Today is officially the first day of Lent, although I have been observing since last Wednesday, knowing that this weekend I will probably be "breaking Lent" (http://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2017/02/an-early-lent.html)
My early Lent has been challenging. I've had days when I've really wanted a glass of wine. (I'm the mother of a tween; need I say more?) I've longed for chocolate treats. (And treated myself to the new Peeps Oreo Cookies. Not as horrible as you might think. Certainly not as bad as some people have claimed on the internet. However, those internet mavens are correct in the result that these Oreos have on your saliva when you brush your teeth as well as what the dye does to digestive waste. They are quite yummy in my book if not chocolate. Of course what I've really craved are the Chocolate Strawberry Oreos that would only be improved if they were actually covered in chocolate so that you got chocolate, Oreo cookie and then the strawberry filling. Perhaps I should not have said that as just writing it makes my longing worse!) But more importantly, I've tried to be more mindful. Not doing too well on that one, but am working on it.
A good example of that was on Sunday when my son irritated me to no end and if you ask me what he did, I can't answer, so obviously it wasn't of any real importance. Nonetheless, I really got a bee in my bonnet. He was outside playing at the time and I was tempted to have him come in and yell, but instead I did something better. I grabbed my headphones and went for a walk. Not a long one. Just one that would give me some time to cool down and come up with a reasonable and rational solution. After 20 or so minutes I did. When I got home, I got on the computer and started to type up a new "schedule" for my son (he'd put one together previously but never really got anywhere with it) and then wrote 10 "rules" for him AND our family. Most importantly, before we had a family meeting where I reviewed all of them, I handed it off to my husband to review. To my credit (and his), I took his one revision/criticism to hard and revised. Then we sat down together and rationally discussed.
I've got to try to do that more often this Lent. To be mindful and not let the emotions of the moment get to me. (Actually I need to do that ALL the time!) To quote me (!) I need to focus this (and every Lent) on giving UP and giving.
Perhaps it is best put in the following that was shared with me by a good friend (and fellow church choir member). We're not exactly sure who to credit it this too; they may be the words of William Arthur Ward, but unfortunately neither of us is completely sure. Whoever wrote this got it spot on:
"Lent is a season that calls us:
to fast from discontent and to feast on gratitude;
to fast from anger and to feast on patience;
to fast from bitterness and to feast on forgiveness;
to fast from self-concern and to feast on compassion;
to fast from discouragement and to feast on hope;
to fast from laziness and to feast on commitment;
to fast from complaining and to feast on acceptance;
to fast from lust and to feast on respect;
to fast from prejudice and to feast on understanding;
to fast from resentment and to feast on reconciliation;
to fast from lies and to feast on the truth;
to fast from wasted time and to feast on honest work;
to fast from grimness and to feast on joy;
to fast from suspicion and to feast on trust;
to fast from idle talk and to feast on prayer and silence;
to fast from guilt and to feast on the mercy of God.”