Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lenten Reflection

This Lenten season has been a very interesting one for me both personally and professionally.

Our business, like most everyone else's has felt the effects of a down-trodden economy. At first, we believed that things would turn around fairly soon. Now we know, we are in this for the long haul, and we must keep the faith that every thing is going to be ok. It may not look like what we started with, but in the end, I believe that we will end up exactly where we are supposed to be.

Personally, I have done fairly well with keeping my Lenten sacrifices. As I do every year, I have also made Lenten promises. These promises are things that I try to implement into my daily life to bring me into a closer relationship with Christ. Usually, I pick something that is most often something that I fail at, so I decided to try to keep things much simpler this year, choosing to focus on my interpersonal relationships with the ones I love, praying that in turn, this will ultimately draw me closer to Him.

I can tell you all, it has. I have learned more about myself this Lenten season than I have in a very long time. I have been able to identify some of my root sins that cause me to commit the same venial sins over and over again. I can't tell you how many times I have avoided going to confession because I figured it would be just the same ol' same ol' and nothing would change for me.

I don't like what I see at the root of my sin. Thank goodness! Imagine if I DID like what I saw? I am willing to make the change, one small step at a time, and I know that I must invite Christ to take each step with me, as this, my friends, is not a journey for me alone.

The practice of a simple virtue to combat the corresponding sin seems easy enough, but I assure you, if you are dealing with a root sin, it is not. It is one thing to give up sweets, or soda, or something else outside of myself, but attempting to change something at the very core of my personality, well that in itself is a totally different matter indeed.

While I look forward to Easter, I do not embrace the end of my Lenten journey. I am one of those people that needs the constant reminder of the season of repentance to continue to strive to pull away those things which keep me from God.

This is probably why I do love Mercy Sunday so much. For me, it pulls Holy Week and Easter to a whole new level of spirituality. I am not trying to infer that Divine Mercy Sunday is more important than Easter, however, I am saying that knowing that God, in His infinite love, gives us His only Son to redeem us, and then He, in His infinite wisdom, also knows that we are a people of weakness, and therefore, gives us Divine Mercy Sunday to show us that His Mercy reigns always!

A tradition in my family growing up was to purchase new clothes on Easter and participate in the Easter parade, which was not really a parade at all, but just friends and neighbors in the community walking up and down a main street in our town, showing off our new clothes. It was supposed to be a reflection of our spiritual change that had occurred during Lent.

This year, I will not buy new clothes, as I want to break from the tradition of "appearing" to have changed, but rather, I will, with His grace, wear something I already own, but don it as a new person in Christ. A new person from within.

As we enter into this last few days of Lent, I pray that each of you arises on Easter morning a changed being. Not on the outside, but where it counts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Latest Fishism

This morning, Fish and I were watching a bit of the news when a clip came on touting...

"This woman is being forced to clean houses to survive... Another victim of the Madoff scam!"

Don't get me wrong... Bernie Madoff has done some very bad things and has hurt lots of people with his actions. He should spend the rest of his life in jail, and in my opinion, he should perform lots of hard labor in the most unglamorous of jobs to pay for his stay in the prision system, but frankly, as Americans, we need to stop playing the role of perpetual victim and get up, dust ourselves off, and persevere!

Fish heard this news clip and said... "Is her house that dirty?" I asked what he meant by that and he replied, "Well, she has to clean it to survive!"

When I explained what the clip was intending to say, he ended the conversation with...

"Drama!"

I can't tell you how hard I laughed, yet at the same time, his viewpoint is dead-on...

I mean is cleaning houses really that horrible? Yes, she was scammed, and yes, it is unfortunate that she must return to work after planning to have a nice retired life, but things could be so much worse, couldn't they?

Sure, I'd be angry as heck if this happened to me, so I suppose it's easy for me to sit back and say these things, but I think about all of the women that have worked as cleaning ladies, waitresses, store clerks, among other things, to make a better life for their children and grandchildren.

Let's get past the drama, roll up our sleeves, take our country back, and act like the Americans our forefathers hoped we would be!

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Flu

Nothing has captured what the flu has looked like in our home quite like this shot of Foo