Yesterday was the beginning of the season of Lent. Andrew asked me if I was excited... "yes?" I replied. It didn't sound convincing. I guess Lent is always hard because it forces me to examine my life in light of who I am meant to be. What is off in my life? How can I be a better mother, wife, and daughter of God? These are challenging questions. It's easy to lose track during the rest of the year and develop bad habits. This is why Lent is so necessary!
In college, I was in a group of people who were pretty hardcore in their sacrifices. Some slept on wooden boards, ate only liquid foods, gave up sarcasm, makeup, or looking in mirrors. One year I tried giving up electricity. My parameters were I never turned lights on, I took cold showers, washed my clothes in cold water, washed dishes by hand. It was kind of fun... for about a week! Then it became pretty challenging - especially taking cold showers! Finally someone knocked some sense into me: Why are you doing this? How will this sacrifice bring you closer to Christ? These questions made me realize that I might be doing it for the wrong reasons. Namely, to get a taste of the romanticized olden-days that I've so often longed for in my youth.
Now I am more careful about choosing my sacrifices and examining my motives. This year I have on my heart to focus on being a better wife and mother through prayer and spending quality time with my family. I've been reading the 10 Habits of Happy Mothers and it's giving me a lot to think about and at least one good idea for Lent. Which is calling at least one friend once a week, or better yet, going to visit with a friend. This will help me to reach out socially and connect with people I care about.
This sounds silly, but one struggle I have is getting dressed in the morning. This really impacts my day in a bad way. I feel like I am so busy taking care of everyone else, that I don't take care of myself. It doesn't feel good to stay in pajamas all day! I'm sure all the stay-at-home-moms out there with little kids can relate! During Lent, I am going to work on this by getting dressed before 9am.
As a family, we are going to give up TV. This should free up some time in the evening for more blogging! =) Andrew pointed out to me that I took a month off between January and my post yesterday. Ooops.
Another sacrifice I am going to do is to clean one part of the house each day that will likely go unnoticed. Shhhh - don't tell Andrew! I think this will help me to pay more attention to the little things around the house and clean without seeking praise. At Mothers' Group someone mentioned saying "Hail Marys" while scrubbing the toilet! HA! Maybe I can incorporate that into my cleaning too!
Happy Lent to you all!