A Lent Full of Gratitude

I love lent. It is one of my favorite church seasons. It wasn’t always my favorite, that is recent. I disliked the idea of fasting and giving up something and then feeling like a failure and a bad Catholic when I snuck that piece of chocolate or drank too many pops.

Then, I paid attention to the liturgy one Ash Wednesday service and it easily became my favorite gospel.

For me, it serves as a reminder to be humble and to not complain, especially when I’ve made a difficult choice for myself or put too much on my own plate. I’m not doing anything for anyone else’s recognition. That is not where my life goals should be placed.

Every year I wait for this reminder.

As for “giving things up”. I’ve frequently given up social media, but it just didn’t feel right this year. Usually, I love the disconnect from technology, the connection with being present, and the time it gives me to focus my energy on better things.

This year, I have been noticing all the ways that those things can be used to connect with people as well, and to connect in a way that is life giving and spiritual.

So here I am today, trying to keep myself away from minor things like eating school lunch and ordering off of amazon, while planning a more fulfilling Lenten season trying to focus on gratitude and seeing God in the people and works around me.

While posting here isn’t exactly doing this alone and in silence, it doesn’t hurt to be held accountable (right? 🤷🏼‍♀️). And if I am looking for God in things, I’m bound to feel lighter and more capable with those around me.

If this January lasted 120 days, then this February has been going on for at least 260. At least that’s how this month feels when we’ve had temps below -20° all year and few outdoor recesses. It’s time I focused my energy on what’s good and not what’s been missing.

Here is a photo documentation of the things that made me thankful today and had me thinking about God and all His goodness:

Organic, arctic grown cherry tomatoes.
+accessible milk (1/2 off too!)
Tools that make commuting easier…that also aid in enjoyable exercise because y’all know I need endorphins. The people that work hard to get fresh produce to the remote arctic. And the sky staying light until near 7:30.
The Episcopal church that shares their building with us in town while we wait for the Catholic Church to be built. A Catholic community with whom I can gather.
No wind, so that -18 feels like -18 which actually feels like +10. This means more enjoyed time outside with the dogs. THIS HAS BEEN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY.