Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Little things for Lent.

Every Tuesday a Fat Tuesday.

The phrase wryly crossed my mind as I made pancakes for breakfast this morning. For "second breakfast," actually. I had already had my oatmeal, Keith whatever he'd eaten, and Michael his fruit and cereal. It was quite indulgent.

But the day had gotten off to a pretty bad start. I couldn't undo that, but I hoped perhaps to do something about it, to take control through an offering of something sweet and filling (because if pancakes don't bring happiness, then what food can?) and point my day in a better direction.

I felt the need to refocus; I ate pancakes. See? Fat Tuesday. (Okay, it's not that clever. I'm just telling you what was in my head.)

Although I'm still figuring out a few details about my Lent, I've never been this at peace about it as I am this year. I think largely because I can't change much about my life right now. I knew from the beginning that I couldn't give up the little material things that get me through the day--coffee (NOT black, thankyouverymuch), a secret stash of chocolate, reading fiction (which I thought of giving up but then ... it just isn't possible). The thought of it discouraged me in my very bones. Nor could I really take on very much in terms of extra prayer or other commitments. I am chronically sleep-deprived (think one three-hour stretch of unbroken sleep on the best of nights) and even though I'm sure I could squeeze in, say, a decade of the rosary every, the brain cells ... they just aren't functioning at that level.

In fact I may have had a few moments where I thought wryly in God's direction, "My LIFE is Lent right now!" And you know, that could be true--in the best way possible. My vocation right now lies precisely in living out these days in such a way that they point towards Christ. Tiredness and impatience (mostly with myself) are going to be a part of my days no matter what; but they can go beyond a mere exercise in frustration and be part of a path to holiness.

So for Lent I've tried to choose a few things to make that path a little straighter--easier to see, easier to follow.

1. Abstaining from the internet until Michael's naptime. After that I may use it at will. I have to laugh because Keith got me a new tablet literally two days before Lent started thus making internet usage that much easier/more tempting ... but I've found that starting the day without it does so much in making the rest of the time smoother. We--the boys and I--are all in a more peaceful place. And I find myself enjoying my children much more! This definitely feels like a fast, but I don't feel frustrated or isolated because it still leaves me plenty of time to do what I "need" to do online. (Although it is a large part of why I haven't been posting here or commenting on other people's blogs ...)

2. Making the bed every day. This usually doesn't get done til after 11. But it is a bit of order that wasn't there before.

3. Reading this book.

Pretty simple. No bright halos around here. But a little more peace, and a little more attentiveness.


  1. that's HUGE I think!! I struggle with internet use very much! God bless you and your efforts! You have three small one and that is a huge effort also!! Lots of love to you...

  2. I know where you are.
    I think it's very good to admit that being a mom of three under two, fully breastfeeding and sleep deprived IS REALLY HARD enough. And that every atom of energy you can spare should support you and your husband! I remember even forgetting that i was married from being so overtired!!

  3. That book looks really good, how are you enjoying it so far? And yes I hate making the bed too but it was one of the things I was supposed to take on. It's still a work in Lenten progress.