I've been thinking about the approach of Lent this week. It's less than 2 weeks away. Ironically, my birthday is the day following Ash Wednesday, but we won't dwell on that right now :)
I'm slowly formulating my plans for this year's Lenten journey. One of the items that I traditionally give up is my beloved Diet Coke/Coke Zero. This year, I decided that I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to focus on adding in disciplined behaviors and other spiritual practices. I'm trying to mix it up a bit :)
These are my plans so far:
(1) Go pescatarian. I did this last year, and I enjoyed the discipline involved in finding meatless dishes for the entirety of Lent. I'll post some recipes throughout, for anyone else who chooses to go this route. Prepare yourself for lots of beans, veggies, and seafood.
(2) Cover my hair at Mass. Very excited about this one, as you well know. My head coverings have not yet arrived; I read on Garland of Grace's website that they custom make everything after you place your order, so it'll be another week, probably. However, they should arrive right in time for Ash Wednesday.
(3) Generally try to pray more and offer all of my daily tasks up for a higher good.
(4) Get out of bed earlier in the mornings. This one sounds frivolous, but it really will be a sacrifice for me. And it'll instill good behavioral changes.
(5) Spiritual reading. I'm compiling my reading list now, and I'll post it next week.
It should be a good Lent, and I'm looking forward to it. I will of course post pictures of the new head coverings when they arrive. In other news...
Last night, I was working on finishing the hat I'm knitting for Mike. I'm on the crown decreases, and really wanted to finish. I found that once you decrease your stitches on circulat needles, you create a big problem for youself, which is that the stitches sttrrreeeetttccchhh along the length of the needle cord and you can barely knit in them anymore. I had to put it down and wait to consult with my lunchtime knitting group here at work. They'll swoop in to my rescue :) My friend Karen is already armed with double pointed needles to save the day. The hat is turning out pretty well, all things considered. There's some mistakes in it, but most of them are covered up by the large cuff. And it's hand knit with love, so I know he'll like it :)
In the midst of my knitting last night, my sister Shauna'h called me. I was surprised to hear from her, as we usually talk during the day instead of in the evenings, plus she's on vacation visiting her in-laws. She wanted to talk about something going on in her life right now that is proving to be very difficult and upsetting, and I was happy to listen. Mike was upstairs reading to Hank and putting him to bed, so I settled in.
From the start of the conversation, I could tell that she was putting on a brave front, so I encouraged her and stayed upbeat. Pretty soon however, talking about the painful situation got to her and she started to cry. Me being me, the real emotional stoic *snorts*, I started to cry too. By the time Mike came down, we were both crying and my knitting was in shambles.
Mike is an only child, and so he always finds my interactions with my siblings to be a fascinating sociological study. I have 2 sisters, and so *emotion* has always been a strong force in our relationships. When it comes to my sisters, especially Shauna'h, who is the youngest sister, I have a serious soft spot. I honestly think that my worry over her situation has contributed to my blue mood this week. She's just so very dear to my heart.
I did my best to cheer her up and encourage her, and hopefully I'll get an update from her today. It seems like lately just about everyone is experiencing something in their life that is challenging. Hopefully, we will all move closer to Christ this Lent, and He will soothe us in our time of need.