Ash Wednesday we went to my parents' church for their 9am Mass. Our parish had Mass at 8am & I knew we'd never get everyone ready in time, even w/out all the snow we had. My dad was preaching the homily, which is always a treat for us. I've always LOVED his homilies.
Before Mass began, the organist came over asked if I would cantor if the music director didn't show up. It had been a long time since I'd done it, but I said I could. (Before the munchkins, I was very involved in the music program - this was the church I grew up in.) Thankfully I knew all the music. I did end up leading the first song & she arrived toward the end of it, late because of the snow. Now that I think back on this, I see that this is a partial answer to a prayer. I have been wanting to get back into music ministry at church, but right now, w/ the munchkins still being so young, it is not a good time.
For some reason, I was very irritable the rest of the day. To me, it seemed like the ashes I received had the opposite effect on my personality. I wanted to stop yelling this Lent, but I found myself yelling even more than usual. Plus, the munchkins we very misbehaved throughout the day - disobeying, fighting w/ each other, bouncing off walls, etc. Thankfully, they were good during Mass.
Yesterday, I was still irritable. Why? I do not know. I decided to add another part to my Lenten ideas...for each time I yell at the munchkins, I will put a quarter into our rice bowl for Catholic Relief Services. So far, today has been much better. I've only had to put in one quarter!
Simplicity is the word I am trying to focus on for this season. Following is a list of the other practices I am doing for this Lenten season:
- reading a Lenten reflection booklet at night
- reducing my blog reading time to Thursdays & Sundays
- no Facebook (Maybe by the time Lent is over, FB will have gone back to its old way...I DO NOT like the new changes!)
- RECONCILIATION (it has been WAY TOO LONG for me)
These are some of our family practices:
- Friday Stations of the Cross (either at church or using the Stations of the Cross box I made last year)
- Sundays for family time only (Other than a few previous commitments, if we go anywhere, it has to be together.)
- using a Lenten family devotion booklet in the evenings
- 40 Bags in 40 Days (I may not get rid of 1 bag each day, but I WILL get rid of at least 40 bags by Easter!)
Overall, I think this is doable for our family. I pray that you & your families have a beautiful, prayerful Lenten season. You are all in my prayers!