Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Expectant Lent

Lent draws near and I feel it while wiping down the kitchen on a Monday night...unprepared.  I start the dishwasher and leave the pots and pans drying on the counter before flopping down on the couch, exhausted.   I'm not ready for Lent.

At 34 weeks pregnant, I'm not ready for this new baby.  The crush of each day bears down on me and I hardly get my breath before another begins.  But Lent ends right at my due date and I'm not ready for either.

In the past, I've given up sweets or coffee.  I've focused on deeper, more frequent prayer, specific intentions, growing my faith.  This year, I'm growing another person and in the midst of deep pelvis pain, sleepless nights and aching back, I can't seem to focus on anything else.  When I hardly have the energy to live our very basic, simple life, I realize it: I don't have the energy for Lent this year.  Babies, like faith, are easier when living on the inside, in a dark and secret place, held carefully and quietly.  It's when they are on the outside that things begin to get tough.

Truth be told, it snuck up on me.  Lent means more this year - it means forty short days before I am supposed to somehow be ready.  Maybe that is what is so hard for me to acquiesce to...that it's time to slow down and accept.  That it's time to draw in, to reach up.  That, perhaps, is what God calls me to this year:  it's time to settle in and prepare.

So for this Lent, I'm gestating.  Growing a baby inside and using these 40 days to allow myself to rest there.  The temptation to take it all on and dash from one thing to the next is strong with me, so my Lenten path will be to let it be, and fully be in the space that God has placed me at this moment in time.  With every pop of my hip and ache of my back, I'll be reminded to pray gratitude for His sufferings and for the new life He gives.

Do you participate in Lent?

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  1. I am giving up shopping. You know that I like the simple act of browsing shelves and knowing what is out there. Giving up shopping is good for me because it means making more selective choices. I will also take something new on. Not sure what yet.

  2. When I was growing up Lent was a big deal in our Catholic house, but now married and running our own household that's more blended in religious backgrounds we are more lax and honestly I'm thankful. I like the idea of enjoying church and family and time and just soaking in meaning <3

  3. I think you have chosen the perfect way to move through the Lenten season.

  4. I cannot think of a more perfect way to spend the season of Lent - growing a new life. Enjoy this special time and make lots of time for rest and relaxation (if you can!) Thank you for your blog - your words are comforting, encouraging and inspiring.

  5. We do celebrate Lent as well. This year, I am on the opposite side of your equation - we just had a freshly born (or at least it still feels that way) baby boy. He just reached the three month mark and keeps us very busy in addition to my other two. I feel the need to pare down and to refocus and to gain simplicity. Small sacrifices have been planned as little reminders throughout the day to turn my focus on God (no sugar in the coffee, removal of a social apps on the phone). Attending Stations of the Cross each Friday to remind our family of where we are headed throughout the season of Lent, and also that Resurrection and redemption await us. Also, this year we have a little boy making his first Reconciliation so we will all make sure to attend Confession as well to cleanse our own souls as he learns the importance of gaining Grace through this new sacrament. Life feels full, but also mindful this Lent. I can only pray we will grow in our Faith and our efforts will bear good fruit.

  6. Lydia, I was where you are last year. I was pregnant with Teddy and truth be told I barely remember Lent or Easter. Yes, I think it's important to embrace stillness and simplicity and survival! Love your blog by the way ;)

  7. "my Lenten path will be to let it be, and fully be in the space that God has placed me at this moment in time."
    I appreciate this b/c my word this year is "be." I don't have anything planned for Lent, although I am hoping to be consistenly in the Word, and to also be more intentional about reading the Bible to my little boys. We did that for Advent, and I know I need to keep at it. Lent is a good reminder.


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