Lenten Photo Journal 2018: Week 3

Lenten Photo Journal 2018: Week 3

This week has really brought a bit of introspection for me.  Maybe it was hormones, PMS, the fact that my husband was out of town…who knows?  But he is back now, so at least that part of my world is right again.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Friday of Week 3 – #CRY

My sisters like to joke with me that I’m “dead inside.”  They’re full of baloney and they know it, but they are quite right in that I don’t cry often.  Or in front of many people.  In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of people I will let my guard down enough to cry in front of.

I’m not sure why that is.  Maybe it’s that crying embarrasses me.  Maybe it’s that I always feel like I need to be the strong one in  tough situations.  Or, maybe I’m just not a cry-er.  Or I just prefer laughter!  And that’s OK!  But I do know that tears are healing, cleansing, and sometimes more than necessary.

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!” — Truvy from Steel Magnolias.

Saturday of Week 3 – #ENEMIES

Ouch.  Today’s prompt…? Yikes.  Happy thoughts for a Saturday, right?  But here’s my take.

We’ve all had that person in our lives that we’ve had to deal with, right?  Maybe you wouldn’t categorize them as your enemy, per se.  But you definitely don’t see eye to eye, or maybe they mean well but they only succeed in making your life more difficult.

What if, instead of lamenting their existence or avoiding them completely, we give those relationships to God?  Would it help if we pray for that person before we encounter them?  What if we love them by looking more for their good intentions and less for their faults?  Or, what if we take the times we feel persecuted by them and turn them into opportunities to reflect on how we treat others?  I know from experience that it helps.

Disclaimer: I am only occasionally good at this.  Definitely something I need to keep working on.

Sunday (done on Monday) of Week 3 – #GO

I rarely go to daily Mass.  The time that it’s held at my own parish just doesn’t work for my family.  And, frankly, I routinely forget that it’s offered at the neighboring parish at a time that actually would work for me (on a couple days a week, anyway).  This morning, I took the opportunity.  I saw a couple of lovely ladies that I know, had a peaceful start to my morning, and heard a great homily that was short, sweet, and to the point.

So, if you haven’t gone to daily Mass before, or just haven’t gone in a while, let this serve as your invitation!  And if you’re in my area, let me know and I’ll go with you!  Just go!

Monday of Week 3 – #GIVE

The old family coin jar is just about full.  I have no idea how much is in there, but I think I’d like to give it away somehow.  Maybe the kids and I will take the proceeds and make blessing bags for the homeless.  Or we could donate it to the food bank.  Maybe we’ll surprise a person behind us in the drive-thru sometime by paying for their meal.  The possibilities are endless…kind of like the amount of time it took to actually fill up this dadgum jar!

What about you?  Even if you can’t give away a mason jar full of nickels and dimes, what can you give away today?  A smile?  A compliment?  The closer parking space?  Think about it.  And then give some love to the world.

Tuesday of Week 3 – #PRACTICE

You guys.  I need to practice speaking nicely to myself.  Not about my abilities or my strengths or whether or not I’m a nice person or if God loves me.  Honestly, I’m pretty OK when it comes to that kind of stuff.  You know, the actually important stuff.

No, I mean that I need to practice talking nicely to myself about this body I have been given.  Because, let’s be real…I suck at it!  Oftentimes, I say things to myself that I would never in a million years say to another human being.  I compare and berate and judge myself so harshly.  And in my messed up way, I can only imagine that if these are the things I’m telling myself, HOW MUCH WORSE IS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE MUST BE THINKING ABOUT ME?!

Now, I know it’s ridiculous.  In my head, I do know this!  But I am just vain enough that my heart says, “Whatever.  It’s the truth!”  Are you this way?  Do you have these inner monologues?  What can we do to combat it?

Maybe, for the rest of Lent, we commit to switching the talk.  We practice kind words instead of hateful words.  When a nasty thought about ourselves pops up, we turn it upside down and compliment ourselves instead.

Who’s with me?!

Wednesday of Week 3 – #HEART

{1 Peter 3:3-4} Um, wow.  I guess God heard what I was feeling yesterday and decided to use my Take Up & Read journal today to set me straight!

Kinda crazy when that happens, isn’t it?  How He uses specific people and things and events to speak right into  your heart and your pain and what you’re thinking and feeling?  It’s like HE KNOWS YOU.  (Which, btw, He does!)

Thursday of Week 3 – #PREACH

“Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.” — St. Francis of Assisi

Probably some of the best advice ever given.  Don’t you agree?

Link to Previous Weeks in this Journal

Lenten Photo Journal 2018: Week 1

Lenten Photo Journal 2018: Week 2

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