Tag Archives: Lent

7QT Return, Ta DAAA!

With my whole social network fasting apparently I have more time to blog…who knew???  So, I’m jumping back in with the tried and true at Conversion Diary with Jen and her peeps…of course, I’m not #1 like Grace, but she’s a new mom again and clearly not sleeping anyway…so go check ’em all out…

1.  Fresh into Lent, folks…Fresh.  Into.  Lent.  You know what that means, right?  All those sacrifices and desires to help more, pray more, do more, etc are FRESH and “technically” two days in we should be going strong.  Ammiright??  Riiiiight, so remember…no meat today. And if perhaps, halfway through that double with cheese you remember “ACK…it’s Friday!!!”, just start over.  We are imperfect people, God knows this.  His joy is in our TRYING to do better.  And when we screw up, dust ourselves off and try again….that’s what we can choose to do.  So, in the classic words of Dori from Finding Nemo…”just keep swimming”!

2.  What did you give up for Lent?  Perhaps you are instead focusing on praying and have some plans of monastic retreat or super fasting to add some oomph to your prayer life,  or maybe working in the soup kitchen or homeless shelter….what’s the plan, Stan?  I gave up Facebook and Twitter.  It’s quite freeing and I actually look forward to this each Lent.  Now, you might say, but “Tracy, your blog shows up on Twitter?”  Yes, it’s set that way automatic, but I am not CHECKING said Twitter account.

3.  Did you get your ashes?  We did.  I must say it was practically WW3 getting there.  A serious force of crazy, crappy, grumpy, tempers came over our household IMMEDIATELY prior to leaving.  We persevered anyway and let me say, people….GOD prevailed.  Oh yes he did defuse that 13 yo, 15 yo and 2 young ladies who readied themselves in their Mass finery only to see EVERY to the ONE was in their regular clothes (including yours truly, fresh off the JOB train in her scrubs).  Hubs took everyone home after the distribution of ashes and I stayed to wait for our 7th grader to take him home after his RE class.  We came home to fish and chips awaiting.  (AKA, fish sticks and fries)  God is good.  All the time.  All the time.  God is good.  

4.  Ash Wednesday I also went to Adoration (a weekly Lenten practice for me this year).  Unknowingly, I arrived during the church’s Mass celebration, therefore the Eucharist was not in the chapel, but in the church.  ENNYWAY….I still prayed the Rosary and intentions and fully enjoyed my quiet time.  If you have noise in your life (you don’t need to be a parent for this) you should take time to go to Adoration…shoot, even if you’re not Catholic….just go…it is AWESOME.  Peace, quiet.  Total gift.  I’d live there if I could.  Really.  Logistically though, just not going to work.

5.  Saved me some cash this week.  Went in to quit the gym, just not feeling it, and I’ve been working out at home (not this week so much…but mostly-ish) but they love me so much they comped me 2 months and lowered my monthly rate to $5.  Sheesh, alright.  I’ll come back.  $5, c’mon.  Who CAN say no to that???

6.  Along with my social fasting, weekly Adoration visit and prayer intentions….I am also trying to focus on some spiritual reading.  This week I finished C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters”…wow.  wow.  wow.  If you haven’t read it….do it.  Next up…”Visions of the Children” by Janice Connell.  And continued reading of Saint Faustina’s Diary (although that is taking YEARS.  Literally.  YEARS!!  tremendously rich reading.  small bites only)

7.  Finally, if you read yesterday’s post on our little Romeo and his Valentine’s flower promise…I’ll tell you how it went:  He made his first deposit to his math teacher (who, although killing him, has been incredibly helpful and challenging) and from then on out had “hordes” of ladies following him around for roses. He had them labeled and did have a couple extra (to which I was also a recipient….smart boy!)…but he admitted at dinner that it was an impossible task to please all the ladies on Valentine’s Day.  Not to mention expensive.  He’s a mess that one.  A sweet mess.  **For all you Bachelor fans out there….I asked him if he was prepping to do a teen Bachelor and he was unaware of the show/concept etc….PHew.  I don’t watch either, but have the gist of it from some of you…who will remain nameless for the obvi reasons.

Have a great week y’all and enjoy the weekend!!!  We won’t be shoveling snow…thank you, JESUS…but will be wearing jeans and hoodies this weekend here in Central FLA.  Brrr.  High of 50ish tomorrow.  Yikes!!  😉

Ash Wednesday

“All are from the dust, and to dust all return”  

Ecclesiastes 3:20

And so it is the time of year where “we” will sacrifice, pray and serve.  All three take many forms and there is no “wrong” way to do any;  it is a HEART choice and a active decision in seeking a closer relationship with Christ. 

I’ll take my annual sabbatical from Facebook (and this year, Twitter).  It’s generally a little weird the first day or so, but absolutely freeing and by Easter I contemplate deactivating it all, except that I love the pictures too much;  kids grow so fast!!!

I’ll also spend more time in Adoration.  Feel free to send my your prayer requests in comments, anon or otherwise 😉

We will serve.  Wherever a need arises, it’s not a hard and fast decision.  It’s not black and white.  The opportunity to serve others is always present, we will just be more mindful of that during these 40 days.

And so, even though it is a not a holy day of obligation, we will receive ashes tonight as a reminder……visible….tactile….spoken

He died for us, so we might live. 

2 Corinthians 5:15

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It’s almost here…..

Lent, that is.  The week started off with a bang with Pope Benedict’s announcement of retirement/abdication/stepping down (listen, call it what you will…we are all a little confused, it’s been 600/700 years since this has happened, the protocol is a little hazy); anyway Lent is among us.  A time to sacrifice, pray and serve others being mindful of WHY Christ came to us as a mere MAN and rejoicing in God’s ultimate sacrifice for us and the hope and joy of Easter that sacrifice brings.  Add to this 40 days (Monday through Saturday, people…every Sunday is a mini-Easter) we have Spring….absolutely my favorite time of year.

