March 17, 2013

So.  How's your Lent been going?  Very Lent-y?  Me too.

Shortly before Ash Wednesday one of OLSWA's chaplains, Fr. Paul, said that despite what you give up or take on for Lent, God always gives you the lent that he wants for you...so don't kill yourself with penances and whippings.  Make your sacrifice something practical and doable...and then fasten your seatbelt.  

So heeding his advice, I've been a wine-drinking, chocolate-eating, tv-watching fiend so far this Lent.  I thought, this year instead of doing the 'same old same old', I would ditch the food/tv sacrifices altogether, and do something practical that would be difficult, yet still attainable.  So I took on the great pare-down project of 2013 - since we will be moving in 2 months anyways.  I figured I would get rid of all the things that I haven't touched since we last moved....last year....no matter how much I like them.

It's been going, slowly, but surely.  I've been going through our things twice, getting rid of more stuff the second time.  One of my friends is my heroine in this - she gives away things she likes but knows she doesn't need to keep just because she likes them.  It's been working for me, and I've been feeling good about not moving yet another load of stuff that I don't use or like or both which spurs me on to give away more and more.

And then - my real Lent started.

I cut the tip of my thumb off in a freak kitchen accident.  It wasn't the entire tip mind you, but it was a good portion of it that I was quite attached to, by the way.  That took 2.5 weeks of thumbless living to heal.  Do you want to know what?  I love opposable thumbs.  LOVE them.

Within one week of my thumb's healing, I got the stomach bug that had been going around.  I felt like I was dragging around a bag of sledgehammers.  2 days spent on the couch.  In between getting up and working all weekend.

Sigh.

And interspersed through all that, I've been all worrying and stressy about The Talk we're going to be giving at the conference next week.  While being asked to do this talk is an incredible opportunity for growth for both Tess and myself, we're both huge fans of not-public-speaking.  So I worry.  And worry.  And worry.  But I know we can do this, and we're both so very excited about the subject matter that I'm so looking forward to the day.  I just can't help myself!!

So all in all, Lent has definitely not been what I planned it to be, but I think it's been what I've needed, and it's not even over yet.  I'm a little afraid for what Holy Week might have in store...I might behead myself by accident or something.  But despite it all, despite all the freak accidents and sickness and worry, I have felt the Lord's presence in a new and exciting way, and for that, I'd sacrifice more than just my thumb.

Hope your Lent has been everything you hoped it would be and more.

8 comments:

  1. The Lent God wants for us. You mean even in our sacrifices we have to give way to God's will? Haha.
    Growing up, Lent was pretty hard core in our family. It was standard that everything was given up - all treats, all good things, bread and water only on Fridays, and then we had to do something besides that.

    The notion that Lent didn't have to be so extreme was unknown to me until the Lent after my dad died, and even Mom (the mastermind behind our Extreme Lents of the past) admitted that sometimes just being is sacrifice enough. Since then I have found that Fr. Paul is quite right - though I'm no longer fasting on bread and water, going without music or forswearing all treats for 40 days, God still guides me through a Lenten desert - only sometimes it's a mental desert rather than a physical one.

    Here's to a Lenty Lent... and then bring on the Eastery Easter!

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    1. That was my experience too - the tv was shut off, there was lots of bread and water going around at home and nothing that we liked was used/eaten/acquired because it was Lent - "offer it up". This year is the first year I've learned my lesson. :)

      A Happy and Blessed Eastery Easter to you too T!

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  2. God bless both you ladies !
    I love what you're doing, and appreciate the strength you've found to do this, for all women.

    I enjoy the way you write ... it's from the heart, easy to understand ... and makes so much sense ! when sometimes our crazy world can all too easily muddy what we should see and know.

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  3. I'm happy to hear you quoting Father Paul. :)
    We too have been having a interesting Lent, in terms of what God had/has in store for us. You frightened me by your comment "and it's not even Holy Week yet!" Our house is to be listed for sale on Holy Thursday. The rest of Lent until then will be a pressure cooker of preparations and stress as we finishing renos, repainting, purging. Sigh.
    Thankfully my husband and children are okay with frozen pizzas for supper or else I would have totally burned out by now!

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    1. LOL - sometimes frozen pizza's are the answer to all life's problems! ;)
      Good luck in the sale of the house - always a stressful thing, isn't it?

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  4. You know Sarah, it's usually not as difficult as we make it seem sometimes to give up things for Lent. What I mean is this: We are the ones in charge, we are the ones that decide what to give up, and we are the ones that determine whether or not it's doable. Sure, we give up this and that. We may be even a bit more rigorous in our practices if we think we can do it. It's in our control. However, what IS difficult during Lent are the things, the sacrifices, we have no control over, such as losing the tips of our thumbs, the carrying around sledgehammers in our stomachs, the worries of an upcoming talk. These things come without warning and we have to sacrifice our ease and comforts. We don't control these unwanted sacrifices. We have to put up with them and make the best of them. We need to put them to good use. It is these sudden things that help us learn the virtue of patience and self-control. Planned sacrifices are a good thing, but what we do with the unplanned ones usually teaches us more of what God would like from us. He's subtle like that ;) .

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    1. So true OC - so true. I suppose the saints among us not only tolerate the unwanted sacrifices, but come to love them only because they are directly from the Lord.

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  5. Hopefully it will only be the tip of your head! I will check for a bad haircut come Holy Week; great post.

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