Friday, March 14, 2014

I'm Failing this Lent

If you opened this post expecting to find oodles and oodles of "super fun" Lenten ideas
and projects, links out the wazoo, or what-not for little ones and families...

you best just close this window now. Move on. Not much, not much at all, to see here.

Try the next "Catholic" mom blog and see what she's got cooking - because y'all it's pretty dry
and arid over here. Like "rice" every day. I mean we don't even have a "countdown to Easter" calendar,
one that you can print right off the Internet, anywhere in our house. Nada. Nil. None.

Bless me friends, for you won't believe this... Ash Wednesday rolled around and yes,
I drug my little Catholic family to mass for some traditional ash shmearing and remembering
of the "dust" we are, but I didn't even know what I wanted to "give up" - let alone
how I wanted to share the meaning, significance of Lent and Easter with my children
this year. I mean it's just the epitome of our faith... #Catholicparentfail

Truth is, my house still had a mixture of Christmas and Valentine's Day decorations looped and
strewn from room to room. I'm used to creating a barren space, a clean-surfaced "dessert", for
me and my family to prepare our hearts for Easter. But you know what? Instead of shades of "repentance"
purple around here, it's a little too cluttered for my liking and there are STILL blue Christmas lights
hanging on the window in the boys' room. Blue is symbolic for something, right? Like water. Baptism.
A sort of death into new life in Christ... which is pretty much Easter!?!?! I'm trying here!

The first week of Lent rolled by and I seriously wanted to throw in the towel. Facebook and all my
friends were reminding me, not on purpose of course, that since I didn't have a salt dough crown of
thorns and a plan of action for the Stations of the Cross I might as well give up and wait til next
Lent to redeem myself. I don't know. I get in weird funks. Like everyone else, right? You better get
in funks too or our friendship is OVER. I'm kidding. But really.

And then there was a rainbow in the middle of my "I'm failing Lent" storm and the angels broke
through the clouds holding the letters of my name sewn together perfectly on a chambray and leather
banner beckoning for me to "come and not give up"! my two year old jumped in my lap
making me spill my Tension Tamer tea all over the place. Oh heaven! Oh reality!

That's when I decided to SEIZE LENT and just take it one week at a time...

for Jesus came for the "falling apart" right? He came and died on the cross for all of us who are
far from running the "perfect show." It seems silly now that I just wanted to forget it all and just
blitz through this season without at least trying to be mindful - all because I didn't have a "plan"
together right out of the gates. Oh you didn't know I'm an "all or nothing" kind of girl? It's a
blessing and a curse. There have been many a tragic outcome due to this fun fact.


I'm recycling my approach to Advent for Lent.
And that's to do one activity in remembrance of this season of preparation, repentance, and
longing for a Savior and one activity to prepare our home, hearts for Easter.

Salt dough crown of thorns // where we pull out "thorns" when we do acts of love, service, or
repentance to help "ease" the sufferings of our Lord. My boys are particularly thrilled with this
activity and on their own started whispering, "I love you, Jesus" every time they pull out a
toothpick. I am humbled to be their student.

Easter egg garland // we put up the Easter egg garland and talked about the joy we have each year
hunting for candy-filled eggs. I want to create this sense of excitement as this major holiday draws
near! There is much suffering - but there is also much celebrating!

I honestly don't have a plan for next week, but I'm trusting that those angels with the chambray,
leather banner are going to come back and hit me over the head with some powerful stuff! I do feel like
I'm failing, at least a little, this Lent...

but it's good for me.

It feels good to remember that Jesus doesn't want me to be "perfect" - even though I want myself to be
perfect. He just wants me to show up, ask for forgiveness, and pick up our relationship where we left off.

This year I'm going to Calvary in beautiful disarray.
I hope you're coming too.

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  1. (How I lost a box of relics.)

    Maybe you'll find some inspiration for next week's Lent in the Mass readings for Sunday? Just an idea...

    1. I don't know!!!! It's not like I actually HEAR the readings at Mass... lol. I mean, I'm there, but totally trying to maintain peace amongst my people in the pew. HA! I think we're going to do something with the stations... color them... put them on our wall and talk about them?!

    2. Well I know it's a late reaponse but hey, last week the Gospel was on the Transfiguration and it said "Jesus face shone like the sun." You could maybe in the future print out (or hey, make your own as a craft) monstrances to color and then Jesus' face where the host is (since the mmonstrance has the shining rays coming out from it, it can remind us of His transfigured glory.) #betterlatethanneverthanksmattyouarewelcomebrittany

  2. I'm kind of with you on this one. I'm 25 weeks pregnant so not really in the mood to be giving up any food stuffs. I'm trying to add a little extra spiritual reading, at least, to my day, but so far I'm not doing so well in that department. And I'm not sure how to 'teach' my 16-month old anything about Lent and Easter. She's beginning to comprehend some things I tell her, but I'm slightly frustrated trying to think of child-like way to teach her about preparation for and celebrating the holiday. I checked out a few books from the library and, so far, that's the best I can do.

    But God knows our hearts! And, truly, that is all He asks of us -- the best we can do! :) Our restless human hearts can get away from us sometimes….

    1. It's so hard, Laurel! I like what you said, "God knows our hearts." - it's true! And HE has more mercy on us than we do ourselves.

      I mean - how much more LOVE can you possibly transmit this Lent!? You're pregnant - nurturing the smallest, most fragile form of love and life... AND you're taking care of a little one! Laying down your body and life - I think the "subliminal" messages we send to our kids, just in LIVING the Gospel, can be more powerful than any craft of activity sometimes.

      Hang in there! 16 months is so little. She'll get there!!! Have fun with your library books! That's a great idea :-) XO

  3. Ooh, yes. Coming to Calvary in beautiful disarray: absolutely. I've felt this Lent an urge to be quiet but I've felt like by now I ought to have come away with something profound. And the fact is life still goes on and no revelations are flashing in the sky and I'm just not sure what God wants with me, just me, instead of best me. I'm endeavoring to keep making time for stillness in faith that it is His presence that transforms, not necessarily the profound and complicated truths or flashy and life-altering revelations we often expect.

    1. "just me, instead of best me" - amen! What a beautiful approach to Lent, Annie! To just be still. Quiet. Let God move. Because He wants to! And He'll move us in the process.

      I know I tend to make my relationship with Him more complicated than it needs to be. That's so frustrated when I stop and think about it! His love and plan for us is so complex and simple at the same time - tailored perfectly for "me".... now I'm thinking I need to trust Him MORE. MORE MORE MORE!

      This beautiful disarray business is tough!


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