Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finding joy in Lent

It has been quite a while since I have written. When we were in Mexico I found out that I was pregnant with another baby (I thought it was food poisoning and made my husband take me to the clinic- denial much?) Our trip was fantastic and the boys' baptism was absolutely beautiful. I do have pictures to upload but I am very sad that I did not take my Nikon so the quality of the pictures is not what they could have been.

Since the trip we have found out that this baby is a boy. We are thrilled- I think some friends and family are disappointed because I hear, "Oh, I really wish you were having a girl" more often than I would like to admit. I am so excited we are having another boy- we know how to do boys and God knows what He is doing.

So, Ash Wednesday started last week. We went to 2 great services (one at our Catholic parish and then another service at the wonderful Lutheran church across the street). The priest focused on the goals of lent and why we give up what we give up. He broke it down nicely and said that Lent is about making relationships better:

1) Self denial (giving up something you like) to help increase your relationship with yourself.
2) Alms giving (or acts of charity) to help increase your relationship with others.
3) Increase prayer/study time to help increase your relationship with God.

At the Lutheran Church the pastor focused on prayer and broke down the Our Father. I love praying this prayer in its entirety but also as a guide of how to pray in my daily life. Both services were excellent and I learned quite a bit from both.

So, for this Lent I have decided to decrease my internet time. I don't think that giving up tea or coffee is going to get me any closer to God this year but actual "time" activities will. I have also began working on my Daily Offices from a couple of books and doing my daily readings from the Catholic church. As far as alms giving, I have been very open and really concentrating on what I can do to help others. So far, it is going well.

Tonight is our Rite of Election. How special to remember that we went for our blessing from the Archbishop on a Leap Year. We all have our sponsors/padrinos/madrinas who are coming with us to the Cathedral in Seattle and after this, we will be able to have First Communion and the other sacraments during Easter Vigil.

This journey to the Catholic Church has been so amazing and wonderful. It has really opened up my eyes to notice that the Church is very active in so many aspects of social justice. It has also opened up my eyes to the will of God because those of you that know me, know that I would have never made this step into the Church without guidance from God. In fact, when I married my husband I told him, "You can try and change many things about me but don't you EVER try and change my religion!" Well, he didn't- God did and I don't see it as a religion change (after all- Catholic means "universal church" and, of course, it is 1 of 3 branches of Christianity) but a place of worship change instead. It has been so exciting to see my family grow together. It has also been a wonderful thing to have the boys see their daddy get involved and be an example. I was alone for many years and it feels so good to worship as a family.

I am hoping to get some pictures up of the boys' baptism eventually. Meanwhile- I wish you a happy Lenten season!

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