The candy is mostly gone and the world assumes Easter is over. Not exactly. The momentum that may appear to have been stuffed in a tomb is, instead, loose in the world. The Season of Easter provides 50 days in which to get used to the concept that the stone has been pushed away. The momentum is sufficiently ample to hold all our sorrows and enable us to risk the abundance of joy. -Helen Barron
I loved this little thought Helen Barron shared in her Easter newsletter from Candlepress. I think of all the momentum I had going into Lent and the changes I wanted to make. What a long haul those 40 days seemed once I got into the middle of them and how many times didn’t I want to just “go back” to the way things were?
But now, Easter is here, and I can see (when I take the time to reflect) that I have been changed. Not in the ways I’d hoped or planned, perhaps, but I’ve changed all the same. In “giving up” my excuses, I have noticed changes in the following areas:
- Diet and exercise: I have not had a Diet Coke in almost two months, and I now exercise a minimum of 4 days a week (but usually 6). This has not amounted in the 20 lb. weight loss I’d dreamed of that all the infomercials promise, but I have lost 5 lbs. and I continue to eat better each day.
- Writing: I think the calendar on the right is proof enough that I have been able to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for almost a month!
- Household chores: I’ve always had a set schedule for chores since the time I was very young. What’s happened over the course of the past 13 years that I’ve stayed home, however, is that I’ve found my motivation for staying on a schedule to fall into the category of the most mundane. I mean a girl can only clean out toilets every Tuesday and Friday for so long before she really starts to doubt that maybe there’s something more. But over the course of this past Lent, I’ve told myself it doesn’t matter if they’re dirty or not, I’ll do it anyway to save myself having to do it when they’re really dirty. And while I haven’t been perfect about it, I’ve certainly been more routine in the last 40 days than I have for quite some time. Which brings me to my final realization…
- Being less than perfect: This is an odd one for me to realize, because I would have never said I was perfect before. Or probably even a “perfectionist.” But as I peeled back through the layers of why I’d failed at keeping routines down before (like diet and exercise, writing, and chores) I came to realize that I would stray from the plan at the slightest sign of it not being perfect. In other words, I’d think that if I didn’t exercise right away in the morning, I might as well not exercise at all that day. And if I missed one day, then I might as well miss two because “the week’s been shot,” etc. The same goes for writing. If I couldn’t put out something that felt “complete” I didn’t want to post it. And, of course, the chores… why wash dishes right away this morning, when they’ll be dirty ones again by lunchtime? But that’s what I’ve learned: life isn’t perfect.
But, of course, life isn’t meant to be perfect.
It’s meant to be lived.
Sure, we should make plans and try to keep some balance in our lives by striving for our best work.
But we’re almost always going to fail.
In fact, I’ve come to believe we’re meant to.
Because, as C.S. Lewis once said, “All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, ‘You must do this. I can’t.’ ”
And seeing it in this light, from the most ordinary of “duties” has, for me, brought God from “out there” to “in here.” I’ve long understood, of course, that God would care about whether or not I broke a commandment, but would he care if I broke a promise to myself?
One month later, five pounds lighter, a calendar full of regular blog posts, and the house a bit cleaner, I have to admit I’ve changed.
Or rather, Some Thing has changed me.
In ways I never thought possible.
My “perfect” stone has been “pushed away,” and opened a space for an abundance of joy in the most ordinary of ways.
It may not sound like much…but it’s my Easter miracle.
P.S. Check in with me Friday, and I’ll show you around the new place here at The Mystic Mom! Also, I apologize if you received this post in an incomplete mess yesterday. I was “housecleaning” here on the blog and accidentally published this before it was properly “cooked.” Oops. Good thing I’ve gotten OK with being less than perfect! 🙂