a Mary Moment Monday post

I do love my coffee. I once fasted from coffee for the entirety of Lent. It wasn’t easy, and I’m pretty sure I complained every single day. By the end of Lent, though, I was weaned, and I had learned an important lesson: fasting is good for me. Not fasting from bad language or mean actions, but fasting from food, something I like a lot.

Around Mother’s Day that year, I found out I was pregnant, and coffee was one of the things that sent me straight to the pukehouse. Couldn’t keep it down at all with that pregnancy. It seemed like no accident that I had felt so compelled to have it be my big Lenten sacrifice. All that fasting, in fact, seemed to suddenly have a purpose.

Lent is like that for me. It’s a training ground, though I don’t often appreciate it when I’m in the midst of it. I learn lessons that I don’t even know I’ve learned until much later.

This year, Lent doesn’t start until March…and here in the midst of the daily grind of February, I can feel that I need it. I’m plodding along, looking for joy, but I feel purposeless and drifting.

In fact, I feel ugly…not just because I need to get my hair done, but because I’m overdue for confession and I’m achy and ouchy. Long hours all around, lots on the family docket, much to think about and plan for and stress over…it’s all mixing together to make Ugly.

My solution has been to buckle down more and make getting up early to pray a non-negotiable. My morning shower, no matter what hoops I have to jump through to make it a reality (including, but not limited to, rewarding children with candy), is another non-negotiable.

This isn’t depression, not really–this is different than what I battled before (and still battle). Maybe it’s just that I need to look at my daily duties with a new perspective; maybe we’re still adjusting to the addition of another person (assuredly, we are); maybe it’s the armpit-of-winter effect.

Did Mary ever look at the day ahead and feel a cocktail of overwhelmed plus unimpressed? Did she hold her arms out to embrace the day, only to find them covered in…well, never mind? Was it lonely and crowded and confusing as she discerned God’s will and tried to follow it? Or is it just me?

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