It's Sunday evening. We spent the frigid afternoon in the concert hall for a harp recital and our piano teacher's duet recital (one piano, four hands). My husband is explaining adding and subtracting negative numbers to Sunshine. The Little Prof is building bridges with his K'Nex set. The Eldest is catching up on Killer Angels, her history reading. I am blogging before heading to bed to make serious headway with The Betrothed. The Little Princess, after memorizing The Duel, requested a stuffed gingham dog and a calico cat. I commissioned a friend for this project and she was all too happy to oblige, so I am also making arrangements to host this talented lady for lunch because she would like to hand-deliver them. My Little Prince is entering a phase of resisting bedtime and is puttering around in his fleecy monkey PJs. His new favorite books are Katy and the Big Snow and Andy and the Lion. I read a chapter of The Giver to the big kids. Kind creepy, but this is a work that lends itself well to discussion.
(By the way, I've been fielding questions from several moms about our experience with MODG this year. I may get around to writing a blog post about it, but if I don't, feel free to email me. I think my email is somewhere in my "about" information.)
My amazing Aunt Marilyn passed away, my mother's older sister. I would have loved to have known her better. What a life well lived! She was of the generation who still wrote little notes by hand in her Christmas cards and I always appreciated her words of encouragement. Please keep her and her family in prayer.
We embarked on our Lenten journey Wednesday with a trip to the city for Mass & ashes. I still remember one Ash Wednesday years ago when we didn't make it to the evening Mass due to my dropping the whole casserole dish of mac & cheese on the floor and burning my hands. I try to be more careful now.
My kids must have watched me with admiration earlier this month when I did a Whole 7. Evidently one of them made up her mind to do a Whole 40 for lent without forewarning. And here I thought I would be more relaxed for Lent in order to make cheap & simple meatless meals like baked potatoes, pasta, and bean soups. Today when Fr. warned us not to take on penances that would be a sacrifice for others I glanced down the pew with a grin at the one who was all set to forego grains, dairy, sugar, and beans. Whatever you do, kids - make it easy for mom to accommodate!
My 7yo resolved not to have anything to drink but water. Thoughtlessly, I ordered artisan root beer with our Friday night Pizza-Luce-delivered-to-MacPhail. She remembered her resolution too late - after her first big gulp. Oops. Bless her little heart.
Then there's my other child. The one whose Lenten penance is to not complain about everyone else's Lenten penance. I get that.
A few weeks ago I joked with Fr. about how early we had to get up when we were relocated to another parish during our church's fire restoration - that if I could do that before Lent even began then I might look into ordering a hair shirt this Lent. His reply? "You don't need a hair shirt, you have Joe."
And he has me.
I'll do my best not to be such a hair shirt this Lent.
From the Imitation of Christ:
There are times when we must use violence and courageously resist our sensual appetite, having no regard for the likes and dislikes of the flesh; but rather, making sure that the body, despite it's protests, becomes subject to the spirit. It must be chastised and compelled to serve, until it is ready to obey in all things what the soul commands, and until it learns to be content with little, to delight in simple things and not to complain at any inconvenience.