ED. NOTE: Saving the best for last here, so please please read through to the end.
So we are a good full week into the start of Lent. How is it going for you?
I think I finally found a penance that’s a good fit for me—the “not partaking of the drink” thing, that is. Of course, having said this, I’m sure that it will suddenly become unbearable.
For example, last weekend my book club got together and I was all geared up to not have wine. (Total first world problem, I know.) “It’ll be okay!” I told myself, and my self retorted, “But it’s Saturday night and therefore, technically, Sunday! ”
Except I’ve decided to not drink on Sundays either, just to spite my sensual side.
(My sensual side is so annoyed.)
But then, as it turned out, I wasn’t able to attend the meeting at all. We’d been running around all that livelong day and my boys—my big boys—needed me to take them shopping. Which is sweet, if you think about it, and which was fun, except…
It wasn’t my will to miss the book club, which made this a penance of the God-sent-it variety.
And which made it a good penance ’cause it was hard.
Also? Now might be a good time to review your penance. If it makes you miserable—makes you absolutely loath Lent and wish this Holy season away—then I would suggest that you choose a different one.
Because that shouldn’t the point of a Lenten penance. Our sacrifices are meant to make us grow in love, not misery.
Is it a penance for you to look at him? : )
I used to freak OUT over messy faces like this. Now I just dump the kid in the tub when he’s done, which is a total win-win situation for him.
As you can see.
In other news, I am trying not to turn into the penance police. If my family members fall behind—or forsake—their chosen sacrifices, it becomes my penance to not say anything. An occasional gentle reminder is fine, but harsh rebukes are never acceptable.
In short, anger and nagging are not the answer.
Do you sigh? I sigh, and I think that not sighing would be another good penance.
The Sunday after my wistfully missed book club, my big boys helped run the Boy Scout pancake breakfast.
Little boys were also welcome…
…as were big sisters in AHG.
(All three girls got four service hours. Yay for serving that little kid his juice! Yay for not spilling coffee on that little old lady!)
Love me my little AHG’ers.
And now…and now…I’ve come to the best part. Will you join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving and praise? These prayers are so pleasing to our good God, because too often, my prayers focus on what I need. I am not as good at thanking Him, but growing in gratitude is another goal this Lent.
Are you ready? Are you READY? Please read this email I received from a friend:
I recently learned that my father and his wife, both in their sixties, are returning to the Church after an absence of more than forty years. Although they married outside the Church, their first spouses passed away years ago, and so there are no longer impediments to their marriage. I would like you to ask your readers for the favor of prayers of thanksgiving and praise to the God who truly works miracles.
I wish I could say that this comes as the answer to my fervent prayer, but the truth is that I had lost hope and become bitter. It’s a shame for me to admit, but I am too stunned by this very unexpected turn of events, and mired in past conflicts, even now to offer much heartfelt prayer in return. I am offering what I can, and meanwhile I beg help from your readers in praising and thanking God for this couple’s return to the table he has spread for us all.
Isn’t God wonderful? Isn’t He just capricious and fun?
He is. He so is.
May He be praised.♥