Lent is for…

This week, I started a great post about homeschooling and practicing love. It is still in the works, because the events inspiring said post have been unfolding daily. What that means is that Passionate Princess challenged me to love her through a struggle.

In the meantime, while we practice love, I have been in a funk. Many things contribute to it, but the bottom line is, I have been reluctant to do what I need to do. I don’t feel like getting up early to have a few moments alone, but I dread being woken up by the voices of hunger. I don’t feel like prepping three meals a day from scratch, but I have no other option while we journey towards better health for my husband and children. I don’t want to wash (what feels like 853) dishes from all the cooking, but I would feel terribly awful leaving them all day until my husband is home. Etcetera, etc. In the midst of it all, I get impatient, snarky, resentful. Most times I keep it bottled up nicely, but Jesus knows my heart. It hasn’t been lovely.

But nightly, while sitting with the boys as they fall asleep, I have been praying. I have been praying an entire 5 decades almost every night. In my prayers, I seek peace in our house, physical and spiritual healing, guidance with homeschooling, guidance with discipline…you name it. Once I offered my prayers just for me. Tonight, it was simply “for all our needs, Lord. You know them best.”

After finishing, I immediately opened up the iPad. (I will be honest. I crave the down-time after the kids are sleeping). In reading email, I opened one that I don’t usually. It was from Catholicmom.com. And I read this post, about Lent Re-do. http://catholicmom.com/2012/03/21/a-lenten-redo I recommend you read it. As I read it, it was if the post was written for me. Joy? Lacking. Grumbling too much? Yup. Wincing at every request and repeated request from my children? You bet. I admit it. (Thank goodness our parish Penance Service is tomorrow!) I still have time for a redo this Lent.

Lent is for God working on our hearts. “Change our hearts, O God…create in me a clean spirit…” I my have had ideas of what to “improve” upon this Lent, but God knew otherwise. He has been working on my heart every day. I am quite sure that every impatient moment, exasperated sigh, crumb swept, nose wiped, temper tantrum calmed has been like fertilizer for my Father working on my heart, mind, and soul. Without all that, how could I have been in a funk, as I mentioned? And if not in a funk, how would I know that I need to work on living more joyfully?

Maybe it is not a redo at all, but a growing in realization, a deepening self-awareness and embracing more of God’s will in my life. It is not enough that I merely raise my children, feed them and clothe them, educate them. God is calling me to do so joyfully!

Maybe you are like me, and think Lent is not for joy. That is why we fast, right, and do penances? Joy is for Easter, the Resurrection! Surely that is true. Yet, if my Father in heaven sees fit for me to swallow my pride, stifle my grumbles, and smile instead of sighing at my children’s requests, then joy it is. This Lent, at least what is left of it, joy is for me. If being more joyful rubs off my family, that is all the better.


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