Yes, a rare Saturday post. :) I'm actually working today, one of my required undesirable shifts. And the library is deader than a doornail, so I'm blogging.
We're on Lent day 4, and so far I'm loving it. I've been keeping up with my morning and evening prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours, and can I just say, I absolutely love those books. I have the full 4 volume set, and they're a bit pricey, so I acquired them one at a time as I needed them. Makes it much less daunting to spend about $35 a pop rather than well over a $100 for the full set at one time. I think I was able to get one individual volume on Amazon, but the others are all available individually from the Catholic Book Publishing Company.
It's just so, so soothing. To learn how to pray them, many years ago I purchased The Divine Office for Dodos. I'm going to be honest and say that I found the "dodo talk" grating after awhile (all right, I found it grating right away) but the content is top notch. So, based on my foundational knowlege of how to pray the hours, after I eat my breakfast and am having a quick cup of coffee while assuring that Anne does not tear the house apart, I pray the invitatory, and then morning prayer. I skip the hymn, because my singing is appalling. But I adore those little seasonal antiphons with the psalms (a perk to the 4 volume set, the antiphons are right there and are repeated at the end of the psalm, so less flipping) and my favorite parts are the reading, the intercessions and the final prayer, all found in the Proper of Seasons. They're all very targeted to the liturgical season but also to the time of day. Lots of hope and motivation for daily tasks in the morning, reflection and self-examination in the evening.
For evening prayer, I just carve out time in spurts wherever I can surrounding dinner preparation and clean up. So far so good.
And being at home since Ash Wednesday has been such a blessing. I had some comp. time coming, and my mother-in-law needed to have cataract surgery (she watches Anne for a few hours each day while Mike teaches) so I was glad to pitch in during the day when I would ordinarily be working.
And the time for reflection has proved fruitful. This Lent, I feel that God is calling me to let go of my fear of change and really pray about what is to come in my future. Certainly, my vocation is to my family, that always comes first. And my job is pretty important to the family right now, for the income and health insurance benefits. But I'm just wondering about the future. Maybe God has something else in mind for me one day to earn money? Maybe I could work from home? I have absolutely no idea. And I'm happy to be at my current job (and very grateful for it) for as long as we need me to be. But for the first time in as long as I can remember, it's been on my heart that God may ultimately have something else in store for me. I don't know what or when, but I don't need to worry about that. Everything will work out. Just like it did with Mike's career situation. I never would have thought that we could have him home as much as he is with the kids and not working full time, but there you have it. He is, and it's wonderful.
Being home with the children has been awesome. Granted, sometimes challenging:
"Mommy, want to hear how I can count to FIVE THOUSAND?!"
"Anne, please don't SUCK on the *grocery cart*!" (I swear, she learned this from her brother. I'm not germ phobic, but seriously. Let's be reasonable here.)
but it is very, very rewarding. Monday I return to the grind, alas. But next week I'll review my first selection of spiritual reading for this Lent, and it's one of my all time favorite Catholic works of non-fiction. And it is not a spiritual classic, because I'm going to be honest and admit that I'm weak and am just not spiritually advanced enough to concentrate on those for any length of time. I'm all about the personal stories. And this book fits that bill. I've also decided to purchase a new book (pretty rare these days, but we're ordering season 1 of Downton Abbey and we need just a bit more to get free shipping anyway :)) and I'm super excited.