My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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The Lenten Journey - Seeing yourself plainly.

rose, bible and rosary

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I've been working my way through Elizabeth Foss's Above All, this Lent. This is how this journal/book is described on Amazon:

It’s filled with tools to help you discover which areas need greater care and tending, and is meant to inspire and motivate you to become your absolute truest self, so that come Easter, you can flourish as God intended

The past few days have been about discovering why we hold on to hurt and why it is so difficult to forgive. 

Longtime readers might remember that I have confessed on this blog that it's hard for me to let go of things. I have always been this way since I was a little girl. As I pondered these things this week, I had an epiphany moment. 

I have an almost photographic memory of tragic and hurtful things. I can remember the Kennedy Assassination and how it affected my family with surprising clarity considering I was just 4 years old at the time. I can remember hurtful and scary things my grandma said to me, like screaming a racial slur against my father and threatening to throw me out of the house with him - I was 12. I also remember things like my pet cat Shadow being hit by a car and things like that. It's not that I don't remember good things too - I do, but even Mr. Pete is surprised about how many negative things I remember so clearly. 

What I think I learned about myself this week is that I don't remember these things with a refusal to forgive - because I do forgive. I think I remember as a way to protect. For some reason, I am wired to remember the tragedies and hurt as a way of learning to cope and strategize against further injury. In other words, see the signs because I have seen them before, put up the proper protections, and then live through whatever challenge is in front of me. 

In some ways, maybe this has been an asset. For example, losing my cat at age 10, prepared me in some ways to lose my grandma when I was 18. Remembering that grief helped me later on when my grandfather died ten years later, and then when I lost my baby in 2002 and my mom in 2009. My ability to deal with grief got better with each loss because I had already learned the coping mechanisms that work the best for me.  And so it is with other losses, like not having the full use of my knee, or a child moving out of state. 

As I went through my workbook last night and searched my conscience, I'm pretty sure there is no hate or vengeance there. That is not because I am so virtuous, but because those things require a lot of energy to sustain them and I just don't have that kind of energy to give. Maybe what I need to learn is letting go of the hurt that comes with the memories. I don't know, but it will be interesting to keep reading the scriptures and studying this book for the next six weeks. 

How is your first week of Lent going? Have you had any revalations during your journey so far?