It’s Holy Week and I’m not ready for it. It’s been a busy Lent. It started out focused, but then life showed up. Did that happen to you, too?
With our house on the market, trying to keep everything clean while homeschooling and raising three little ones is driving me crazy. Daniel was really busy at work and was out of town some for his second gig as a youth group leader. My lenten food discipline of no grains and no dairy got thrown out the window when our friends’ five kids came to stay with us for a few days while their baby brothers were born. (Because 8 kids in the house means pizza, right? Glad we’re on the same page.)
We’ve just been going, going, going with house projects and writing projects and ballet and karate lessons. We only hit daily Mass twice. Lent just didn’t turn out how I envisioned it would at all.
Lent didn’t go like I planned, but that doesn’t mean it failed.
A couple of years ago I went to Confession feeling really discouraged a week before Easter. The priest told me, “I want you to remember that we’re entering Jesus time. We get to walk with him into Holy Week. This is a time of grace.”
We’re walking with Jesus into his death and resurrection. How do we do that? I think I’ll probably spend the rest of my life trying to figure that out. The Church has so much to offer us in her beautiful traditions that helps us enter in and this week is full to the brim of opportunities to participate: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil. The prayers, the food. It flows through our lives helping us walk with Jesus.
But from where I sit now on my couch in the early morning darkness, the street light is illuminating several tiny sticky handprints on my living room window–representing the three small humans who all woke up for various reasons at 5am today, but miraculously fell back asleep (Thank you, Jesus).
It’s not too late to try to walk with Jesus by loving my family a little better. To look my kids in the eye and stay engaged for that long rambly story they want to tell me. To not let the impatience slip into my voice when I get asked the same question again and again. To take a deep breath instead of exploding when the sibling squabbles or whining pushes me to my limits. Because Jesus didn’t put me in a cloister. He put me here in this family with a wonderful man and three kids to love. This man. These kids.
God knew that I’m the sort of person that needs to clean up someone else’s poop daily, be interrupted constantly, and be forced to set aside my little wants for the needs of my family in order to slowly become a less horrible human being. I need my family to teach me how to love–how to walk with Jesus.
Lent didn’t go like I planned and I doubt Holy Week will either, but that’s ok. I’m going to cover the crucifixes in our home with purple cloth. I’m going to turn on Handel’s Messiah–the part about the Passion. Because there’s still a few days left to prepare for Easter.
This is Jesus time. This is a week full of grace–despite the sticky handprints. Because of the sticky handprints.