Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thoughts Continued

Since I am stuck at school with no students, I guess I have the perfect opportunity to finish posting about Lent. I figured if I am going to give something up, I wanted it to be something challenging for me; I wanted it to be a true sacrifice. However, I didn't want to sacrifice for the sake of sacrificing. I wanted to choose to do something that would help me to be a more godly wife and mother. In other words, I could give up chocolate or Starbucks, but I didn't see how that would help me improve my heart.

In case you don't know, I am not a morning person. I hate waking up. I can't wake up. I am always rushing in the mornings because I have hit my snooze button over and over for an hour or longer. Since August of 2005 when Emily started daycare, I have always stayed in bed while Dee gets up 20-30 minutes before me. I rush to get dressed while he clothes, feeds, and gathers belongings for our children. The only thing I contribute is brushing Emily's hair. And then, he takes them to daycare. I have pretty much spent the past 5 years pouting every morning about the fact that I can't be a stay at home mom; therefore, I have felt justified in making Dee do everything. I know I really need to get over it already.

Just so I feel a tiny bit better about myself, I do think I was justified when the kids were babies, and I was up nursing a baby during the night and using any spare moments at work to pump. But those days have been over for almost 2 years now (Ty will be 3 in April).

So I decided that for Lent, I would refrain from hitting snooze. I will set my alarm clock to a time that will allow me to get myself and the kids ready with time to spare, and I will make myself wake up when it goes off. And on weekends, I have to get up when the kids get up. And when Ty says he's hungry at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, I have to get up and cook for him instead of telling him to go get a box of raisins from the snack drawer. It is HARD, people. It is so hard for me that I don't know if I can do it, so I am publicly stating my goal to keep myself accountable.

I can say that as painful as it is for me to rise earlier than normal, I have loved spending the extra minutes with my kids as I help them get ready for the day. I have also been able to get myself ready at a slower pace, taking time to think and pray about the day ahead. And for some *strange* reason, the entire day seems to run more smoothly. I am still not a morning person, and I don't think I will ever be. But at least I don't have to be a rushed, cranky, chaotic, pouty mommy every morning!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts on Lent

For years, I have felt so proud to not be Catholic at this time of year. Watching friends “give up” something and eat fish on Fridays, I would dismiss it, thinking, “Jesus sacrificed his life for my sins, and he wants my whole life, not just a measly 40 days. So I don’t need to do that silly Lent thing!”

Last year, I read a very short blog post by Beverly Ross (y’all know this is Jenny Biz’s mom), and it got me thinking a little. Here is a link to her thoughts on Lent. Why not use the 40 days of Lent to do something special to better my relationship with God? I know we should sacrifice 365 days a year, but what’s wrong with putting an extra bit of focus right before Easter?

Dee’s family is Catholic, and when we spend Easter with them, we attend services together. Last Easter, I was completely moved by the “Renewal of Baptism” that the priest led us through. He spoke about the importance of moving past the 40 days of Lent with a new strength and commitment in our faith. Then, he asked the following series of questions, and the congregation replied "I do" to each question.

"Do you reject Satan? 

And all his works? 

And all his empty promises? 

Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? 

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy (Catholic) church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever."

Wow! I felt like those were such powerful promises to make that day. I, personally, leave out the word Catholic when I apply this to myself (since I’m not Catholic—duh ☺), but other than that, I think these renewal vows are something any Christian could say “I do” to. Obviously, I found it meaningful because I kept the copy of the words to refer to throughout the year.

So between Beverly’s quick thought that she posted last year and seeing for myself the expectation that Lent leads you to renew your comittment to God, I made the decision to try out the sacrifice for 2010. I am running out of time (and writing too much), so I will have to post more about what I decided to give up later.

By the way, I am writing about Lent to help keep me accountable! I soooooo wanted to give up this morning, but I didn’t ☺

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Exciting Week

I need to log on really quickly to document a special thing that happened this week. You already know if you saw my Facebook, but Emily lost her first baby tooth Wednesday, February 3, 2010. She pulled it by herself when she was at school. We discovered the tooth January 2, so it was almost a month from wiggly to tooth fairy. I have taken some really cute "missing tooth" pictures of her, and here is one of my favorites.

Well, even though I do like this picture, I also hate it because she looks WAY TOO BIG for a 4 year old. Yes, I can say that she's 4 for a few more weeks.