Friday, February 19, 2010

Lord, Who Throughout these Forty Days...

Earlier this week, I packed up the kids and headed on down to Lafayette to celebrate Mardi Gras with my family.  It was great fun!  We went to the parades, rode the rides at the fair, and ate lots and lots of junk.  

Me, my sister, and Natalie at the parade: 

Andrew and I catching some beads: 

Getting down to business: 

Natalie and her cousin: 

Me and Nat:

Rachel hanging out in the stroller:

Andrew and I riding the race car:

Natalie riding the carousel:

And after all the parading, walking, gumbo, king cake, sodas, chips, desserts, and Mardi Gras fun, it is time to rest!  Lent is finally upon us and I guess I'm ready.  The kids and I have our Lenten journey mapped out, our Lent box packed up, the rice bowl calendar hanging in the kitchen, everyone has decided what they are going to give up, and today we are going to make Stations of the Cross booklets for when we pray them on Fridays.  

I have one of those bittersweet relationships with Lent.  On the one hand, the Church is so wise in laying out liturgical seasons to guide us so that we don't get caught up in our passions too much.  Sometimes we can get caught up in the fun and joyfulness of life, but other times we can get caught up in the sorrows and fall into discouragement as well.  But, there are times when we are supposed rejoice and celebrate, times of preparation, and then there are times when we mourn for our sins and make reparation for the wrongs we have committed.  I think it's more about accepting the joys and sorrows as gifts from Christ rather than focusing too much on one aspect over the other. And if we fail, then we acknowledge our failure, get up, and ask Christ to help us do better.  And the Church gives us so many ways to lead us and help us to live our lives in this way.  On the other hand, it's hard to deny myself!  I don't want to give up things and do without.  But that is what it takes if we are to love as Christ loves.  So, I do it.

I was reading a Gospel passage this morning about fasting and the Pharisees, and how Christ tells us that we cannot put an unshrunken cloth on old cloak, or it will tear.  Or how we cannot put new wine into old wine skins or they will burst.  I never really knew what this meant.  But, this morning, I realized something.  This is what Lent is about!  Christ is the Old and the New - The Alpha and the Omega.  So in Lent, it is our job to become the shrunken piece of cloth so that we can attach ourselves to the cloak of Christ.  And to become new wine so that we can be poured into the new wine skin that is the Heart of Christ.  To through out that old wine skin of our past that is filled with so much hardness of heart and pride.  So, my goal this Lent is to really live it.  Not to just go through the motions, but to really live Lent in such a way that I come out the other side a different person.  After all, He is worth it!   

"To hang between two thieves in the darkness
Love must believe you are worth it"
~Nichole Nordeman~"Hold On" 


~Lindsey said...

Great pictures! I miss celebrating Mardi Gras with people that really know how to celebrate. Throw me something mister!

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