What am I cooking? The same meal is on tap here almost every Thursday night– roast chicken, a vegetable (tonight it’s spinach), and potatoes. It’s quick and simple.
What are my weekend plans? EASTER!!! I am blessed to be attending Holy Thursday Mass tonight, while Mr. Red stays home with the kiddos. He will attend Good Friday Service tomorrow, and we will meet him afterwards for the procession. We will wake and go to Easter Sunday Mass and then we will spend a quiet Easter Sunday at my parents house. Everything is very low key this year as Gus (age 3) had his tonsils and adenoids removed this week. I spent Monday and Tuesday at a children’s hospital, seeing some very sick little ones and thanking God that my son was only having his tonsils and adenoids removed. A family member in need of surgery is a flashing red light saying, “simplify.” And so, last weekend I ordered plain white Easter shirts for the boys from Old Navy. Claire is wearing a hand-me-down dress from Gianna and Gianna still fits into her Easter dress from last year. I may need to make a quick run to the store for some Easter basket stuffers on Saturday morning, but overall our Easter preparations have been very minimal, and just what the doctor ordered for our family!
What are my prayer intentions for the day? For the complete healing of my son Gus and many praises that he only needed his tonsils and adenoids removed. He has been pretty sick for several weeks, sleeping the days away, eating minimally, and we were alarmed by systemic swollen lymph nodes and odd complaints of pain from our little man. Praise God all his blood work was normal, and we pray he is on the road to recovery.
I am also praying for a friend Rachel, her husband, and two young boys. Rachel is very sick with cancer and will spend her Easter in the hospital. Her Lent has been filled with penances not of her choosing, and yet she embraces them all with such grace and peace. She truly glorifies God through her illness. I pray that I am able to roll with God’s choices for me these last days of Lent. Embracing God’s will in my life and realizing that being holier starts with my own attitude towards small inconveniences has been a constant theme for my Lent. Rachel is a beautiful example for me and for so many others.
What can my children do instead of watching TV? Go to a good friend’s house when times are tough! A special thank you to Mary Alice who generously watched my older two children for an overnight and allowed me to get some much needed sleep and peace. My children had a fabulous time, and I am so grateful for her friendship. And I fully admit that my babies watched T.V. all day yesterday! I think surgery qualifies as a good excuse for television.
What have I done for my marriage this week? I’m not sure. I’ve been pretty focused on my little man Gus, so I guess this means I need to do something for my marriage in the coming days!
What am I reading? The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis.
What’s challenging me lately? The unbreakable will of my 3 year old son Gus. While in the hospital, everything was more difficult for him than a typically developing child. During our hospital stay he fought every move those doctors and nurses made–as if he was fighting for his life. He kicked, he screamed, and he even tried to bite one nurse. Nothing is easy with him. I thought the surgery and recovery might mellow him just a little bit. Maybe, just maybe, he would start to trust us, and to accept that he sometimes has to do small things that he doesn’t like. No, and No.
Something that made me think? Last year, for the first time in ten years (when I came into full communion with the Catholic Church), I did not attend Holy Thursday Mass. It is one of the most beautiful Masses of the entire year, and I was so sad to miss it! Claire was nursing and went to bed at 7pm (the time Mass begins), and Gus, my then two year old, went to bed early as well. One of us had to stay behind to put the babies to sleep, and since Claire didn’t take a bottle well, it made the most sense for me to take that job. This year, Mr. Red will do baby duty while I attend Holy Thursday Mass.
Missing Holy Thursday Mass caused me a small twinge of guilt last year. This year, I will miss Good Friday Service, but I feel no guilt. I know that I am right where God wants me to be, caring for my family and putting the needs of my sick toddler and baby first. For me, I think the guilt comes from the idea that I can somehow earn Easter. But going to Holy Thursday Mass tonight doesn’t make me any more “worthy” of Easter. None of us, no matter how strictly we follow through with our Lenten promises and liturgical observances, are worthy of Easter. We don’t earn Easter because we can’t. Jesus knows we all fall short. Easter is His gift to me, His gift to us all. Our job is simply to open our hearts to receive this gift.