Lent Begins

started all over again!


I'm still adjusting to the fact that Lent started.  Doesn't it seem like we tucked away the Christmas decorations?  Oh the passage of time goes faster and faster.  I grew up Catholic (and still am) and historically for Lent I would give up something, usually candy and would fail before Easter.  

I remember my mother taking Lent seriously.  Very seriously.  She once gave up smoking and lasted about five days.  Those five days were stressful for us kids!  I'm sure those five days were pure agony for her as well.  She switched her intention after five or so days.  I admired her for those five LONG days and she did quit smoking later in life successfully.


I guess I could give up something.  The first thought was my "complaining".    I focus on being positive and present in my journal writing daily and here on my blog, but in person I can go on and on about complaints.  So much so that I don't like the way I sound.  Complaining is therapeutic but maybe I should state positive events first before I dig deep with what is bugging me.

I was chatting with my sister who brought to my attention to this program, Best Lent Ever and so far I'm enjoying how positive and inspirational the message is.  It's not too late to join or get caught up on the website and if you want to have emails you can still subscribe.  Oh to do Lent in tiny bite sized pieces in this busy life!

my mom stitched this picture

My friend invited me to a women's bible study as well that I'm participating in at her church.  Instead of focusing on giving up a vice or beloved indulgence, I'm diving into "doing".  I like that kind of intention.  And yes, I'll try my best to not complain as well.

sun beams!
 I've been focusing on my health as well for about two weeks.  I've been tracking my food on my phone and also the exercise (or lack there of).  I am 90% recovered from whatever back spasm I was plagued with this week.  It was enough pain to make me grumble but not enough to do anything special.

So.  Today I'm looking up some core building exercises.  I MUST make my knitting body be strong without inducing an RA flare.  Any ideas are most welcome!

My grandmother hand stitched that blanket and Frodo is hiding under the ottoman
Our son arrives tomorrow for his spring break and we have some adventures planned.  I cannot wait :)

Comments

  1. I gave up Facebook for Lent because I was getting dragged down by so much of the negativity that is on there lately. My thought was to replace it with something more positive and thanks to you for sharing the link, that will be Best Lent Ever. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  2. This is a lovely post, and I love the pictures! I would always try to give up dessert, but that always came back to bite me in the butt, since my birthday is always during Lent. Eventually this realization stayed in my brain, and I would do something else ...

    Wish working life gave you a spring break!

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    1. I hope you catch a spring break :)

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  3. What a nice post and, as Bridget says, I love your pictures - especially the blanket hand-stitched by your Grandmother and the Hoppy Easter stitched by your Mom. Wonderful keepsakes. Hoping your back continues to improve. I've signed up for the free 21 day pilates program that Mary linked. (https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/21daysofpilates/) - it starts Monday.

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    1. Thanks Vera! I'll sign up, and hopefully it's not too difficult :)

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  4. Years ago, our pastor suggested that instead of giving something up and letting that be our focus for the season of Lent, that we try taking on a practice that would point our hearts and heads toward God every day. I have loved this idea and try to have a daily practice of reading scripture and praying every day. I would love to say it co to use on after Lent but alas, I am not so disciplined. But for now, I am starting my day with my Lenten devotional and it really is giving me a new focus.

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    1. I signed up for your she reads truth app, thanks for the idea!

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  5. I've always struggled with giving up something for Lent and never been very successful, so this year I'm adding mindfulness, meditation, and movement (in the form of the Pilates program Vera linked above). Hopefully I can stick with my intentions throughout Lent. I really love the photos of meaningful things you share with us (your mother's and grandmother's stitching especially). They are simply beautiful and a wonderful reminder of family and love.

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  6. Beautiful photos! I am really into exercising (I even have pilates instructor certificate :) ). The most important thing is to be consistent and listen to your body. The last is the most crucial, that's why, in my opinion, it is better to take some classes with the professionals first - they will make sure that your form is correct and you won't hurt yourself. But if there is no opportunity to find a class, you can start with very basic and simple things. The plank is one of the best exercises for the core to do at home, it engages stabilizer muscles and builds a strong core. Hope it helped!

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    1. Plank is on my list! I am overly cautious about the 21 day Pilate challenge. I think that was the challenge that caused my RA flare last year :)

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  7. I plank a couple of times a day. It works all your muscles. It is just for a minute or minute and a half. Also yoga for strength and flexibility. I use beachbody dvd.

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  8. Im doing Lent this year. Fasted on Ash wednesday and no meat Fridays. In addition I'm reading a book that should arrive today about 40 ways in 40 Days of Lent. A new way to look at Lent. My poor poor mom tried to quit smoking for LENT for about 40 years. It was absolute torture for her and I encouraged her not to! My father would get really strict about his Lenten offerings and we all suffered for sure. He would give up alcohol and it was just as hard as if he was drinking. I think it was his way of telling himself he was not addicted. Lent......I have deep deep wounds about Lent. But I find if I dont participate I feel awful during lent and I cannot enjoy Easter. Wow. I really shared that.....thanks for the prompt.

