Lenten plans

Like every other Catholic, I’ve been thinking about what  I would abstain from during Lent this year.

Chocolate, coffee, meat… all serious options for me this year. Well, not so much chocolate. I don’t eat it that much. But coffee and meat, those make up the bulk of my diet. (well, kind of)
I want to do something challenging, but I also don’t want to be crabby at  eating only vegetables for the entire time. I gave up meat in 2011. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but I wasn’t eating Paleo back then either. Beans and rice and grains were OK, so I was OK. Now I couldn’t go back to a grain-based diet, so cutting meat is not an option for me. At least not right now.
Giving up coffee would be a good challenge for me, except I just gave it up for January… so, I talked myself out of that. And, anyway, I didn’t even make espresso this morning because I didn’t have make time for it. I had a really early meeting and I just didn’t want to get up earlier to make coffee.
(So, I bought a sugar-full cup of cappuccino at a gas station. Bad decision, though it was tasty.)
Anyway, I haven’t really made an effort of alms giving in my past Lenten observation, so I wanted to do something with that this year. I know there have been words spoken about how CRS does it’s charitable work, but I’m going with them anyway, in solidarity with the church.
They give out those rice bowls at Ash Wednesday service, and I’m actually going to use my this year.
I decided to give up… complaining. That’s right, no more, “Oh, it’s so cold, this sucks,” or “I hate spinach.”
When I make a complaint, I’m going to put a nickel in. When my roll of nickels is gone, I’m going to start with dimes. Hopefully, by the end of Lent, I’ll still have some dimes left, and I’ll be doing something instead of just complaining.
For example, here’s what will happen:
Walking to my car… oh, no, I have to scrap the frost off because it was so cold last night.
Nickel in the rice bowl. And I pray for those who don’t have cars and gratitude that I do have a car.
Hopefully, it works out like that.
I’ll be letting my coworkers and my boyfriend know the situation, so if they catch me complaining I’ll be accountable.
I’ll be adding a Rosary (I did this a few Lents ago), in the mornings with my cup of coffee. I’ll make the coffee and pray. And if I have meetings, I’ll pray in the evenings. If I’m going to Mass, I’ll pray there.

Birthday review

I did make it to Mass for my birthday Friday. I went to a small chapel with some discalced Carmelite friar celebrating the Mass. There was also a whole family of secular Carmelites in front of me with scapulars and all. Beautiful.
Then my boyfriend took me out to dinner. Then we went ice skating for the first time ever!!!
That’s right, I, at 26 years old (and counting) had never been ice skating before. Of course, my boyfriend was pretty skilled at it. He’d done when he was still in school.
I was so nervous, and my boyfriend was a little scared to let me hang on him when I first went on the ice. I thought I would fall. I kept thinking I would fall, in fact.
But I never did. And soon enough it was like I do it all the time.
It really is just like rollerblading, which I used to do a lot. The blades weren’t that sharp (we rented some at the facility), but they worked.
Then we went to the apartment and played Phase 10 (love that game) and drank wine.
It was a wonderful, perfect, happy birthday.
I’m starting to realize that I really am in control about how I feel about things. I could have had a horrible birthday just by the way I thought about it.
Instead, I set myself up to have a great day, and it worked out. Regardless of what I did with my boyfriend, I would have had a great day. Just spending time with him would have  been great.
God bless.
Also, prayers for Pope Benedict XVI and the College of Cardinals as they go about finding a new pope for us. Pray for the Holy Father’s health.
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