In These Days of [Failed] Lenten Journeys


April 2  

It has only been a few weeks, and I am already at the point of questioning whether or not I will make it through this Lenten season. Not only am I way behind on my Lenten promise, but our family’s assigned Lenten activities via our son’s first grade teacher are also lacking in the attention department. Throw in spring projects, First Communion meetings, work deadlines, soccer practices, and making sure that the kids (and husband!) are fed, and I find myself thinking– who has time to do Lent?

In my early failings this Lenten season, I have learned a great spiritual lesson: you do not need to dramatically rearrange your family life to “do Lent.” I am not saying that devoting additional prayer time in the evenings or finding ways to serve others during this season is not needed, but on those days that you feel like you have not devoted enough time to “doing Lent,” take a moment and reflect on the messiness of everyday family life. Like me, you will see God speaking to you, reminding you that he is near and ready to journey with you in your love for him and his creation – even when it is really, really, hard to do so.

How is it in these times that a mother remembers to remain dependent upon God? We must remain dependent and let him carry us through the hard days. In light of my own failings and in light of how often family life appears to be a distraction to my Lenten journey, I know too well that it is in the moments of my failings that I reach towards God most. How often have you reached towards God as you tended to sick children while battling a cold yourself, or have cried while doing a load of laundry as you long to have a nap to make up for lost sleep? It is during these times of motherhood, during those moments when we feel we are failing, that we rediscover and reconnect with God. Is that not what the heart of Lent is really all about – reconnecting with God in the midst of suffering?

At the moment of writing this, there are 34 days, 816 hours, 48,960 minutes, and 2,937,600 seconds left of Lent, 2019, so there are 34 days, 816 hours, 48,960 minutes, and 2,937,600 seconds filled with opportunities for reconnecting with God and extending love to those whom I will encounter. Some days I will get Lent right, and on other days, I may fail in doing it at all. Even so, on Easter Sunday when I stop to think about how this Lenten season drew my family and I closer to God and to loving one another, I know that I will look back with awe and wonder at the love God showed us during the times we needed it most. What a wonderful season it is!

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