First, Happy Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday!
(See the next post for a little background on that)
I hope you’re having your fill of paczki, pancakes, kings’ cake, and beignets!
Second, let me tell you, I have been meaning to do this for several years now. I have 1/2 finished posts that are just sitting there. I get notifications every now and then saying, “You have posts waiting to be published.” Yeah, I know I’ll get to them.
I’m a procrastinator. I feel like I do my best work under pressure. Doesn’t matter what it is, doesn’t matter when whatever it is has been “assigned”- 2 weeks or 2 months, it’s probably not getting done until 2 hours until it’s “due”.
It’s not that I don’t care. I just feel like there are other things that are so much more pressing. I have this relationship with stress, and eventually the stress wins, and me and everyone around me loses. Balance is not a strong point for me.
I’m not well prepared and I lack focus. I bounce from one thing to another when I’m doing something. Like house work for instance. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos. I’ll start at the dishwasher, get it unloaded and then go to load it back up, which means searching for dishes that have been scattered. Toddlers. There’s clean storage containers strewn about the house because that’s the “safe” cabinet for Clara and Ginny to play in. Well, cute but grubby hands means it needs to be washed again. So off I go. But then the foam dart munitions stockade that the boys have assembled under the dinning room table and chairs distracts me from the original mission. Then it’s on to a Lego scavenger hunt, sock searching, and a round of “What IS That Smell?” (oh, so that’s where that sippy cup went. EWWW!) By the time I get back to the dishwasher it would have been done running had I started it.
For all those that have it together, we salute you! Seriously, just pretending there is any semblance to my life by having a date book is overwhelming. I don’t know how you do it. I’ve tried to schedule hourly. I’ve tried meal planning, gone grocery shopping for all of it, and then get met with, usually by myself, “I don’t want that.” I get so used to being of the mindset of being prepared for Murphy’s Law and having curve balls thrown while I’m up to bat, I just throw all plans out the window rather than modifying what’s been set. Much like many of my posts that I work on, if it’s not working, just delete all, and start rewriting.
And it’s not just my physical life that suffers, it’s my faith life too. I push prayer to the side, thinking, “I’ll get my rosary in, LATER.”
“I’ll make time for my 30 minutes of reading the Bible, LATER.”
“I’ll get around to my time to be silent and totally present with Jesus, LATER.”
But sometimes for the day, LATER becomes NEVER.
I need to stop saying LATER to God, and start saying, “Not today Satan!” to the idleness, the distractions, to the laters. I need to be prepared and present for the day. Yeah, I need to be flexible with somethings (with kids, ya gotta be), but there are somethings that I need to be steadfast to.
And that’s sorta what Lent is. It’s like taking time out before bed to plan for the next day, and then sticking to that plan. It’s being present and prepared. It’s taking responsibility for being ready and doing what’s been “assigned” to us now. It’s putting order to the chaos. It’s a time to reflect on where we can and need to improve, and then put that into action and stick to it. It’s a time to say, “I’m sorry I haven’t been following or trusting Your plan.” To say, “I’m sorry I’ve let temptation lead me away from You.” It’s a time to talk and be honest, but more importantly to listen, not just to what we want to hear, but what we need to hear. It’s hard, but it softens are hardened hearts.