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Tweet by Matt Swaim…have you read his book,”Prayer in the Digital Age”, it’s a good read, so timely in this technological era we live in.

And so, the big dinner talk last night and to be continued tonight is, “What are you going to give up?”  Young minds are busy working on their strategy, preparing to receive ashes Wednesday night, no meat on Fridays and an influx of fish sticks to the freezer.

As for me, my sacrifice will be giving up Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll also be heading to Adoration once a week, in which I invite you to send me any prayer requests.  I did that a couple of years ago and it was quite fruitful.  As for acts of service, I’m still discerning.

However, the whole “giving up FB and Twit” generally gives me more time to blog as well as increased quality (IMHO) of blogging…go figure.

Happy Fat Tuesday y’all.  Enjoy those pancakes and king cakes, for tomorrow the journey begins!

Blessings!!

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Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday.  Onset of lots of extra people in church.  (JK, but true!)  Beginning of Holy Week.

Jesus enters Jerusalem lauded and anticipated as the possible Messiah with welcoming adoration of  “Hosanna”.  Before the week’s end the same crowd will call for His death, “Crucify him!  Crucify him!”. We are fickle people.  Repeating the same steps, day in, day out.  2000 years later.  Joyful anticipation of Easter, Resurrection Sunday.  Deaf to how He calls us to live our life.  To walk the Talk.  Living out our faith beyond the pew.  Accepting our differences.  Forgiving our faults.  Encouraging those mustard seeds to take root and offer rest and shade to all who are weary as that seed blooms to the giant tree.  Before we celebrate the empty tomb, the Risen Lord, we must experience the betrayal, the condemnation, the pain and suffering and the Death of Jesus.  On a Cross.  Obedient unto death.  So that we may live.  So that we may receive the strength, courage, grace and hope to make it through this life with the hope of Heaven when these days are over.   It’s a tough week.  It’s a powerful ending.

Many blessings as we enter into this holiest of weeks.  And, as the Pope said in his Palm Sunday message,May Palm Sunday be a day of decision for you, the decision to say yes to the Lord and to follow him all the way, the decision to make his Passover, his death and resurrection, the very focus of your Christian lives. ”

Heading into Holy week….almost!

— 1 —

One week until Good Friday.  WOW!  I wish I had more “spiritual growth” to report for Lent, but honestly, the biggest changes have come this past week.  Which is the hope anyway, right?  That WE do grow closer to Christ during this solemn time.  I guess my expectations are always bigger than reality, maybe I’m waiting for my own personal “burning bush” moment and need to recognize the smaller daily miracles.  What can I say?  I am a work in progress, let’s hope it’s forward motion though.

— 2 —

We received a sweet Easter “basket” yesterday from my Mom.  The kids LOVED it!! (thanks, Mom) and I promptly put up my Easter dish towels which reminded me I have a cabinet full of Easter decorations that I need to put up, as well as get the kiddos baskets taken care of this week.  I still can’t believe Easter is almost here.  Wow!

— 3 —

Three good workouts in this week.  Two with my girlfriend and one by myself.  Even ventured into the “man area”…you know where the men hog the equipment.  Yep.  I owned it.  Sauntered over like I knew what I was doing (well, I actually did know what I was doing).  Today I pay the price.  But it’s good.  I like my muscles to speak to me.  And it’s a great feeling to have my clothes looser on me.  And for some fun you can check out this blog of all the people you see in the gym, or this blog (my new favorite for motivation) for great fitness tips and inspiration….

— 4 —

Sadly, I had a knee issue this week.  So frustrating.  After almost 18 months of fabulousness, I had some serious swelling and pain after working legs.  I didn’t feel anything while working out, but definitely right after working out.  Something was tweaked.  The GOOD news is, after several days of taking it easy, ICE, elevation and some Alleve, it is way better today with greater range of motion and decreased swelling.  Phew.  Anytime I can stay out of my ortho’s office is a good day.  And when I can avoid another surgery, even better!!

— 5 —

I finished two books this week.  Made to Crave.  Simply a SUPERB book focusing on all the things we often try to fill our “God-shaped hole” with, especially with food.  And things to think about as to WHY we eat when we eat, etc, I simply cannot say enough about how wonderful this book was and what a great Lenten companion.

I also finished Mockingjay.  What.  A Ride.  No spoilers here.  A depressing series (I mean it IS based on a post-Apocalytpic time), however, the action was riveting.  I’m glad it’s done.  I want to read silly, happy stuff now.  Waiting on Hubby to finish so we can go see it with our son, who also read the books.  It KILLED him (son) that he finished first and could NOT discuss the book with me since I was still reading it.  And yes, I cried.  I’m a tender heart.

— 6 —

I am officially part of the Pinterest community.  My daughter’s art teacher told her about it for making some bracelets, so BOOM.  We’re in.  I’ve been avoiding it forever.  I still don’t understand it.  I am completely overwhelmed.  There is nothing on my site except two panda pictures (quite adorable)–they are on my daughter’s board.  Really?  What do I do with this?  I’m sure there is some usefulness to it, but I’m not really sure.  Care to educate me??  Please??  Thanks.

— 7 —

I am starting the “Mary, Undoer of Knots” novena today.  Will take me to Holy Saturday.  I wanted something to really focus on during this last week of Lent.  I did it a few years ago and it was a wonderful novena and a fruitful time.

Have a great weekend, and as always, join in with Jen and many, many others to see their Quick takes!!  Click on the link below!  Blessings!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!