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Perpetual Lent

When I brainstormed about what my Lenten sacrifice should be this year, the first thing that came to my mind was:

“I feel like I’ve been in a perpetual Lent for 10 years.”

Maybe it’s the weather and feeling so cooped up in my own house with a two year old tornado but I’m having trouble seeing the joy in all this.  I’ve already given up all sense of order and control in my life and certainly all personal space, not to mention decent sleep— I don’t feel like adding another sacrifice to my life right now.

I’m in a book club, and we just finished reading Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Our group was touched when the main character, Louisa, was scolded by her regimented father for saying “I wonder…” and we all instantly thought to our own children and experience of motherhood.

Am I leaving time in the chaos of this life for wonder?

Or am I so concerned with order that I deny them the ability to have freedom in my home?  Sadly, I don’t always see the wonder of my daughter’s dramatic play, which involves changing outfits from Elsa to Anna to Snow White to Pocahontas in one afternoon.

I don’t always marvel at my two-year olds curiosity for “spilling and filling” when he dumps over my finally folded baskets of laundry.

Last week, I turned on music in the kitchen while I was cleaning up.  My baby started jumping and dancing and I started dancing with him.  He wanted me to pick him up and dance so I did, and suddenly my eyes were filling with tears because I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed and danced with my baby.  I hugged him tight and vowed to do it more often.

So this year for Lent, I’m giving up my wishes for a more orderly household.

I’m giving up my anger at having to refold the laundry and hang up all the dresses again.  I’m giving up my resentment towards my kids for being kids.

This Lent, I’m also taking up a few new things. I’m taking up more time spent sitting on the dirty floor playing cards with my kids.  I’m taking up regular dance parties in my kitchen.  I’m taking up daily gratitude for the unbelievable life I have been given and for which I have done nothing to deserve.

Jesus, open my eyes, that I may see the wonders of your love.

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Kristen Hamill

Kristen Hamill teaches Natural Family Planning in Colorado with her husband, John. In addition to raising their four young children and working part time in a tearoom, Kristen teaches Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and is an avid runner, skier and healthy living enthusiast.

1 thought on “Perpetual Lent”

  1. Sounds like a perfect Lenten sacrifice!! Concentrating on what is really important. Your kids will go to heaven with you (hopefully and prayfully), but your house will not! I have grown children and their memories are interesting. Not one of them comments on the state of the house unless they are remembering my frustration.


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