Just wanted to update you all on the success (or failure) of some of the commitments that I made for Lent.
Things I will keep doing because I like it, it’s been good for me, and I want to:
- Praying the Nighttime prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours with Paul. We love this. We already had a habit of praying together before we drifted off to sleep every night, but this had added a new depth and dimension to our prayer time. It’s a keeper.
- Waking up at 5:30am 6 days per week to exercise with Paul. My body loves it, my husband loves it, and it’s been great for my emotional health too. (as in I am happier in the morning and feel a good sense of accomplishment before the kids are even really up and about)
- Giving up Diet Coke. Oh.my.goodness. I think the makers of Zantac are sad that I don’t have to pop two of them each day to get rid of the burn in my stomach.
- Going gluten-free. This I did for my husband because his doctor suspected he has Celiac. He’d been having a difficult time starting so I said I’d do it with him for Lent and then we’d see how he felt. WELL, two weeks into Lent and I was convinced I must have had a gluten intolerance all these years because I felt better as well as some other symptoms going away. Hmmm… no more gluten for me. I am living gluten-free! It’s not always convenient. We definitely have to think about where we go if we go out to eat. We have become known as the couple that brings their own gluten-free cupcakes if invited to a party with cake. We also have discovered gluten-free donuts so that the after Mass donuts on Sunday don’t tempt us. Yum.
- Went to confession not once but three times. Not ‘cuz I am some super holy person who is all “I go to confession all the time” but because I really, actually, HAD to. Sigh.
Partial Successes (or Partial Failures depending on your point-of-view):
- 40 Bags Challenge – I got rid of 20 bags. However, just this past week, just under the wire for the end of Lent, we gave away a car that had been sitting in our driveway for the last 2 years. Someone came by and wanted to buy it. We weren’t sure the car would start or even make it out of the driveway. We told the guy he could have it. First, though, we needed to get the car tags updated and the title replaced because I lost it. It was a bit sentimental to see it go. It was the first car I ever purchased that was almost new (it was one year old), I bought it on my own without my dad’s help, AND I bargained a really, really good deal that even Dave Ramsey would have been proud of. I want to count it as at least 20 bags so I could call the challenge a success, but it’s probably only worth 5 or 10 bags.
- I did not finish reading Sober Intoxication of the Spirit: Filled with the Fullness of God or Introduction to the Devout Life. I was hoping to at least finish the former knowing that the latter takes total, utter, intense concentration for me to be able to really take it in. However, I didn’t accomplish either. As soon as I descended into my dark valley, that became an all-consuming effort to understand it and get out of it. Reading just didn’t happen unless you count the magazine article I read about the upcoming royal wedding while waiting for Dumpling #4 in the dentist’s waiting room.
There you have it. The good, the almost good, and the not good at all. As I mentioned before, this has been one of the most spiritually rich Lenten season I have experienced in years, even as tough as it was and I still have a lot to process even if I am not comfortable with navel gazing. Actually, I’d rather not contemplate my navel, but what I will do is contemplate the Cross and how my suffering is minuscule in comparison to Christ’s sacrifice or His love for me.