How is Lent, ladies? My Lent hurts. Stressors are high, my daily physical and emotional loads increased, I caved and ate sugar. See, my oldest girl baked–twice. And after the second cake, I decided I had to try each of them. I mean, any kid baking is a pretty big deal. My oldest? A HUGE deal. Those cakes are goooooood. So, I tripped up. Fell. Failed, I suppose. Meh. I will give up sugar again/still for the rest of Lent.
Avoiding sugar is kind of a silly thing, though, especially if it is just for my health (which it is also good for). A fast without prayer and almsgiving loses its spiritual cleansing effect. So I have also been praying, but not so spectacularly, either. I have these great intentions, of getting up early, just 10 minutes early, to pray in silence. Then I hit snooze. Or I slip up and read email instead of Scripture. Or I just can’t muster to sit in silence at all. Yet, I keep trying. I haven’t given up on Lent, nor have I turned away from this journey of my life, geared towards Heaven.
Thank goodness Easter on March 27th is *not* the destination. I mean, it is a goal, and (hallelujah) for reaching Easter in less than 2 weeks, so we can rejoice and celebrate and indulge again. But Easter on the calendar is not the destination.
Nope. These days of Lent are a mere drop in the bucket of our great pilgrimage to the full-shebang, Easter-for-everyone, eternal celebration of LIFE in union with God. This Lent is refining us. We will rejoice and celebrate on Easter, and for many days after. We are an Easter people! Thank God for Easter, so we can taste a bit Heaven, experience a teeny bit of the amazing joy to come, and give us hope and strength to keep walking on this way.
You remember that Easter lasts for 50 whole days, right? Pentecost concludes Easter, and is effectively the birthday of the Church.
Soooo…what are you going to do to keep up the momentum? What will propel you once the sugar coma has passed and you’ve enjoyed (or regretted) indulging on whatever you gave up for 40 days?
I have an idea or two. Have a better one? Please share. I can use all the tips I can get. As Holy Week approaches, pray with me to choose the best way to keep the joy alive after Easter Sunday.
1- Leave up the Easter decorations, all the way until Pentecost.
2- Read Easter and Resurrection stories with your family. (the following links are affiliate links to Amazon.)
**Easter Bunny’s Amazing Day by Carol Benoist and Cathy Gilmore–a delightful tale that is a new favorite for us, gifted to my youngest from his Godparents
**Little Rose of Sharon by Nan Gurley is a beautiful tale of self-sacrifice
**The Legend of the Easter Egg by Lori Walburg tells the story of the hope we have in Jesus’ Resurrection, using the egg as a tool for teaching
**Easter Eggs for Anya by Virginia Kroll is new to us this year, about the tradition of decorating psanky eggs
**The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward is my childhood favorite, about the little bunny who dreamed of being an Easter bunny, and finally had her chance after raising a brood of little bunnies.
3- Keep working on a personal discipline. This pilgrimage ain’t over yet! A runner doesn’t stop training and eating healthy once they complete a race. They keep up the lifestyle. This is true for our spiritual lives! Keep your soul fit with constant nourishment and discipline.
4- Start a new book, about a saint, or one that helps with your spiritual life. Maybe the “33 Days to Merciful Love” consecration would suit you. I am enjoying it right now.
5- Keep praying! Build the foundations of a close relationship with Christ, by spending time with him.
6- Journal. I find that when I journal in prayer, my thoughts focus more on Christ. My time is deeper and better spent.
I cannot wait for the newest devotional from Blessed Is She and Colleen C. Mitchell, created just for the Easter season, On the Way: The Road to Pentecost. (affiliate link)
Let me know if you choose the devotional by Colleen. I’m really looking forward to it, and maybe we can discuss it here together!