Monday, March 5, 2012

Ebb and Flow of Life

Lent is here.  I'm really feeling it this year.  No, we didn't commit to super huge prayers or sacrifices.  But the Lord in His goodness has seen to it that every day this Lent has been just a little more difficult for me.  Nothing catastrophic, just little humiliations and tests of my patience to remind exactly where I need to focus my virtual attentions:)  It's like that small headache that reminds you to get your eyes checked.  Or that bone itching ache that reminds your fractures to rest and heal.

We gave up Netflix.  I have to admit it was becoming a distraction.  The house would go post-explosion.  My poor husband would go hungry into work at night.  I would sit on the couch and watch Netflix with my kids.  "At least we're together." is what I reasoned to myself.  Sure, we were in the same room, but we were hardly connecting.  Every one of us was staring at the electric boob tube entranced, until it was bedtime and supper was still yet to be on the table.  While its harder, I feel this Lent has helped us to move away from our electronic distractions and grow closer as a family.  We craft a lot more (we've already made Lenten windsocks, sacrifice mice, and bookmarks) and we read and pray and talk more.  It's these times that I hope my children will remember...

We are praying the family Rosary at night again.  What a difficult and most beautiful habit to get into.  What a peaceful way to calm us all and remind us of what's most important before we retire for the evening.  It's about building habits.  And relying on those habits.  Yesterday we were running late for Church...Again...Rather than bicker with my husband the entire ride to Church I grimacingly said a decade of the Rosary.  And then when that was over we started battling again over the power struggle of who was at fault...So of course we both started in on another decade.  If you can't speak peaceably, then at least make an attempt to pray peaceably.  It did help.  It was a good change of habit for us both.  And it began with our Lenten practice of saying the Rosary as a family.

How to navigate the ups and downs of life.  If we continue to clean and cook and feed and dress and kiss and discipline and teach and sew and bathe and bandage, you would think a routine would develop.  But it seems to be the routine of the unroutine in this house.  I start everyday with the best of intentions and end every day with the firmest of resolutions.  At least when a family life is centered around public school you have the routine of a bus route to keep you up on time every morning and home at the same time every afternoon.  We don't have that so we slip into school and we slip out of school and it seems very amorphous between meals.  I would love to have a definite start time and a definite end time.  I wonder if I'm alone in look up nonplussed that all of a sudden its lunchtime and I'm not even done with my Kindergartener's first subject?  And how do we fit in the music lessons and the sports and the personal hygiene and the personal time and fitness for mom...And the laundry and the dishes and the floors?  And I want to start a garden this year and maybe some chickens next year...How do I keep it all straight?  At this rate I can hardly keep a straight face!

Prayers are yours my dear readers.  And I'm hoping as we reach into the desert journey together that we offer some small Lenten sacrifices and prayers for one another.  I'd love to hear of your family Lenten traditions too!


  1. Walking right with you, sister! I had a lot of Lenten things lined up this year. As it stands, we have been sick since Ash Wednesday. All the daily masses and extra anythings have been set aside. This, apparently, is the Lent that God is happy for us to have and I'm taking it step by step. :) Thanks for sharing your days!

  2. Aw, Patty. It's such a struggle sometimes, eh? There are days I just don't feel like getting up because I know how much work awaits.
    I have found some help through a book called "A Mother's Rule of Life". (But I love books and reading, and am always looking for the next one that promises to improve my life!) :)
    Writing out what I have to do each day and giving it a general time has actually freed up my evenings, so I'd have to say it works for me. It's not for everyone. I guess it depends how much organization one feels a need for. I require much to keep my sanity. Others need less and seem just as happy!

  3. Hi Patty,

    If we could really accomplish all we intend we'd be super moms and super wives but that's not reality because life interrupts us too many times! Thank you for your honesty in your struggles... I'm with you too on that one. I like how instead of arguing with your hubby you pray a decade of the rosary. Good way to refocus what's important.

    Come on by my blog if you'd like a chance to win Jennifer's (Crafolic) game she created called Journey's End.