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    1. Lent has never been joyful for me while growing up either :)

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  9. I decided this year instead of giving something up, I would add something for Lent and that is Bible Journaling. I started journaling when Erin moved to Germany, but it didn't last long so this is a perfect opportunity to get back at it and draw closer to God.
    Hope the back is better. I wish I had exercise advice, but all I'm doing these days is yoga and I think you already do that too.
    Have fun with your son.

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    1. You do such beautiful bible journaling!!

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  10. I have never been successful at giving up things for Lent either, but I have found that adding things in have been highly successful, most meaningful, and incredibly empowering. So, this lent I have added in some meaningful devotion time where I can meditate, read, learn, and hopefully apply making this 40 day journey one that impacts my life now and beyond. Your photos are always so lovely - a beautiful view into your world! Happy weekend and an especially happy spring break with your son!

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  11. I love the idea of giving up complaining. I definitely have a bad habit of complaining -- even though I know it doesn't do any good. The way you talk about Lent reminds me of the way I approach the High Holy Days. I think that it's good to have an annual slow-down-and-think time.

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    1. Sometimes it's therapeutic and some stiles it's caustic. Right?

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  12. There are so many wonderful Lenten resources on the internet. Finally a good use of screen time during the Season : )

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  13. I have been trying to eat more healthfully during Lent and try to exercise more often. I am already having trouble sticking to my goal. I will just keep trying though.

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  14. I have not yet thought of a lenten practice. Usually I read from scripture and journal. I will have to take a look at Best Lent Ever! Enjoy your time with your son! xx

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  15. I love your idea of instead of giving up for Lent, doing things for others. It is a positive mindset. And complaining? I can relate. Especially when I have a flare with the FMS...or I've worked too hard, which makes me grumpy. My hubby said to me one day during one of those times, "Has it ever occurred to you that when you aren't feeling well that there is something wrong with ME?" :) His comment was well taken.

    Enjoy that spring break with your son.

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    1. I like having a positive mindset. Thanks for the spring break well wishes!

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  16. I love your idea of "doing" something for lent instead of giving up something. I think our life is a journey toward our better selves. Sometimes I feel more successful at that than others... ALWAYS I see room for improvement! Ha! But, we keep on trying. Beautiful photos, Karen. And, I love that you have your Mom's stitching around you. The 21 Day Fix cured my back and hip ails (core strengthening). I hope you find something that suits you as well. blessings ~ tanna

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    1. Yes! A journey towards our better selves, I love this idea and theme.

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  17. Sorry if this gets too long but I may have some helpful back/core strengthening exercises for you. I broke my back in a windsurfing accident when I was 19. I wasn't supposed to walk again & the surgery they did was for pain management only. They removed 2 vertebra & 2 discs & just left me empty - no fusions, no replacement rods.... So, since I'm empty & had a Most excellent surgeon who didn't leave me paralyzed, I have to do (more like, I should do) a lot of core strengthening & stretching to keep myself from compacting in on my self.

    So - Modified sit-ups. Lay on the floor & scoot up to a low table, chair, couch.... & rest your feet/lower legs on the table... Your knees should be at a 45 degree angle, then do sit ups. I'm supposed to do 300 a day (100 straight up & 100 twisted to each side) but .... I probably don't do 300 a year. :(

    Hanging - either hang from a raised bar by your hands or upside down with your knees over the bar. A playground jungle gym works great for this. It really, really helps stretch your body out.

    Happy & Mad Cats - Kneel on the floor with your head down on the floor & arms out in front of you like you're praying muslim style. (No offense meant, it's just how I've always thought of the position.) Then raise up so your arms are supporting you & arch your back upwards while pulling your stomach in nice & tight. You'll look like an angry cat. Then for Happy Cat, just let your muscles relax, arch in the opposite direction so your belly is close to the floor.

    Also, tight hamstrings can affect your back so any exercise that keeps your hamstrings loose is good.

    And, for those days when your back just feels out of alignment or if you're having sciatic pain in your butt/legs - Stand with your back to a flat wall. Touch your head, shoulder blades, butt & heels to the wall. Now, while maintaining that position, try to touch the small of your back to the wall. You won't be able to, but try. Hold that position for 5 seconds, then slowly do a deep knew bend & sink downwards, keeping all your 'parts' against the wall. Then slowly come back up. Relax & repeat a few times. I'm not sure why it's so affective but it really is.

    As for the complaining - I love to complain to my journal so I don't have to complain to the people. But I'll admit, I could curb a lot of the complaints just by adjusting my attitude. :)

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    1. You have listed some good ideas. I'm going to work through them. Thanks

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  18. Not sure how well I'd do at giving up sugar or complaining (both are plentiful around here) but I am rooting for you, wishing you the best with your RA (no advice to offer, sorry!), and knowing you'll enjoy your visit with your son.

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