Thursday, March 7, 2019

Getting Out of the Habit: Lent is the Time for Change, and Change Takes Time

Lent is always so eye-opening to me about my bad habits.  It has only been ONE DAY and I have reached for my phone to check the 'gram sooooo many times.  Gotta get out of the habit.

As soon as I got home from work and picking up the kids yesterday, I went straight to the pantry to see what candy I had stashed away for a quick pick me up.  Gotta get out of that habit too.

I am constantly surprised at how "trained" I am to do these things.  Even though I know they're not the best behaviors, I have done them so often that they are engrained in my lifestyle.  These small daily decisions have become ritual habits for me whenever I am bored or grumpy.

I have always wanted to treat Lent like it's some king of magical oasis where all of my bad habits are replaced by good ones and the change that occurs in that process is somehow easy and fun.  

We all know that's not how habits are changed and rearranged.  

Much like any athlete in training, it takes a while for a new routine to become the norm.  For a ridiculously hard workout to become easier. Sure, you may see Shalene Flanagan running in gazelle-like form at the Boston Marathon, but you didn't see all the times she struggled just to get out the door for a training run, or how she caved and ate the whole bag of chips instead of the kale, or even that time she collapsed.  

Nobody's perfect, and we all have things we need to work on.  Lent is that period of change, not the end result.  I think it's so easy to get defeated at some point during Lent, but just remember that Easter is the goal, and we have forty days to get there, thank God.  All of our sacrifices and small daily acts of penance will layer onto each other and soon we will have built a cathedral of good, healthy, holy habits that replace the old.  

We will fail, it will be hard, but, much like Jesus fell three times, we keep on picking up our crosses and trying again.  We didn't get ourselves into bad habits by making one bad choice, and we won't get into good habits by one good choice.  There's a reason it's called the Lenten JOURNEY.  Keep perservering and be kind to yourself (she says while looking in the mirror).  Lent is the time for change, and change takes time.


  1. Right there with you on the social media fast.. I actually started my fast from all that a few days before Ash Wednesday so that I was a little used to it by Ash Wednesday and more focused.

    1. Smart cookie. Gluten free, of course ;)

  2. Thanks. I needed this today.

  3. I wish I could find the exact quote, but I read something in In This House of Brede along the lines of "the purpose of penance is not victory, but surrender." It totally changed my perspective on this season.


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