Do you notice that on fast and abstinence days you are waaaaay hungrier than any other day? Why is it that on abstinence day our bodies just seem to need meat?!? It's such a head game! We tell our bodies 'no' and they react like small children that find a toy they never really touch in the giveaway pile...all of a sudden it's their favorite.thing.ever!
Every year is the challenge to figure out WHAT to give up for Lent! Sometimes I forget to take the next step. It isn't just about giving up the (food, music, sleep, coffee, etc.)...it's about adding something in to fill the void! For example, let's say I give up desserts and all I spend my time doing is thinking about what I can't have. You know that when you give up desserts, everyone around you will be bringing in goodies to share! Then the mantra in your head starts..."I gave up desserts. I gave up desserts. I gave up desserts." Then the weakness sets in and you try to find some way that those brownies or donuts could be classified as something other than "dessert". When that fails, you start thinking that maybe you should just switch what you gave up for Lent. Obviously your original thinking was flawed.
There were times in the past that this "logical argument" won over and I gave in!
I've mostly gotten stronger about these temptations...and it's all about changing your thinking. As much as I may want to stuff my mouth with whatever chocolate goodness is in front of me, I now see it as an opportunity to get extra grace out of a sacrifice! Giving up dessert is a good sacrifice, but it's a lot harder to give up dessert when it's right in front of you! In my mind, more difficulty and re-affirming my decision to give up something with the temptation in front of me= more grace for the person I'm offering up the sacrifice in the first place! #moregraceforthewin!
#3: Enjoy the Cartoons
#4: Hooray For Lent
Yeah...that's not quite how I feel! I know that Lent is an opportunity to give ourselves a "spiritual check-up" and tweak the sloppiness that has sneaked in over the year. I also know that God provides lots of involuntary penances during Lent. While those involuntary penances are certainly opportunities to grow in holiness....they usually aren't all that fun! I'm definitely a spiritual lightweight...something else to add to the list to work on!
#5: A Little Help
Dynamiccatholic.com is one of many sites that is offering free daily messages to help make Lent more fruitful! I subscribed to it, and the video that was in my inbox today was a good one!
Part of the 6 minute talk that struck me...
"Everything makes sense in relation to God's Dream. When we feel like life isn't making sense, it's usually because we've lost sight of God's vision for our lives. God wants us to choose the best version of ourselves....will we choose God's dream or the modern culture's nightmare?"
Yeah...I could probably spend all of Lent on those few sentences!
#6: Sharing With Our Kids
There are so many great ideas for helping our kids understand Lent floating around social media! It always amazes me that, even after 22 years of parenting, I can still read what other moms do during Lent, (or any other time of the year), and the Bad Mommy Guilt starts to seep in! I am not a craft loving person! Most days, cooking, cleaning, and laundry consume my whole day! Even after 22 years I have to remind myself that what other moms choose to do with and for their children doesn't mean that it's right for me. There are seasons of life when I have more energy and inspiration than others. Being honest about where I am on the inside is important! Even if what I add in for teachable moments isn't as much as what the "perfect mother in my head" would do, that doesn't make me a bad mom! Reality is that a little bit done with love...and a sane, calm mama....is the best choice for me and my family! (I really need to write that down and read it every day...it would save a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth!(for me!))