Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Years ago I remember telling people that Florida does indeed have a change of seasons; there's hurricane season, lovebug season, orange blossom season, etc...people weren't buying it. That's my story though and I'm sticking to it! I do, however, have a few amendments to the original story. The first one being that over the past two years we really have a had "winter" which is very distinct from our other seasons. Anytime you have to have the windows closed because it is too cold, that's winter! When you find yourself outside in biting wind attempting to cover plants that will ultimately die anyway...winter! Now it is time to prune away the dead branches as the new buds are beginning to bloom. The current weather is definitely different from the weather 2 months ago and the weather 2 months from now. There is no question that Florida has a really long summer (like 6 months long), but in the other six months there are definitely changes, you just have to know where to look. This post isn't about weather though. It's not even about new flowers blooming. It's really more about the pruning away of the dead branches. It's about Lent. I've always been a big holiday decorator. I've always said Florida had a change of seasons. I've always been aware that a homeschooling mother's perspective is very different in September than it is in March. I've always been very attuned to the "feel" of different seasons, the "feel" of Christmas, the "feel" of summer. I've always been Catholic. Until a few years ago though I'd never appreciated the Liturgical Seasons. It seems to me it is human nature to long for subtle changes, to long for seasons. If it weren't then wouldn't everyone live in Florida? Isn't it so cool that the Church gives us the opportunity to make these subtle changes? People prepare for big events in their life don't they? Moving into a new home, having a baby, even a birthday party, all of these events require preparation. Just like Advent is a time to prepare for the joy of Christmas, Lent is a time for us to prepare to celebrate the joy of Easter. I will very much enjoy eating a bunch of chocolate eggs on Easter morning after 40 days without chocolate. More importantly though, I'm trying to prepare my heart for the realization of Easter. The small sacrifices that I am attempting are nothing like Jesus' sacrifice. They aren't easy though and they are real reminders for me. If I didn't have this opportunity that is build into the Church year, would I take the time to make sacrifices on my own? Maybe, maybe not. I do generally try to improve myself fairly often, that's what comes with being friends with a bunch over overachievers (also known as homeschooling moms). A new school year is often a time when I try to impliment new ideas. January 1st is another time where I might try to make things better. Every Monday or even every morning can be a time to try again. There are always so many different things to improve though, eating habits, workout habits, housekeeping, patience, etc etc. I really appreciate that the Church gives me and my family this season of Lent to really focus on the most important preparations of all.