It's Lent.

Lenten Resolutions:

1. Give up alcoholic drinks until Easter.
2. Pray at least one decade of the Rosary daily.
3. Clean out my closet and dresser and give away everything I'm not using to the House of Mercy free clothing shop.

With regard to drinking, it's something I enjoy that I could give up without forcing my family to do it with me (like if I gave up red meat or something -- since I'm the one who does all the cooking, and would not cook separate meals, that wouldn't work without a lot of extra planning). I love a glass of wine with dinner, a relaxing cocktail after a particulary tough day, or an after dinner drink with neighborhood friends after the kids have gone to bed. It will be a sacrifice to give these things up for a season, but I gladly do it for the love of my Savior and as a mortification of my spoiled flesh. The fact that I am blessed with such abundance and leisure as to be able to partake of the things I mentioned above (along with the good food and idle chatter that inevitably go with them) on a fairly regular basis is a good reason to quit them for a time and get some needed perspective.

As far as the Rosary, I say "at least one" decade because I have to start somewhere. I don't pray the Rosary at all currently (at least not on any kind of regular basis), so one decade is all I can commit to without feeling like I'm dooming myself to certain failure. That said, a friend of mine who lives four doors down from me wants to pray the Rosary daily with me during Lent, so it is entirely possible that more than one decade will get done more often than not. Accountability is nice, but unfortunately, it can also cut both ways, and I can see us cutting each other way too much slack since we're both busy moms. So I wanted to make my own solid commitment to at least one decade, with or without my friend.

And concerning the clothing donation .... this is going to be something else. I think I'll feel better when it is over. I have a walk in closet and several storage tubs jam packed with designer clothes, shoes and handbags from my life before kids when I was quite a bit thinner and definitely richer and more career-and-status-oriented. I have held onto these things for years now hoping to have reason to wear them again, either through dramatic weight loss or career progress or both. I have got to let it go. The weight loss may or may not happen, but really, I'd like to get pregnant, so hopefully not. And if my writing and speaking career picks up again, then I can buy a few new things if I need to. There is no reason to have the majoriity of my closet space filled with things I am not using and may NEVER use again. But boy, is it going to hurt to see those things go .... knowing exactly how much money they represent (that could have been put in savings or given to the Church or the poor) is the worst part. Oh, well, I trust that it will all be put to good use by the Missionaries of Our Lady of Divine Mercy.

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