Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lent and I'm not talking the belly button kind.

Oh me, oh my. It's been forever since I've blogged.  I'm putting my simple life into practice. Eliminating things that are not necessary, like blogging.  Lent has started. I am also trying to cut back my computer time.  It really is a time waster.  While, the internet is a marvelous invention, as with all things...moderation.  Today, I am writing as a sleeping little boy is on my lap. He was up all night vomiting while holding his stuffed puppy (so cute) and another is on the verge.  Three down, four to go.  Not a bad time of year to be sick. Today it's another school delay. -4 degrees outside.  What else do we have to do?

It's been really cold and I am becoming  worried that it's  not going to be a good year for syrup. We've only made 2 batches so far.  I love making maple syrup. It's the time of year I can spend in the woods. Once poison ivy comes on, I just look at it and it creeps on my skin.  I've been experimenting with maple running candy, I call it. Once I have perfected it, I will post the recipe.  Maple syrup has almost all the nutrients that are in the running gus and other endurance sports candy and supplements. I may be on to something. I've seen syrup in gu-like packages but I think it would be too messy to run with.  The candy I am making is like a mint-like candy. Easy to run and eat. I've added ginger to help with tummy issues. I am super excited to experiment with this.

 Lent is my favorite time of year!  The ending of winter, the beginning of spring.  Time to take restock of your life.  What are you doing in your life that needs to change so you may be a better person for God?  I recently went to confession and my priest gave me simple advice that seemed so obvious, but I never thought of it.  Regarding gossip or being critical to others, the next time you see that person, compliment them or say something nice about them to someone else.  As a 1st communion teacher, I have to also teach 1st confession. We often talk about vice versus virtue. Virtue is the opposite of the sin you are committing.  Here are some examples:
Pride Vs Humility
Greed Vs Generosity
Lust Vs Chastity
Anger Vs Gentleness
Gluttony Vs Moderation/Restraint
Envy Vs Charity
Laziness Vs Zeal
So this lent I will try to better practice virtues instead of committing vices. Especially when it comes to impatience versus patience and negativity versus affirmation .

Lent is a time for charity, fasting and prayer. How can giving up chocolate and meat on Fridays make a difference? I like what my priest said, 'lent is not a 40 day weight loss program.'  Giving up something you like or indulgence and learning to live without does make a difference.  We choose those things we like so that we may focus on higher things.  I am a big meany. I make my family give up tv however, I do allow my children to watch 'Jesus videos'. We have quite a good collection of them that do not get watched the rest of the year.  Whenever we fast, we also are praying.  If you put a meaning behind not eating snacks, chocolate, meat, watching tv, computer, sleep so that you may pray or whatever you 'give up' you are offering up your sufferings with Christ's sufferings.  How little or big your sacrifice is, God knows your heart and your intention.

I've decided to run my 2nd marathon in April.  I say the hardest things about running are getting started and staying motivated (esp when it's -4 outside).  But with running, if you put a meaning behind your run (like running for those who are sick, suffering, for peace, for charity) you will have great motivation and your sacrifice is a prayer. The same with putting meaning behind your fasting. Offering up your fast (or run) with Christ's passion, is a  great source of motivation to become the child God needs you to be.

How can you be a better child for God this lent?

Download a Prayer for Lenten Grace and use it in your home or parish to prepare for and to celebrate Lent.