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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten intentions

Well, it's the second day of Lent and I've already blown it. Well, I think I blew it before Lent started.

My original plan for Lent was that I was going to go through Mike Bickle's Song of Songs teaching and really spend Lent on focusing on God's love for us, more specifically, God's love for me. After all, isn't that truly what the sacrifice is about?

I was even going to do it interactively on my blog, and invite my readers to participate.

Only... the 6yo happened. We've had a rough year, well, probably longer than that, with her. The past couple of months, her behavior, particularly at school, has gotten worse. We're back to weekly phone calls from the school. I am incredibly worried about her, and while the school is concerned, they keep telling me that they aren't worried because she has great parents. Ugh. So that's the short version.

How it relates to Lent and my change of plans is this:

Last year, I went to an amazing Ash Wednesday service with my friend Kay Day at her old church. LOVED it. Decided that it would be my tradition every year moving forward. Only with the mess with my 6yo made me forget to arrange things with Kay, so then I decided I'd just go by myself. Only THEN... due to ANOTHER situation at school, I ended up spending my Ash Wednesday morning dealing with my 6yo. And there I was, driving in traffic, passing all these churches with Ash Wednesday signs, 6yo in my car whining about something, and I was mad. Mad that I didn't get to do my church tradition because my 6yo was being a royal pain. Why was God making me deal with her and not get to spend time with Him?

And then it hit me. Here I am, with this little girl who needs her mom to love on her and minister to her, and all I was worried about was how I didn't get to go to my church service. That sounded a lot more like being a Pharisee than a Christian to me. God doesn't care whether or not I go to Ash Wednesday service at this church that I love. He does care if I'm being loving and not resentful toward my daughter.

So this Lent, I am not focusing on me. At least not directly. It's going to be about focusing on my daughter. I haven't completely figured out what that looks like yet, but I do know that it's going to be about giving up some of those moments of "me" so that I can focus on her. No, I'm not going to take it to the extreme of turning her into a pampered little princess. But I am going to look deeper into my priorities to see where they need to be aligned differently. Which is weird, and I never thought I'd go there, especially now, when I am devoting more time than ever to her care, but I want her to be a joy again.

Yes, I know, in the end, this will benefit me. But mostly, I want this time to benefit her. I harbor no illusions that this will "fix" her. I was told yesterday that one (out of many) of her issues will likely take months to fix. I suspect that most of what we're dealing with is just who she is, and in this, we're going to have to find a way to balance the accepted norms of behavior with the fact that she dances to her own song in her own time. Because that's how God made her.

Anyone else finding Lent to be especially challenging this year?


Kay Day said...

I didn't make it to Ash Wednesday service, either. Also because family had to come first.
Thanks for posting this. I think you've captured the true heart of Lent. Letting go of what we want for something greater. It is tough.
But I guess it's supposed to be.

Danica Favorite said...

Yes, it is tough. We'll have to try again next year.