Well, ladies (and perhaps the one random guy who stumbled here by mistake), it’s been two weeks since Ash Wednesday. How is your Lent going so far? I have mixed emotions about mine. As my kids would say “it’s kinda good and it’s kinda not.” There were a few days where I felt like I blew it but thankfully there is still plenty of Lent left to make improvements!
This morning as I was reflecting on the Blessed Is She devotion of the day, Joan was talking about the cross and seeing it as more than a decorative fixture in our house, but rather, as something that we live. But then I started thinking that sometimes we give ourselves crosses that God did not intend for us to carry. For example, the other day I woke up extremely tired because one of the kids was sick with a fever in the night and I was up taking care of them. I finally got back to bed and it seemed like moments later the alarm clock was ringing way too soon. This was a normal cross of motherhood. You take care of your babies and sometimes it leaves you sleep deprived but God gives you the grace to endure.
Another morning I also woke up extremely tired but that was not because of a sick child. Rather, it was because I was binge watching The Walking Dead to catch on episodes I missed. I went to bed way too late on a school night and the next morning I was tired and grumpy. That tiredness was a cross I then had to carry but I was never meant to. I was supposed to go to bed at the appointed hour and get a decent night’s sleep so I wouldn’t be acting like a Walking Dead myself the next day.
Is That Cross My Own Making?
As I considered this, other moments came to my mind with similar outcomes. One afternoon I was busy helping my in-laws and by the time I got home I was rushing around to get dinner on the table. I knew God wanted me to be a loving and helpful daughter-in-law at that moment and I’d just have to deal with the stress of getting dinner on the table in time. It was the sacrifice God was asking of me at that moment. Another afternoon, I was also rushing around frantic to get dinner on the table but that was because I spent way too much time on the computer when I was supposed to be cooking. That cross should never have happened. Instead my sacrifice should have been turning off the computer and getting my butt in the kitchen.
Or how about the day I was feeling ill because I came down with a flu bug? Sometimes illness is unavoidable. But what about the time I was feeling sick and run down because I was overindulging in junk food or desserts. That was not supposed to happen. Get what I’m saying?
Take a Second Look
So while there are unavoidable things in our lives that will go wrong or will be hard to deal with, sometimes it’s helpful to take a second look and ask ourselves if there’s something we can do to ease the chaos or lighten the cross. Are we overly stressed because we are mismanaging our time or over extending ourselves with outside activities? Are we upset that our husband isn’t pitching in yet we don’t actually tell him specifically how he can help us out and instead are resentful because he can’t read our mind? Are we running around crazy in the morning getting ready for school because we don’t have any kind of morning plan or order in place? Are we angry because there is so much stuff to organize and put away and we’re not dealing with the fact that we might just have too much stuff? Are we grabbing a pizza again because we failed to make a menu plan ahead of time? Are we going crazy at work or school because we are getting sucked into someone else’s drama?
Only you truly know your situation. You may be doing everything as well as you know how and life is still chaos simply because you have babies and toddlers running around the house. That’s pretty much comes with the territory. You are carrying the expected cross of motherhood. Or maybe you have a stressful job and you can’t really avoid it. Whatever the situation, it doesn’t hurt to ask God to show you if there are any areas in your life where things could be eased up a bit if you just changed a few things around or did something differently. That way we can put our energy into the following the path God gave us and not stray onto difficult roads that weren’t meant for us.
Well, here’s to a blessed rest of Lent! Keeping you in my prayers. Please remember me in yours. xoxo
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