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Friday, February 20, 2015

What I'm Doing for Lent this Year

They say that it's easier to stick to something if you tell someone else about it. And since I would feel funny telling most people I know in person about my Lenten plans, here goes. 

(I know that technically we're not supposed to brag about what we're doing. That's not what this is about. This is about hoping that making my plans public will help me keep at it). 

My goal for this Lent was to do something that would be beneficial for those around me, especially my husband. After deciding that forgoing sweets would help my waistline but little else - and might well increase my temper - I went with tackling my poor (as in, horrific) bedtime and morning habits. Aristotle said that the way to grow in virtue is by forming good habits. So if I want to develop the virtue of self-discipline, Lent is a great time to form new habits which, hopefully, I can carry with me after Lent is over. The way I picked these particular habits was that each of these are things that my husband has said time and again that he wishes I would do - and that I've said I wish could do if only it wasn't so inconvenient.


Habit Number One: Get up when the alarm clock goes off, as opposed to hitting snooze eight times.

Habit Number Two: Leave my phone off the bed, as opposed to playing Words with Friends when I'm supposedly "trying to sleep." 

Habit Number Three: Take a shower right after getting up, as opposed to moving my lurching body from bed to couch with little additional change.

Habit Number Four: Stop saying "sorry." 


The fourth one will actually be the hardest. I've gotten into the bad habit of saying "I'm sorry" reflexively, the minute I think someone might be the tiniest bit annoyed with me. The thought of fasting from it began in January with Laura's post about how saying you're sorry can be a sign of pride. (Guilty). This bad habit does damage in a lot of ways: to my marriage, to my self-perception, to my career, to my friendships. Best to nip it in the bud. 

What are your plans for Lent this year?

9 comments:

  1. Those are some great Lenten disciplines. I too struggle with that stupid, alluring snooze button. ;) I really like that you're picking your devotions based on things you know will be a gift to your husband as well as a self-discipline. That's so beautiful!

    My Lenten devotion this year is to go to daily Mass. I HATE getting up early, so I'm hoping this will help me fight my tendency to laziness and also work to help me improve my relationship with God. That's something I've been wanting to work on for quite a while but I've never gotten my butt in gear. Lent to the rescue!

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    1. Early mornings are my nemesis, totally with you there!

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  2. Those are noble goals and I know how tough they can be to tackle. So, you have my prayers and little cheerleaders on your shoulders.
    I am not promoting my blog, but the devotional I am reading, which I talk about there, called Roses Among Thorns, by St. Francis De Sales, is a WONDERFUL tool for Lent. This morning, for example, I read the daily reading and suddenly had the gumption to get out of bed (where I was comfortably reading and having coffee) and go to mass. I had planned to go, but when school was cancelled for the two high schoolers because of the cold, I lost my resolve. UNTIL I read that little reading, and suddenly, I really WANTED to go out in the -20 and walk five blocks. And I made it! AND asked the priest if he would hear my confession. I am so not bragging here. It was De Sales I tell you!
    I also recount my Lent plan there, cause of course it;s a long winded thing, haha. But for me, it's about more regularity and discipline in many areas, and dealing with my tendency to get crippled with guilt. Nothing big. :)

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    1. Is that "negative 20 degrees"? Yikes! And I thought it was cold at 38 degrees today!

      Francis de Sales is amazing! I love how much common sense he has. It's a relief to read, in An Introduction to the Devout Life, that regular folks can be just as Christian as priests and nuns. We assume that today (at least Protestants do), but back then it must have been like a lightning bolt to read that.

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  3. Heya. Stopping saying "sorry" is hard. I'll pray for your success. I'm giving up other people's approval for Lent. I blogged about it and you know where to find me as I see your comments on my blog. So know that they are read, but work is crazy right now. First time I've blogged in nearly three weeks!

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    1. Man, I get work being crazy! No worries.

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  4. Way to go on those! I leave my phone on a table far away from the bed. Or else I would never wake up. I used to be the words with friends person too. I was thinking about what I wanted to do for lent when the thought that I should pray for the people I disagree with popped into my brain. "Pray for Franklin Graham?" I think not. Which is a sure sign that you're supposed to actually do something. So I'm praying for friends and even public figures who I might disagree/struggle with. I cringe every day when that reminder goes off, but I think it's leading in a good direction.

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    1. What a great thing to do! Even though Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies it's so hard to do, and I often "forget." Pray for ISIS? Pray for the men who've sexually harassed me at college and work? Most of the time I fall so short of that.

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    2. Whew. Yeah. You and me both. It's unfathomably difficult. Just read an article about ISIS and thought the same thing.

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