"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh, Lent.

A week into Lent and it's safe to say I'm ready for Easter. *Sigh*

I know so many people going through some major life events right now - cancer, hospitalizations, job changes, etc. Thankfully, Logan and I do not fall under any of those, so I feel silly even saying this, but...it has been a rough new year for us.

January is the worst month for us financially (and I knew this going in since I've been tracking our income our entire marriage), Landon is officially mobile, and we've been trying to organize and purge our house, room by room. Which basically means a part of our house is always messy. Add to that our goals we made for 2013, the fact that we're working on communicating better, and how we're still trying to finish my LEAST FAVORITE THING EVER, taxes. I hate them. I despise them. Last year I thought I was going to go into labor because of them. (If you itemize and have a small business you totally feel me on this.)

Now that you know entirely too much about our life, I want to say that I was NOT looking forward to this Lenten season. Usually I am, because I am a melancholic, but the 6 weeks before Lent this year were enough for me, and honestly I couldn't help but think how I was already trying to pray more, read Scripture daily, clean the house more, and be a better wife and mother. What else could I possibly do? (Yikes, that makes me sound conceited. Sorry. I still did give up something and am doing something extra during Lent, though.)

Well. We all have those days where we get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. So, one thing I've been trying to do lately is pray throughout the day more. I did it rather faithfully when I was in college - at least the 2 years I lived in a dorm. Now, however, is a different story. There are days where I'm definitely more aware of the need to unite myself to God through prayer, and I do it (usually half-heartedly, if I'm honest)...but other days, I get so caught up with the dishes, laundry, and bills, and the baby won't nap, and the dog won't leave me alone until we go for a walk, and I just wish I could have an hour of silence. By myself. With perhaps a glass of wine and lots of chocolate.

[I know those of you with 2 or more kids are probably thinking, "Oh, just you wait!" Be nice. You were here once too. :)]

So yeah, I had one of those days yesterday. And after it taking 3 attempts to put Landon down for his first nap (he doesn't like naps in general but he hasn't been feeling well the past 2 days so it's been extra fun), I was so not wanting to do that again for his second nap. So we plopped down in our rocking chair and I sang to him and he instantly fell asleep. We stayed like that for 2 hours. Landon never takes 2-hour naps.

What lesson did I learn? We need to give ourselves a break! I am speaking to myself, of course, but maybe you need to hear it too. :)

Seriously. I know it's Lent and you're supposed to strive for holiness by making sacrifices and it's supposed to be hard. But I realized I have simply been trying to do too much - and it has been affecting our family.

Sometimes sacrifice can be as simple as rocking your baby boy for 2 hours while letting your to-do list stack up. It's hard to sit still when you know there are a million other things you could be doing. As crazy as it may sound, giving yourself a break can be a sacrifice (at least for me!)

I thought my day would be completely unproductive because I sat in a rocking chair for 2 hours, but you know what? The rest of our day went by much smoother after that. God knows what we need better than we do, and He obviously knew Landon needed a decent nap and that Mommy time. Landon was well-rested afterwards, and that break actually allowed me to recharge for the rest of the day. I prayed, read, and even slept for a little bit while holding Landon. It was lovely. It was also pretty darn nice having that cuddle time! Ironically enough, afterwards I finished everything I wanted to yesterday. That has not been happening lately!

A lot of times when we sacrifice something (even a silly to-do list), we get much more in return. And yesterday that was definitely true. Thank You, Jesus.

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