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blog Lent

Holy Week // The Beginning

holy week the beginning

As I sit here tonight thinking over the past few weeks of Lent, it’s the first time I’ve ever wondered where it went.  When Easter is so early in the year, it seems that Lent passes very quickly.  It’s hard for me to believe that my little ones were doing everything in their power to suppress the urge to have a fencing battle right in the middle of the consecration this morning during Mass when it feels as if they were dodging Father with the ashes just yesterday.

As I do every year, I began this Lent thinking I would do it all differently.  I wouldn’t care if I didn’t lose any weight from my fasting (because I would remind myself that wasn’t the point).  I wouldn’t be so set on fixing all of me with twelve different things I needed to work on this year… instead I would choose one and really focus, not giving up under the weight of being overwhelmed.  I wouldn’t get so caught up in it all that my end focus would be me, me, me instead of Him, Him, Him as it had typically ended in the past.

But, you now what?  I sit here tonight three pounds heavier even after giving up sugar, breakfast and fasting on Fridays.  What started with a deeper commitment to prayer ended up as reciting two prayers every morning, reading a devotion to His Diving Mercy, a parenting book, a daily devotional and my Bible.  My desire to think about others more and offer my days for their intentions became a complete focus on myself, how I was failing and a reversion back into the world of social media when I teetered with giving that up as well.

I failed, again.

But, He didn’t.

See, after thirty-four years you would think that I might see the results of this year after year and finally do something different.  But, I’m stubborn.  And, I don’t always learn.

This year, however, I think I have.  I’m heavier.  I’m no more patient.  I’m no less selfish.  I’m no more well-read.  And, I still need a world of help in the area of prayer.  But, there is one thing I finally am…aware.  God didn’t necessarily want the extra food I didn’t eat.  He didn’t care that I wanted to become a prayer expert by today when I wasn’t even that great of a beginner forty days ago.  And, I don’t really think He was too impressed with my failed attempt to limit my social media presence.

Instead, I think He just might have a smirk on His face as he shakes His head wondering what took me so long to truly admit that I. Need. Him.

Truly, I have never doubted it.  I’ve always known that I would be nowhere without Him.  What I haven’t let myself fully admit is that He doesn’t need me.  He doesn’t need my attempts to control everything.  He doesn’t need my busyness that I like to call productivity.  He doesn’t need my sacrifices that I give with the ulterior motive of shedding the final pounds of baby weight.

What He needs is for me to let him have everything…my heart and my soul for His will.

So, this week, I will make sacrifices, but finally (with much grace and prayer) they won’t be for me.  I will shut it off in order to focus on the Passion of His only Son.  I will let it all go, offering what I can in hopes of growing closer to Him, and doing that alone.  Because, I do believe that our sacrifices matter.  I know we can unite our suffering to His.  And, I think He rewards our attempts to belong ever more to Him, even if we fail as often as we succeed.

I will retreat from the world and what I convince myself to be important to focus on what truly is… my vocation as a wife, mother and daughter of His.

Then, and only then, will I be able to see this week for what it is…an offering of a parent’s child, one who knew no sin…His life for ours…lives saturated with stain upon stain of sin. This Holy Week, this way of the Cross, can serve to open our eyes and hearts to His unending mercy if we let it.  He allowed the death of his only Son, his innocent Son, for our guilt.  He allowed the mocking, the torture, and the nails to pierce His hands and feet as a crown of thorns sent blood running down his face for one thing…our salvation.

He did it out of love for us.  Let what you do this week be out of love for Him.

Britt is a momma to four and a wife to one, raising cattle on the grasslands of New Mexico.

This post originally appeared on The Fisk Files.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Alice
    March 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    The only thing I planned to do and actually did (every night except one) during this Lent was to read Psalm 51 just before bed. I’d done that for a while a decade ago, at someone’s suggestion, with blessed results. But I always skipped the last two verses, because they seemed archaic and to have nothing to do with me. This Ash Wednesday, however, when I read those two verses, they suddenly made sense and seemed the perfect conclusion to this Psalm that admits the depths of my sinfulness and begs for God’s mercy and cleansing. The concluding verses ask God to “treat Zion kindly according to your good will; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will desire the sacrifices of the just, burnt offering and whole offerings; then they will offer up young bulls on your altar.” The way I understood them on Ash Wednesday, however, was as meaning, for me, this: Treat ME kindly according to Your good will; build ME up. Then You will accept the sacrifices and offerings that I bring to Your altar. In other words, I too finally get it: that the remedy to my sinfulness and stuckness is not my sacrifices and offerings but rather to ask for and accept God’s kind work in and on me; that it is God’s efforts, not mine, that will rebuild me and make my own work possible, effective, and an offering to Him.

    Every night it was a different verse that struck me and stuck in my mind as I went to sleep, so reading the same Psalm over and over again for forty nights didn’t become boring. And I have no desire to stop reading it, because I can feel that I still need the reinforcement.

    Thank you for inspiring and allowing me to put that into words.

    • Reply
      Blessed is She
      March 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Alice, that is so, so beautiful, and such a testament to how the Lord can speak to us if we only are listening. To find something new to focus on every day of Lent by reading the same psalm is such a blessing, and it gives me a new outlook…one in which I hope to embrace from here on…letting Him do the work through me rather than me trying to always take the reins. God bless you, and thank you so much for your beautiful comment! -Britt

      • Reply
        Alice
        March 22, 2016 at 9:33 am

        May God continue to bless your writing, family, and heart, Britt! And thank you again for the opportunity to share.

  • Reply
    Abbey
    March 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Britt, this is so beautiful. I can relate to so much of what you said here…the need to control, the desire to change everything for the better, the sneaking realization that what I’m giving up/changing/offering/sacrificing isn’t really what it’s about at all. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • Reply
      Blessed is She
      March 24, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Abbey! Sometimes I just can’t figure out why I do the same thing every year! Ahh, it will get better. Thanks for your sweet comment, and have a blessed Easter!

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