Sunday, April 30, 2017

Easter and NEW Life - My Sunday Best - 03

There were so many reasons I was looking forward to Easter this year - and (rather amazingly) they weren't all related to ending the Lenten fast! Actually, I think what brought me the most joy this year was related to the almsgiving part of Lent. Because of the plan for giving that I had made*, I was able to give freely and generously to the people and causes near and dear to my heart. The "free" part was what brought the most joy. I didn't even have to think twice about giving - I could just do it. So I'll definitely be thinking about how to somehow continue that through the year.

But mostly, I was looking forward to Easter to celebrate and share the New Life God brings...

Bump as of 13 weeks... or 14 depending on who you consult ;)

Here's announcing Baby #3, due to arrive end of October! Like with the wee girl - who was also due end of October - I am still hoping this one will *not* be a Halloween baby, but an All Saints baby would be cool.

(Oh, and to make this officially a MSB - the maternity skirt is compliments of my younger sister and the top is from Kohl's.)

At first, we were planning on surprising my husband's father with the news... we're seeing him in June and I thought the sight of me waddling off the plane would be a fun "Surprise! You have a new grandbaby on the way!" But then I found that trying to keep this information off the internet was even more of a mortification than the fast from my morning "cuppa". So after sharing the news with him yesterday, I gave my hubby a high five and got to work on this post. ;)

So I hope, now that I've shared this, I can get back to writing a little bit more. There were so many things I wanted to share during Lent - but because almost all of them had to do with being pregnant and since we were trying to keep that a surprise - I felt stymied. I suppose though, that it was probably for the best that I didn't post much anyway... the first trimester for me is pretty miserable and I'm sure most of the posts would have been just a outlet for complaining. And that ain't encouraging for anyone to read!

Oddly enough, Rosie's got a "new family member" announcement on her blog too - do stop by and congratulate her as well!

*For the curious, I did a "reverse" tithe with the money I make from tutoring students in math: giving away 90% and keeping 10%. While not as stringent as A Gentle Mother's Buy Nothing Lent, it did kinda end up taking on that flavor, as I realized that's what most of my income goes towards. And of course, I won't take credit for coming up with this plan - I really feel God led me to it.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

4 Weeks Down... 2 to Go!

So, guess what? We are more-than-officially past the halfway point in Lent! Can I get a "Woohoo!" I don't think I have ever been so relieved to see the finish line on the horizon before. This has been just such a "Lent-y" Lent. Translation: I have never felt so physically run down, while simultaneously denying myself the usual comfort measures (caffeine, some kind of baked good, etc...) So, does this mean that my Lenten practices are being effective at helping "mortify the flesh?" Or is it not doing anything mortifying in the least, since all I can focus on is the "mortifying" part and not so much the "spiritual closeness" part? (The jury is still out on this one.)

In any case, I'm taking today to remind myself that even though I'm not quite meeting all the plans I had for myself (like those Friday-Stations of the Cross-picnics? Hasn't happened yet.) this doesn't mean that I'm a failure - and it CERTAINLY doesn't mean that God loves me any less. (And we of course, also know the flipside would be true too: if I *was* meeting all my plans for myself, God wouldn't love me anymore for it either).

It's kind of like an incident that happened at Mass today. After the presentation of the gifts, Father was trying to open the decanter and he just couldn't. He started like normal...
"Blessed are you..."
*yanks harder*
*starts to chuckle*
"OK, I'm having a hard time here..."

He was just about to give up, when the altar server got up and pulled the stopper out for him.
(Girl altar server, FTW!)

We were all laughing at that point. It was just too good. Of course, with the decanter freed, we continued on as normal - til the end of Mass, when Father had another surprise for us:

A post shared by Sara Rooney (@rooney.sara) on

Gotta love our church. Even Father said it (and I'm paraphrasing here), "You know, I could try and keep things serious here, but that just isn't Holy Spirit parish."  Which is true. I mean, we're Catholic - beautiful liturgy, statues, holy water and all. But we also have pink flamingos in the pond next to our meditation garden. *shrug* What ya gonna do? I guess, we just can't be bothered to take ourselves too seriously.

So that's where I'm at, at this point in Lent. Still fasting, praying and giving - but not beating myself up for all the other ways of fasting/praying/giving that I'm not getting done. Lord willing, I'll attempt them before the season is up but regardless, I will rest in the love that He has for me. I hope and pray that will be the "better choice."