It’s not always easy to let go of what I cannot fix, so I ask you to please help me remember. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen”. So I’m working on the whole staying focused while I pray thing.
I guess the bottom line, what I want to let you all know, is that there is greatness inside of you. You are strong and capable. And however you find that, whether it is through faith, perseverance, a mentor, or a life trainer, believe it! Do not be content to sit and watch life pass you by. Live it. Push yourself, give to others, and know that something out there has your back.