Happy Easter, everyone! I hope this day is bringing joy and new beginnings to all! I wanted to share an out of the ordinary Lent and Easter story we are living this year. For the last few weeks, I have been with my boys house sitting for my parents. In this time, I realized I had kind of given up my husband for Lent. Here are some of the feelings that have come out of it.
Quick What is Lent?
Regardless of the type of religion or nonreligion people follow, many have heard of the practice of Lent and “giving up” something. I just learned Lent is not only Catholic as I had thought. The Lenten sacrifice is observed across many Christian religions. Lent is a time of fasting and sacrificing things dear in order to walk the footsteps of Jesus in his 40 day fast in the dessert. One thing to note is Jesus’s trip to the desert did not coincide with his crucifixion. He did his fast in the desert at age 30 it is believed, and died on the cross at age 33. We just pair Lent and Easter.
To many Christians, Easter is the foundation of the belief in Jesus, who saved us from our sins. It lays the ground for why we worship a savior and have hope of a heaven ever after.
For me, Lent is a time to cleanse, meditate, and reconfigure what is important in life. Easter is a time for rebirth and new beginnings. If you take that idea of a new beginning seriously, it does take preparation. Cleanse out what are distractions and find the things in your life that can raise you up, lighter and new.
Why I don’t usually give anything up
With that said, in all of my life, I don’t ever really think I seriously gave anything up for Lent. I hate to confess, I have pretty bad self-control, especially when it comes to food.
Also, I was always kind of put off by it. In high school and through college, I saw a lot of my friends give something up, and it was all a little sensational to me. People would often boast of what they were giving up, and I would be all too skeptical if they really were.
I had heard of a different tradition to add something to my life for Lent instead, which I thought made more sense, and I was a little more willing to do. There is kind of a blurry line I found with adding/sacrificing. One year I gave up skipping church; I was thinking I added church attendance. One year I added an exercise routine; this is really also giving up one hour of your life to exercise.
Anyway, these things I did were helpful and did ultimately better myself as a person. But, honestly I realize now I never really understood Lent.
My Lent Experience this Year
As I mentioned, I have been house sitting for my parents while they are on a trip visiting my sister, who lives in Australia. Since April 6th, it has been my sons and me, no husband and away from my home, friend circles, and regular routine/events.
Up until this trip, we had been having stresses. We are in the midst of trying to sell our house, Spring is a demanding time for my husband’s work. Sickness would just not stop. Spring brings home renovation projects back on the table for us.
We have a three year old and a baby. Should I have just said that?
I love my husband, but I will be completely honest and say huffy days were suffocating joy and appreciation- I think for both of us.
The first week away was actually kind of great. I had things to try to catch up on with blogging and some other goals and obligations. I worked on establishing a bit of a routine and found many fun activities in the Minneapolis area going on.
It has gotten harder. In having no husband and no dad for the kids, I was reminded of little things I love about my husband and also things that I have taken fore granted in having a spouse. Here are places where I really felt my husbands absence these last few weeks.
Waking up. To be honest, mornings are a little less stressful, because I do not have to worry about the kids waking up my husband too early before he goes to work. I have been able to just be slow and grudgingly get out of bed when the kids wake up with the sun. But, I am so thankful this is my job while he wakes up and faces going to work. He misses seeing the kids in the day, and I get to experience it all- the good and the bad.
This Lent, I am more acutely thankful for my husband that I can even be on this trip. Not having a job outside of my home, I could take the OPPORTUNITY to help my parents out and save them the expenses of boarding their farm and house animals. Talking on the phone, I realized how many stories I have of the kids and how thankful I am to have the OPPORTUNITY to witness them doing the things they do.
Daddy coming home from work. We talked about this, and this is a highlight for all of our day. Abe, gets excited every time. Sometimes he hides to try to scare Dad. Sometimes he runs with excitement to greet him with a hug. This is precious. My husband always enjoys that moment. All of the excitement is contagious. Plus, I look forward to it as a break for me where I can throw the kids on him and rest my surveillance mode and just cook, Twitter, or whatever. I’m not so sure this is every day for him, but he enjoys spending time playing and being with his kids that he hasn’t seen all day. (I say not sure everyday, since he is just tired some days and would also like to just rest as much as me.)
This Lent, no one got this OPPORTUNITY to have this SPECIAL MOMENT. I realized how much we really look forward to this- starting pretty much after lunch, sometimes earlier.
Dinners/Meals. Dinners ( lunches too, for my husband will take off work to come home for lunches some days) are always the hopeful relaxing, sit down and enjoy the presence of each other and a good conversation. I still hope for the days where this will happen more often than the alternative. The alternative being chaos, of course, in trying to get everyone fed.
This Lent, I had no one to talk to, but my toddler and a baby. Even though meals are not necessarily relaxing and peaceful, everyone is there. There IS an OPPORTUNITY to be together and talk, even if you have to fight for it. Also, the battle to make the toddler eat something is a shared battle and not a lonely one.
I am thankful for my husband and my family. Though we struggle, we have the OPPORTUNITY to figure things out and SHARE in this parenting journey, which includes helping each other in self-growth. That huffy attitude I spoke of earlier is on me. I may be frustrated in having to ask for help, but really I have a husband who wants to help. I have a husband who wants to talk and come up with ideas for solutions. Though, we may both drag our feet at times, our sons mean the world to us, and we are thankful for them and for each other in this opportunity of the lifetime to be the best family of individuals we can be. There is always opportunity. The bad things going on in life, just have that much more opportunity of improvement.
This Lent, I will go home with a new perspective and fresh start with my husband. I need to schedule a date night for just TALKING. I think making a list of struggles we can work out solutions for is in order. That can wait though; we need to see Endgame first.
I am so excited for next week, when we will see him again. Really giving up things that are really dear makes you realize what a blessing they are. I hope everyone can experience new beginnings this Easter as I have.
Thanks for reading, and I do apologize because I just wanted to document this event going on in my life. Next week I will get back on track with education and activities for toddlers. I have kind of a “Youtube book” I wrote and illustrated that I will be sharing!