When I think of how my life has changed since the last time Lent came around, I smile.
Not because I think the holy season of Lent is a barrel of monkeys or anything. Forty days of focusing on prayer and fasting doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun for anyone, I don’t think. No, it’s because Lent 2017 brought so much unexpected goodness to my life! Starting this blog, for one, was a direct result of the fruits of last Lent. And it was through this blog that I become involved in the ministry at Blessed is She! Getting to know the women there, writing for them and praying with them has enriched my life abundantly!
So, yeah! I can’t help but be a little excited to see what Lent has in store for me this year. What treasures are waiting? What fruits will I find as I learn and pray, give and grow during this beautiful season? During Lent, the Church recommends that we pray, fast, and give. Here’s what I plan on doing, God willing.
- Go to daily Mass once a week.
- Participate in the Perfectly Yourself women’s study at my parish.
- Follow along with the Blessed is She and Take Up & Read Lent journals.
I am not the “daily rosary, constant novenas, liturgy of the hours” kinda gal. I admire those people a lot, but that’s just not me. And setting myself up to fail by saying I’d do those things would make so sense whatsoever. Getting myself to 9:00 am Mass once a week? I’ll give it my best shot. Reading Matthew Kelly’s book with some amazing women from my parish on Thursday mornings? That actually sounds quite enjoyable, thanks!
Those Bible studies, though. I love them both and they’re so beautiful. I’m hoping that some of my fasting choices will help me have more time to devote to at least reading them, if not doing all of the actually “journaling.”
- Take Candy Crush off my phone.
- Make healthier food choices.
There. I said it. I play Candy Crush all the dadgum time and I’m at a ridiculously high level. There is absolutely nothing I gain from playing it and it’s a phenomenal waste of time. Sounds like now is a good time to say adios, don’t you think?
And healthier food choices? Yeah. That’s a big one. I have a huge sweet tooth and carbs are king, as far as I’m concerned. But that’s not what God created my body to run on. And if I am going to focus on Him this Lent, then maybe I can sacrifice a few Girl Scout cookies or bowls of ice cream or tortilla chips for fuel that will serve my body instead of just make it fluffier. (And who am I kidding. If that means I lose a few pounds, then that can’t be a bad thing either. #keepingitreal)
- Donate to the Bishop’s Annual Stewardship Appeal.
- Be more giving of my time to my family.
The Diocese of St. Augustine is currently running the Bishop’s Annual Stewardship Appeal. They are looking to raise $3.5 million to support our retired priests, seminarians, Catholic Charities, and the Catholic schools. Greg and I have given to this appeal for years and years and every year, we try to give just a little bit more. We actually know two seminarians personally and have received so much from our diocese that it is our honor to give back what we can. If you’d like to contribute even a few dollars, please click on the link to learn more.
And finally, giving my time to my family seems like something I do a lot of anyway. Right? What mom doesn’t? But there are times when I say no that I could easily say yes. Games with my youngest, letting my older daughter cook with me, playing hoops with the 13 year old, handing over the keys to the 16 year old…these are all times when saying yes could benefit both of us, but I take the lazy way out and say no more often than I should. I know I won’t be perfect about it, but I’m darn well going to try.
And that’s what it’s all about, right? God doesn’t ask for or expect perfection from us. If He did, there would have been no reason for Jesus to suffer and die for our sins. And if Jesus didn’t die for us, we wouldn’t need the season of Lent! He want’s us to love Him, to try to improve ourselves so that we can love each other and Him better. That’s what I’m going to focus on this Lent.
How about you? Will you take this opportunity to reflect on your life and try to make it better? How will you reach out to God and try to become closer to Him and His love for you? I pray that this holy season brings you many fruits, a closer relationship with God, and a deeper sense that you are loved. I’ll be praying for you!