Yes, you read that headline right. Carry LENT into EASTER.
So here are the strategies I use to keep Fridays penitential.
1. Avoid meat and going out on Fridays.
This used to be SO EASY when I was dating. Friday nights are now date nights (typically). Going out, regardless of what I’m eating, just doesn’t seem penitential at all. I mean, someone brings the food to me!
2. Spend some extra time in prayer on Fridays, particularly at 3 p.m.
3. Go to daily Mass.
4. Can’t make it to Mass? Liturgy of the Hours!
5. Examination of conscience.
I am a runner.
I have worked really hard to be able to call myself that.
Slow and steady. Easy pace. Keep going. Don’t quit.
Last Thursday, the man in my life gave me a book.
A travel book about Croatia…
He asked me, yesterday morning, if I had read any more of the Croatia book.
So how am I going slowly?
On Friday, I wore a dress and told one of my coworkers that I was thinking about doing it “all the time.”
But I wore a skirt to Mass. If that counts.
I decided Sunday night that I was going to do a “test week” of wearing a skirt all week. I checked the weather. 23 degrees on Wednesday, supposedly.
OK. I have some fleece-lined tights. I can do this. The rest of the week is supposed to be really nice.
Well, it’s half way through Monday, and I love wearing a skirt! I feel like a girl!
This is probably not startling and amazing for some of you. Well, it is for me.
I think I shared this on the blog a while ago, but I broke up with my long time boyfriend in December.
We had been together for nearly six years.
“It was hard.” I hate how short that sentence is, how it doesn’t explain anything, but even explaining it is “hard.”
He isn’t Catholic. He isn’t staunchly pro-life. He wasn’t interested in getting married.
We were living together.
That’s really “hard” for me to admit, even to an online community of people I don’t know.
We lived together for about 18 months when I finally realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I had quit receiving communion in October 2012, about three months after we started living together.
But really, I shouldn’t have been taking it even before then.
We had been sleeping together from the very beginning of our relationship.
So, now that I know what doesn’t work – sleeping together before marriage, cohabitation, dating non-Catholics, dating not-serious-about-any-sort-of-future types – I’m working on figuring out what does work.
Is it the exact opposite? For most of those… yeah
I know that my Catholic faith is so important to me, that I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone I can’t share that with
I know that as a 27-year-old, I want to get married pretty quick. I don’t want a six-year relationship, even if it is made for marriage.
If we know we want to get married, then we don’t need that long to figure it out. I don’t know exactly what time limit I would put on it, but I know if I get married I want to have some babies.
Speaking of, am I meant to get married?
Oh, boy, have I prayed about this the last few months.
I have been trying to get to a retreat for a few nights, just to be around consecrated women. I’ve never done anything like that, but some days I feel that’s where God is calling me.
Other days, I want to be a wife so badly I can taste it.
Discernment is a very tricky process, too “hard” to really figure out in a day. It’s really a whole-life process.
Now that I’m single, though, it seems like I’m back in high school. I’m very awkward around the men in my life, I don’t know how to act.
It’s so… weird.
I don’t have a lot of single men my age in my life that I associate with regularly… there’s just one.
And I think I like him… but I don’t know if I am just having a crush because he’s the only single one around me.
I mean, how do you know? How do you know if he likes you back? How do you know what to say?
See how this is like high school? Yeah.
While I’m trying to discern what God wants for my life, I don’t want to jump back into dating too soon.
But how soon is too soon? I don’t want to be “on the rebound.” I just want a healthy relationship.
I am delaying acting on my feelings toward the guy in my life until I feel more secure about… something. I don’t know what. Just something.
It’s something I pray about and think about too much every day.
Yesterday, I knelt down in my kitchen (a lot of my spontaneous prayer happens there) and prayed to Jesus that I trusted in my with my whole life, including my future.
That’s “hard.” Trusting that Jesus knows best. I need to pray that he helps me trust him with my future.
My finances, sure, easy for me. My relationships? Not so easy to give those over to God, though he’s in control. Of everything.
I think I wrote once that Jesus is the Lord of all or Jesus is not the Lord at all.
He can be in charge of everything in my life or nothing. It can’t be half and half. You can’t serve two masters.
This was quite a soul-sharing post for me, and I don’t know if I explained everything exactly how I wanted too, but if anyone out there is going through the same, just know you’re not alone.