One of my goals last month was to create a liturgical calendar for the first part of the year which included not only the usual seasons of Lent and Easter that we always celebrate, but also which Saints’ Days we would celebrate because they have special meaning to us. One of the first of those we got a chance to celebrate was my saint I chose at confirmation- St. Brigid. Continue reading
I might decide to delete this later, but as I sit down to write this post with very limited time all I can think about is “Mommy guilt”- or, to be more specific, things that are objectively pretty ridiculous to feel bad about but that have at some point caused me mental agony since my becoming a mom or becoming a mom of two. Continue reading
I thought I had hit my stride on treating myself well and working out and it all goes so well… until I get tired, until I get bored, until I get sick, until until until… I have so many excuses about not doing things that make me feel GOOD once I’ve done them. All these road bumps get discouraging. No wonder as Christians we have seasons to focus on consistently doing things that don’t always provide immediate gratification. Continue reading
I have been having a tough time this Lent. I knew I would. As I said in my Ash Wednesday post, it’s easier for me to pick something concrete to give up or add, but focusing and reflecting and taking time to be a better disciple is much, MUCH harder. I’ve been spending most of my time grappling with crippling perfectionism, a struggle I bump up against again and again since becoming a parent. This month’s theme was belief and as the month draws to a close, I realize I didn’t write about it that much. It’s hard for me to write these kind of entries, mostly because I am wary of communicating deeply held spiritual beliefs and struggles via this medium. I don’t mind having long talks about it in person,where I can see reactions and more easily clarify thoughts. Continue reading
So, we’re still in the season of Lent. It’s a season of reflection as I wrote about before, but it’s also about repentance- about calling to mind sins and patterns of selfishness, saying sorry, and amending what wrongs we can. I’ve been taking some time out to journal and reflect and pray during this season, and one of the many things I’ve realized is that I say sorry for a lot of things I shouldn’t need to and I don’t say sorry for a lot of things I ought to. That’s because I AM sorry for a lot of things I shouldn’t be, for ridiculous guilt I carry around while I am often complacent or remiss in noticing the things I should be sorry for..
This is by no means a revolutionary idea. There have been several articles and a whole ad campaign on the specific phenomenon of women apologizing like crazy and how we are ingrained the idea that we should take the blame for things. I am definitely caught in this pattern.
Here is a list of things I have caught myself apologizing for just since Lent started: Continue reading
***Originally Posted on 2/19/15 This is the last of my old posts crossing over. new content from here on out!***
I went to a great session of my church’s MOMS group last week. The topic was Lent and it left me with a lot to think about. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is, perhaps surprisingly, my favorite part of the liturgical year. It has been a time to reflect and pray and make major changes in my daily and spiritual life. I usually go into Lent having a pretty clear idea of what I need to work on the most to draw closer to God, but I was extra appreciative of my church group last week because this year I am at a loss.
Since becoming a parent, so much has seemed to change and get thrown up in the air. I can feel on top of the world one day and at a total loss the next. The shenanigans questions of “balance” and “having it all” are constantly nagging at my head. I’m a multi-tasker by nature and suddenly I feel like I need to get all that multitasking I used to do done AND take care of my child AND contribute to start saving up for the next big life event. Everything is very full speed ahead and it has left me with very little time or mental space to really sit and contemplate what I need most in my spiritual life.
Luckily, one of our MOMS group facilitators suggested checking out this website and I ended up getting the Lenten journal that website came up with. The journal is called Only One Thing and it seems to be the perfect thing for me right now. The title comes from a passage in Luke about Mary and Martha. Those of you who are not familiar with this story, Martha is a lot like most of us- she is trying to do ALL THE THINGS, especially because Jesus is visiting her and she wants it all to be perfect for him. Her sister, Mary, is sitting at Jesus’ feet, being with him, listening to him, not necessarily doing anything the world would judge as “productive” which of course makes Martha angry. She asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things: there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
So I’m going to prayerfully work my way through this journal which gives you one word a day to focus on with the day’s readings. The focus of my Lent this year is scary for me because it seems the things I’m supposed to abstain from are over-commitment and guilt. It would be much easier to keep track of giving up chocolate or hot sauce. It’s scary because the world won’t necessarily see or understand these sacrifices as they would with a good natured teasing session when people aren’t eating hamburgers on Fridays. It is scary because odds are good I will fail multiple times over these 40 days, and I REALLY like to succeed. I like being the straight A student. I like being able to check something off my to-do list and those things need to be easily measured. I like having visible, outward indications of my achievements. I am such a Martha.
I am excited and nervous for what this season will bring. Lent is a beautiful time of reflection and sacrifice and change. I wrote in some comments earlier that perhaps the surprise “B” in my year of Bs is Bravery. It takes a lot of bravery to let go of the plans you have, to be uncertain about what is next, and to trust that God will take care of it and will love you as much through your failures as your successes.
***Originally posted 2/17/15. Only one more repeat post after this one if you are signed up for updates and were signed up before as well, just bare with me for one last post after this 🙂 ***
You may or may not know that one of the items on my bucket list is to celebrate Mardis Gras in New Orleans. It’s funny because most events with crowds that big don’t appeal to me, but the music, the atmosphere, the colors, I think I would love it!
Although I also think the smells of gumbo and other spicy, delicious NOLA meals would make me wish I wasn’t pescetarian. However, one of the non-meat filled traditional meals would be a King Cake- which would be way too big for my family to try and eat on our own so I had to scale that idea down.
Luckily, I also grew up with the tradition of Shrove Tuesday- it’s basically another way to celebrate Fat Tuesday centering around pancakes. Pancakes are the perfect pre-lent meal because they are made with sugar, butter, syrup- all sorts of sweet and fattening things you are supposed to abstain from during Lent. Pancakes were a great way to get those ingredients out of the house to avoid temptation. Shrove Tuesday also holds a special place in my heart because as an early modern scholar I get extra joy out of ringing the pancake bell.