I do not know why my brain and will do not work without a notepad and a pen. Quite simply, if it isn't written down, I don't care how vital whatever it is might be, I promise you, it won't happen. So when my notepad ran out of paper (and yes, I use both sides), my week went into mini-crisis, resulting in two days where things sort of happened without much structure. By the end of those two days, I was a mental mess, and the house wasn't much better.
Suddenly we were at Wednesday and I had not written my SST post for this week, I hadn't done the paperwork we needed done and I had no clue if there was some meeting at some point this week I needed to make sure I attended. I think our faith lives work much the same way, if it isn't presented to us, our everyday distractedness can keep us from accomplishing not just good stuff but any stuff. Despite the apparent silliness of writing down things like "Take your vitamin, write SST, finish paperwork, patrol upstairs, main floor and basement", I find all those things sit waiting if I don't write them down. So it is with next week when we start Lent.
I know many people who say, "I don't give up something for Lent." for the same reasons they don't go to weekly mass, because they can talk to God anytime, and they don't NEED to give something up to grow in holiness. But you know what, I find I don't get to all I should do even if I write it down, it just makes it more likely I will get to it because the list is there reminding me. I don't know that I could grow in love for anyone, let alone God, if I didn't have constant reminders of how I am to show it and the need to actually go outside of my own little world. Lent is an opportunity to write down what you need to do to grow in holiness, to make it more likely that we will seek to enter into a deeper relationship with God. The Holy Spirit will leap on that crack in our heart, and fill us until we burst if we allow.
That being said, I have a list from last week of my small successes, those moments when I actually did what I said I would do, and have the checkmarks on the piece of paper next to them to prove it.
1) I printed up and mailed off a copy of The Book of Helen to the Catholic Writer's Guild for Seal of Approval. Here's hoping they find the themes within to be worthy of granting that seal.
2) Reading with my two young daughters caught fire, they are now waiting for the next chapter in The Little House in the Big Woods. I'm reading them a chapter a night, and I see them discovering a richer deeper world than merely their own experience.
3) My mom sent me a CD version of the Iliad and we're listening to it in the car or I am, and I'm really enjoying hearing the story as it was intended. Now I'm thinking I want to find an oral version of the Odyssey for the same reason.
4) Accidental witness: I told a friend in the parking lot about my favorite way to pray the rosary, a way my brother taught me, to say a petition before each Hail Mary. It is a lovely way to say the rosary with your family. She'd never heard of it, and she loved it.
I'm looking forward to reading about your check mark moments, and get ready for next week, because by then, we'll have to have something new on our to do list for Lent!
About the Author
Sherry Antonetti is a Catholic published author, freelance writer and part-time teacher. She lives with her husband and 10 children just outside of Washington, DC, where she's busy editing her upcoming book, A Doctor a Day, to be published by Sophia Institute Press. You can find her other writings linked up at her blog, Chocolate For Your Brain! or on Amazon.