Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Looking at Lent from a Different Starting Point

Raise your hand if you feel tired, run down, drained, depleted both physically and emotionally.

Survey says: 9 out of 10.

Oh wait, 10 out of 10 agree, that lady in the back just nodded off for a minute.

Now, answer me this....are you taking care of yourself?

Are you?

Not in the I'm-selfish-and-my-needs-come-first type of way.  But in the unselfish-I-need-to-be-healthy-and-happy-to-be-successful-as-a {wife, Mom, worker, teacher, sister, friend}.

I exercise 6 days a week for my mental health, I get 9 hours of sleep most nights for my physical health, and I spend time with my children and husband whenever possible for my emotional health.  So those are the pluses.

The minuses are: I don't eat healthy all the time, I don't have girl friend time, besides morning Mass and prayer with the kids, I don't make time for much of a prayer life.

When I write it out like that, I can clearly see the areas I need to be focusing on for Lent.  In fact a good holy priest just told me that I should use my lunch break to eat, then have spiritual reading for 10 minutes followed by prayer/mediation/reflection for 10 minutes.  It's good advice, and I need to follow it.  I have a couple more ideas to help me along as well.  Nothing too hard but just enough to push me out of my comfort zone.

I usually view Lent as a time to give up what I like or what makes me happy.  But I think this year, I'm feeling a stronger urge to pause, take an honest assessment of life at the moment, and find a weak spot or two that could use some tweaking.  This will require discipline, sacrifice, facing and beating temptations, and growing closer to Our Lord.  Sounds like a fruitful Lent.  And by fruitful, I mean hard :)


  1. And this is why I am thankful I added you to my dashboard, dear have the uncanny ability to read my mind. Fate or Divine Intervention? Whatever you want to call it, I am on board this Lent... : )

  2. once in a confession, my priest told me that for Lent my penance was I need to put myself first and take care of me. It is advice that it is hard to follow when you have so many things on your plate.

  3. Great post Colleen. I always have a ton of goals for lent...too many. Both giving up and doing extra. I need to write it all down and figure out what works best.

  4. OH, yeah, and it's a great reminder that no matter where we are in life, we can always use improvement in our life with God.

  5. I have been struggling with what to do for Lent...this definitely speaks to me! THANK YOU!!!!

  6. Lent is in the air BIG TIME this week. It's going to be a fruitful, I can already tell. But oh! it's gonna hurt...

  7. I like this. Food for my brain and soul.

  8. Nice post Colleen! I have been thinking of all week of my lenten sacrifice! And I think... This year I am going to give a little of myself.. Thanks for sharing..

  9. Yes, this is so, so hard to do! To find that balance of taking care of ourselves and taking care of others. One thing I really strive to do on a daily basis is read from the Gospels. In Matthew Kelly's "Rediscover Catholicism" he talks about the importance of reading from one of the 4 Gospels every single day. None of that "read through your bible in a year" business...just read and meditate on something from the Gospels each day. So much more doable than things I've tried in the past!

  10. Hi Colleen. I find it hard to do all things at all times. When one thing is great another always seems to suffer.

    I just sat and wrote out my Lenten plans. I really needed it. I'll blog it but only to give another person ideas, if they want them.

    I hesitate because I myself have to not see what everybody else is doing because it's not always what I'm really being asked to do.'ll be there later.

  11. Excellent post as I just came up with two things in the last two hours that I need improvement on. I think I'll be keeping things simple again this year and working harder on a few things than a multitude of them. I've had that 'something's gotta give' feeling over the last few weeks, so maybe some changes during lent will be a good focus.
    And yes, it's gonna be hard. And fruitful.


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