Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fat Tuesday....and other glutenous Ideas....

Today is Fat Tuesday.  Or in Catholicmomma world- the last day I eat like a king until Easter....(ok femmanuts-a queen....or perhaps I feel like a king and I want to be a king....)

Today is also known as Shrove Tuesday.  I'm not as familiar with that term minus the fact that it is derived from another word that means confession, which is super cool because really, during Lent, we should attempt to not only purge ourselves of some undesirable trait, but we should seek confession.  AND, depending on how difficult it is to purge ourselves, perhaps seek confession weekly....  We (despite what i have actually been told in the confessional by priests whom I will continue to pray for until the day I die) can NEVER attend the sacrament too often.  The graces we receive are what help us, enable us, to withstand the temptation to sin.  And sometimes?  We need LOTS of graces.  Can we ever have too much?

So today is Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras.  I was introduced to the King Cake during our stint in Little Rock.  I remember thinking, 'what the heck is a king cake?' when the teachers I worked with started  talking about getting one for our classes.  Little did I know, it would start a tradition in my own home that has been a part of our family for almost 20 years.

The idea behind the King Cake is that a baby Jesus is buried somewhere within the cake.

Image result for baby jesus king cake
This picture shows a delicious king cake, BTW
Image result for baby jesus king cake
yea, he might be kinda creepy looking here....
 But whoever gets the "baby Jesus" has to buy the King Cake the next year....(or at least, that's the tradition that was taught to me).  Of course, none of my kids can buy the King Cake, but it's still fun to do it....
Sadly, tho, the King Cake selection up in the snowy north, is not very palatable if you know what I mean.  (hey, I'm just sayin', they know how to make a good king cake down south....)

So that's the king cake.  Which I haven't gotten yet.  When I think about Lent this year, I think about all the silly things I've ever given up for it throughout the years of my life.  I also think about how right after Lent, I went back to consuming or doing whatever it was I gave up.  I'm not putting down anyone who gives up gum and decides to chew it Easter Sunday.

We all have to start somewhere.

And listen, I am going to be 43 in less than 3 weeks, so I'm just now realizing the depth of my "little" sacrifices!!

I want to go deeper this year.  I have a LOT of bad habits.  I mean a LOT.  Ok, nothing you would see me on the news for, relax, but I'm talking about those venial sins that add up.  Mortal sins, too.  Did you know, when you knowingly gossip about another person you are breaking the commandment 'though shall not kill?'  You are basically killing their spirit.  Not only that, most people, when we gossip, wouldn't DARE say what we were talking about to the actual person's face.  That's when you know it's bad.  Or at least we should know it's bad.

I'm very guilty of that.  I find I almost don't even realize it, until I've already allowed myself to enter the conversation. And then I feel like I can't stop and it just spirals.  I always say i'm going to not gossip, but BAM, I fall off the horse and it all starts again.  (Hey- that is the BEAUTY of confession- God loves us, He wants us to keep trying!!!!)

So this Lent, one of my horrible glutenous activities, gossip, is hopefully going to go by the wayside.  This way, after Lent is OVER, I can hopefully break that hideous habit!  I've read before that it takes 40 days to break a habit.  Well, technically speaking, Lent is a hair over 40 days, so what a perfect time to break a bad habit!!

My next rather super embarrassing, here goes nothing, don't judge me please, I'm a sinner just like you, habit is yelling.

Image result for a cartoon mom yelling
Honestly, I think one of my kids created this.... 
I am the WORST mother on earth when I yell.  I mean, that psycho mom in that cartoon right there?  Add some horns and perhaps make me even larger than life and voila, there's scary catholicmomma....

And don't I try everyday to not yell.  WOW.   Remember that old saying, 'be careful what you wish for?'   Well, let's turn it this way- 'Be careful what you pray for.'  I pray to be a good mom who doesn't yell at her children.  I pray this every single day.  Most days, I'm pretty good  about not yelling.  But those days, when I'm overtired, or we've over planned the day, or the baby didn't stop whining all day, or let's say, our super hero hubs has been gone for 10 days straight?  Those days?  Mommy monster comes out and it comes out blazing....
Image result for scary cartoon mommy
There I am....
Of course, when monster mommy comes out, and throws flames and darts all over the house, than guilty mommy comes out....
Image result for cartoon mom crying
So gossip and yelling are two nasty habits I'm going to try to conquer this Lent. I'm also going to try to be more present for my kids.  

I think it's so easy to get completely absorbed on our devices.  And since I began working on this awesome Catholic conference we're bringing up here to snowland, I find myself getting lost in emails and websites trying to get ideas for the conference or other items.  It leads to other sites, which leads to me basically forgetting why I even got on my device to begin with, but it takes away from my kids nonetheless.  It's important that they see that these things do not occupy my every single moment.  

Lent is such a great time.  It's actually one of my favorite times of the Church calendar.  I know that sounds crazy, but I actually look forward to meatless meals, stations of the cross on Fridays, small food sacrifices, and prayer.  

I hope we can all find something a bit deeper to sacrifice this Lenten season that perhaps will draw us even closer to our Lord and His ultimate sacrifice for us.  Enjoy your Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, or whatever else you might call today and let's get to work on our Lenten sacrifices bright and early tomorrow morning!!