March 5, 2014

Lent: 2014

This was my view on Saturday evening - Mary was in the ergo and Finn was holding my hand, waving his firetruck with his free hand:

I took this picture because Saturday marked a first for myself and for Mary - it was her first time going to mass and my first time taking kids by my lonesome. They were so well behaved it made me feel guilty for not going with both of them before. And we didn't even sit in the cry room! Finn sat next to me and stayed mostly quiet. Mary slept most of the time and when she was awake she was just as content as could be. 

Today marks the beginning of Lent and for the last few days I've been really thinking about what I wanted to "give up" or rather, what I wanted to get out of this season of Lent. In the past I've given up sweets, given up Facebook - the sort of things that may feel like a momentary sacrifice, but do little to assist in my spiritual growth.

So this year I've decided that I will just work to be an ever so slightly better Catholic. Ambitious, egh? It's not just going to church more, though I do need to and hope to get better about that, but also I feel fairly ignorant on not just things related to Catholicism, but basic Christianity.  So each day I am dedicating at least 10 minutes to learning more about the Catholic faith. I think it's very doable and 10 minutes will actually turn into more as it did today when I was reading about Saints.

In addition to doing something I think it actually in line with the spirit of Lent, I also am giving up something that has nothing to do with getting closer to God. I'm not allowing myself to touch my phone while in the driver's seat of my car. I'm pretty good about not texting, though am guilty of reading texts while at a red light, but Texas is not hands free and therefore I've talked on my phone many times while driving. But it's a distraction too and something I want to stop doing altogether. I have Bluetooth in my car as well, so there's really no excuse. I will leave my phone in the backseat with my diaper bag to avoid any temptation and hope this brings about a permanent change even after Lent is over

 Anyone else, Catholic or not, giving anything up this year?


  1. Your idea for Lent corresponds with something my parents' church encouraged a few years ago--taking on something new rather than giving up something. I took on flossing my teeth, and while I'm not sure it did much for my spiritual growth, my dentist appreciated my efforts. Your cell phone idea is brilliant (Missouri is not hands free either, and I will talk-texts to David when I'm at a red light).

  2. I gave up Facebook last year when I saw that you were doing it for Lent...and I haven't gone back. It might sound dumb but I think it has made me a happier person and more devoted to Elizabeth. I wasn't addicted or anything but it had become a sort of unhealthy "escape" to scan my feed on my phone a few times a day. I realized that I was getting sucked into comparing myself to others and other negative social media observer-only symptoms. I also wanted to spend that extra time doing something more productive and fulfilling for me. Though I do feel a bit out of the loop in some respects and I don't see as many photos of babies, weddings, etc., I feel like on the whole it is better for me to continue going without it. In a way, I think it has increased my spirituality because I am more positive and I focus more energy into my family and others. Now, I in no way am saying that FB is bad for everyone because I have seen how much good can come from that portal for keeping in touch and fostering worthwhile relationships/friendships. I have only ever been a passive observer so it just wasn't the right medium for me to use to keep in touch.

    I am not even Catholic but I like the purpose of Lent sacrifices so I like to participate in my own way. I think this year I will focus on getting outside more with Elizabeth. We both feel happier and closer to God when we aren't cooped up inside but sometimes I am just lazy or focusing on messy house and I don't take the time to go have more adventures outdoors. It is also hard to be in nature and not think of God, right?

    Anyway, this comment turned out to be crazy long so I'm sorry but I loved getting to think about and chime in on this topic. Thanks!

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  5. I like the idea of gaining something new and healthy for Lent as much as the lesson of deprivation. I think living a good life is so often overlooked and is an important lesson the Catholic church teaches. Lent offers an opportunity to better oneself instead and that always isn't through deprivation. Now that Lil is a parrot, my sailor Mama ways must come to an end. Lent is offering me a good chance to think about why I swear so much and to correct it. That said, I am also adding Breathe instead of React to stress. That I stop and take a deep breathe for me to respond instead of reacting. I have been working on that since January and I find it lowers my stress.

  6. Awesome! I'd love to hear about some of your discoveries are if you ever have the time :) And you know if you ever have questions...never mind you'd get a novel in return ;) Happy growing, and I hope you find a good local community through your church or a Catholic moms group to support you, too.

  7. I can't believe I never thought of this before, but you are so right -- why is giving up something the right answer? Why not try harder to spread kindness, or focus on faith in some other way? Thanks for the inspiration.

    I'm not Catholic but much of my extended family is. I've always loved the idea of the saints and sort of follow them unofficially. I keep a St. Gerard card in my bag right now. :)