YAY! Last week of Lent! Easter's almost here! This is the home stretch of Lent, where it gets harder before it gets easier. I'm looking forward to Holy Week and spending some time contemplating the Passion. Dan's parents are coming for Easter (woo!) and I'm going to make Easter Bread from my mom's recipe, which is so ridiculous and convoluted but makes such a nice loaf that I'm going to make the attempt this year.
I was talking with my good friend from high school about our Lenten experience this year and we were both bemoaning that we don't feel we really did much. I told her that I had done the bare minimum (gave up something, prayed the Rosary every day, abstained from meat on Fridays, fasted once, and went to Adoration/Holy hour once.) Like, if there's a checklist, I made sure I could check off each item, but I didn't push myself.
Also, I had hoped that by giving up the internets for Lent I would spend more time reading spiritual books (didn't happen) or praying (nope.) Instead, what I did was a whole lot more cleaning and cooking.
I was reflecting on that last night and realizing that serving my family is a form of devotion. Corporal works of mercy anyone? In addition, I DO have a good prayer life. I make use of the sacraments and traditions of the Church, I pray daily (both traditionally and extemporaneously,) I make a morning offering and evening prayer, and I follow the guidelines of the Church. True, I didn't go to Stations this year, but that was a logistical decision (having three children who are difficult to keep quiet) rather than because I was lazy. I should not feel guilty that I didn't do enough.
I've honestly been feeling that way about EVERYTHING. I'm not spending enough time with the kids, or enough time on the house, or enough time doing what I want to do, or enough time with Dan, or enough time with friends. I mean, I have tons of stuff on my plate and I feel like I'm doing all of it badly.
In my heart I know this isn't true. My house is clean enough. It's not spotless, but it's fine. Time with friends includes running my mother's group, talking with people on the phone, and being there as much as I can for those who need me. I do that. Time with my kids INCLUDES taking them to activities!!!! These past two weeks I've taken both older kids to a museum of their choice and thrown a birthday party for the baby (1 on Wednesday!) I am a present and involved parent. Period. And I'm a good wife who re-watches LOST episodes with her husband so we can discuss it (not that I don't get enjoyment out of re-watching LOST, what an awesome show that was.)
So why do I feel so inadequate? Whatever the reason, it's not of God. So I'm choosing to ignore it and soldier on.
I have to give a plug to Style, Sex, and Substance, which I've been reading while I nurse the baby for her morning nap. SO MUCH WISDOM AND HUMOR in these pages! I've been drawing lots of strength and comfort from the stories of women like me who are struggling to balance all the demands of life with serving the Lord and growing spiritually. I am thankful for the community of Catholic women on the internet, the authors of this book in particular, and all those whose blogs give me comfort and inspiration on the road to holiness.
God Bless all of you!