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The Stations of Our Cross

Leading into Lent this year, I struggled to find what I would give up. Seriously though: I was entering Lent as a postpartum mama of 3 weeks with baby number two while child number one was eighteen months, and my husband was an accountant heavy into tax season which consisted of 55- to 60-hour work weeks. Even before entering the Lenten season, I felt like I was giving up so much - my body was given up for the purpose of feeding my newborn, and my energy (not to mention my sanity) was expended by my toddler who was getting into everything. 

What more could I possibly give?

This question started to get me flustered the closer we approached Lent, and before we knew it, the journey began. What could I give up? 

As Lent began and I listened to the homilies at mass, I had to accept the fact that there was nothing more I could give. It dawned on me that my Lenten journey had to focus not on WHAT I could give up. I had to focus on HOW I could give it up. 

All of us are faced with challenges throughout our lives. They are moments that can help us grow closer to God if we choose to let them. As a parent, the challenges may seem numerous: I have never parented a toddler before! I don’t know how to handle the toddler tantrums! How come I don’t have more than two hands so I can nurse the newborn while keeping the older child out of trouble?! 

Through the parental challenges I have faced, I could easily start screaming and crying just like my toddler does when she is faced with a challenge. Through my Lenten journey, I have been working at the HOW I work through these challenges. 

As a mother, the greatest motherly example I have to look to is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary went through Her challenges with such grace! Since She is the example by which I want to follow, I try to observe how she might have handled my challenge: with grace. I am weak and find myself turning to the Lord in prayer during my parental hardships, often crying and asking for Him to give me the grace and the strength to get me through the days. I struggle and fall. I look towards the example Mary gives; I seek peace in what I do knowing that the Great Lady had the same role I did in being a mother. 

While only half-way through Lent as I write this, I cannot say that I have perfected myself. What I do know is that this journey has brought me closer to God through the prayers that help me through the “stations” of my cross. I am also aware that my journey will not end once Easter is here. I will need to continue to seek God throughout my parental journey so that I can continue to manage the hardships with grace. 

Did you have trouble finding something to give up for Lent? Perhaps you feel as I did at the start of this season and maybe, just maybe, you should consider HOW you manage your cross. 

May you have a spiritually-led journey seeking God and asking for His help in carrying your cross. 


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