Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I think yesterday I voiced that I don't like Ash Wednesday, and honestly its for all the wrong reasons. But I think me saying that made me be honest with myself and realize that I am uncomfortable on this day. I struggle so much with this feeling that maybe its a lead up to some of the things I am needing to work through in this Lent in order to grow closer to Jesus.  It's funny one of the objections I got from protestants about becoming Catholic was that most Catholics they knew didn't take their faith seriously and they thought I would be stunted in my growth as a Christian.  But if there is one thing I have learned while being Catholic is that if you actually look into and follow what the church teaches it feels impossible not to grow.  There is always something to learn, and some way to grow and that is  I think because there is such a liturgical ebb and flow of things that it allows for creativity of the individual growth within.

So when I look at why I don't like Ash Wednesday, a lot of it stems from me being afraid.  Ash Wednesday is a day where we say to God that in spite of all the pains and sufferings of this life want to grow closer to Jesus.  It says that we actually want to make that step. And thats an uncomfortable place to be sometimes, because it makes us look at all our bits that we know are hindering our relationship with God.  At least it should be. I mean I used to be the kid that gave up donuts because well I honestly don't like donuts, and so it was easy to do.

But this year, I'm not giving up social media, something I normally felt like I should do.  But I think, I finally have found a place for it, so its not going away for me.  And I'm not calling out the people that did or didn't.  Either way its between you and God and I am just going to try my best to give you mercy either way.  But this year, I am realizing where I struggle most is in being okay with being me. Which in turn makes perfect sense why I struggle with Ash Wednesday so much.  Because, Ash Wednesday forces me to be blatantly Catholic and turn myself to Jesus.  And being in fear of being me is definitely an obstacle to growing closer to Jesus.

So this year, this year I am giving up saying "I'm Sorry" incessantly.  I apologize for who I am and the choices I make because I am in fear of someone disagreeing or disliking me.  It's silly when you look at it from the outside, but its a habit I've conditioned myself with and I am owning up to it.

In my praying, I'm working on really understanding forgiveness, because I think I first need to be better at letting go of my own mistakes and then also there are some key players that I need to keep working on forgiving as well. And I'm also going try and figure out more of my strengths and be more comfortable in my own two shoes.

And in my giving, I think I am just going to try and be as generous as I can be with charities, but also be more gracious in general. If I do slip up with the "I'm sorry" bit, then each time I do a charity will get a dollar. I'm expecting many slip ups because, well, I've been partaking in this habit for years!

So, its a heavy Lent, but I'm up for the challenge.  Even if I don't accomplish all these things in 40 days, I know I will at least make a little bit of progress in them.

How are you growing closer to Jesus this Lenten season?

Sick with croup?  Inventing tape ashes. :)

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