Yesterday evening we feasted on pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday (first time I’d ever heard of Shrove anything!) and then last night I had one of the worst sleeps of my life. Woke up in the wee hours hearing my daughter cry. And while she managed to put herself back to sleep, I never did. Tossing and turning is how I spent the early hours of Ash Wednesday.
What probably made the whole situation worse, was knowing that I would be waking up v e r y early to start out Lent with a BANG. It always works that way doesn’t it? When you know you really need to sleep. You can’t.
It was a big temptation to turn my alarm off and sleep in. But, I am happy to say, I didn’t and thus managed to fulfill the first day of my Lenten commitment.
Lent has always been my least favourite celebration on the church calendar. I’ve never been good at denying myself. And while I thought about it sometimes in passing growing up – the odd “fast” from chocolate or caffeine here and there – I never really thought through the implications. Over the years though, it has become more important and relevant. And now, surrounded by a wonderfully intentional community in Phnom Penh, it means even more. I can see the light at the end of the “denying self” tunnel.
So, this year, I’m taking a slightly different angle. And focusing on the positive. Where I take away something from my life (sleep) in order to replace it with something else (reading and reflection time every morning). Because in the early morning darkness, before the pitter patter of two-year old feet, and the messy diapers, and the frenzy of leaving the house and going to daycare and getting to work on time, is one of the only times where I find sacred stillness.
Wish me luck! I barely succeeded in my first day of Lent and I’m sure the temptation to turn off the alarm, sleep in, and carry on business as usual, will only get stronger as the season progresses.
You doing anything for Lent this year?