It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted a 7QT, but back at it this week, joining Kelly of This Ain’t the Lyceum!
In honor of World Marriage Day in February, I dedicated a lot of time to writing about marital love. Here is a link to each of my posts:
We kicked off Lent with Ash Wednesday yesterday. Though it is a somber time in the Liturgical year, it’s always one of my favorites. However, Ash Wednesday Mass was a pretty tough one for our family. Things started out great, but slowly got out of control with constant wiggling from both kids, proceeded by urgent pleas for snacks and milk. (Have you ever tried to open a snack wrapper in Mass?? So embarrassing!) After communion, as Mass neared to an end, we had to head to the back of the Church because I had a screaming toddler and sleepy baby on my hand. (12 pm Mass with kids is not for the faint of heart.) When we got to the back of the Church, I found myself resolved to letting my toddler cry-it-out while I angrily tried to finish my prayers. This didn’t last long, though, because my son only grew louder and more inconsolable as time passed, and I knew it wasn’t fair to others trying to pray in the back as well. As I was getting more upset with him, I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the large entry windows. I saw the dark ashes on my forehead and thought: what a real way to start off Lent. I was frustrated and sweaty, having to deal with fussy kids while all I really wanted to do was pray. I saw those ashes on my head, and heard him say to me, just put on love.
I realized he didn’t want me there–fresh from receiving his body–dealing angrily with my kids. He wanted me to take a breath, turn my attention to them in love, and to cease worrying about having everything perfect and all put together. I think this is a lesson God is trying to teach me through motherhood: to pray by loving, even when it is hard.
#ashtag “Put on Love”
Have you decided what you are doing for Lent? With your help, I put together a list of some ideas for Lenten fasting, praying, and almsgiving. It’s never too late to make the commitment!
Have you seen this video by Audrey Assad?
I can hardly get through it without crying. I’ve seen it before, but watching it now makes me realize how applicable it is for lent. The girl in the video carries the light of Christ with her as she journeys into a wilderness-type setting. As she encounters demonic forces who try to distract and pull her in different directions, she is able to forge ahead, unaffected by their draw. As she moves ahead carrying the light of Christ with her, she is able to spread that light, igniting a bonfire that illuminates in the desert.
I think this is what Lent is all about. It is about journeying into the wilderness of our hearts, to strengthen ourselves with the Holy Spirit and light of Christ. As we gain strength through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we are able–when Easter comes–to carry his light with us wherever we go, and set the world on fire by putting on his love, inspiring others to do the same.
This Lent I chose a fast that is a bit different than normal: I chose to fast from staying up late. I decided for the next 40 days to set an early bedtime and wake up time. That might sound a bit odd, but I was so touched by what Father Mike Schmitz said in this video:
One of the things about motherhood that I have yet to accept and embrace is how very incarnational it is. At all times of the day, both my kids want to be all over me. If we are watching a show, they want to be in my lap. If I am cooking dinner, they are either clinging to my ankles or crying for me to hold them. You get the idea–it’s exhausting.
Since it is so incarnational, by the time their bedtime comes around (no matter how tired I am) I get a second wind. I get to read, write, clean, watch a show…all hands free and individually. It’s so liberating that I end up staying up way too late–and wake way too grouchily.
I love what Father says about staying up late, and how it is vanity to not give yourself sufficient time to rest. In this bad habit, what I am saying to God is: I don’t trust you to provide for me tomorrow. I don’t trust you to give me the strength, or the love.
This Lent, I am giving him my time, and so far…it’s been amazing. I wake rested and ready to tackle the day (and my kids ;). I think it is a great reminder this lent for me to rest in God and give my worries and anxieties over to him.
What are you giving up or doing this lent? Comment below!
See, now I can even use their need to be on me as exercise!
Metaphorical “before lent”:
Metaphorical “after lent”:
Joe laughed at me saying, “Honey…that’s not a push up.” But in my book it counts! ha
My friends, that’s all I have for you this Friday morning. My kids are running amok, as they sense I’m distracted and that my defenses are down. Cheerios are all over the floor, they are taste testing random candy they are finding (Lucy finally figured out we have chocolate chips in the lazy susan), and I’ve got to go mop up all the spilled milk. Time to go “put on love”!