For your reading pleasure:  Pope Francis’ thoughts on Lent

The House of Awesome is equipped with a bike trainer and space for doing plyometrics or yoga.

THE HOUSE OF AWESOME — I’m a spiritual person. I was raised as a Methodist, although between age 5 and 12, my family didn’t attend church except when visiting relatives.

I dabbled in Buddhism during college and still study its teachings due to my fascination with eastern culture.

But I’m raising my kids as Episcopalians. And as such, I’ve been trying to figure out what to give up for Lent.

I have a crappy track record at giving stuff up. I have a habit of giving crafts up out of boredom … leaving running for a while because it’s just blah. You get the picture.

But I still hold onto the craft, and once in a blue moon I’ll work on it some more. It will never get done, as I’ve probably lost some pieces by now. 

Lately though, as I’ve become more entrenched in motherhood and exercise, I’m making good on my promises.

After all, I did train for that marathon. I started that local chapter of that thing I promised I’d do. I start and finish repair projects. I remember things I promise to do with the kids and do them. 

But the past few weeks, I’ve run myself ragged. My family is currently in an neverending cycle of germs, which usually breaks in the spring. And things we left undone, well they aren’t just lying there like my old crafts. They are coming back bigger and uglier than ever.

After having a pity party for myself, I took a break and reassessed what was going on. I went from doing one task at a time to doing a million things at once. I wasn’t really doing any of them well. I let my self-doubt and need for instant gratification get in the way of what was really needed.

So, here I am, in the House of Awesome, riding our second-hand triathlon bike, taking breaks as Mountain Kid 3 comes to visit after getting beat up by his siblings for something he did.

Mountain Kid 3 tries to put air in the bike tires during a break from his siblings.

And this time, I’m multitasking because I can do it without getting too distracted. I know my goal: Declare what I’m doing for Lent.

In the article I cited above, Pope Francis calls upon people to let go of hate and stop being blind to the needs of our neighbors.

I’ve kind of started that in recent months by becoming more active in the community. But in my personal life, where it matters most, I have to do the greatest amount of work.

So my goal for Lent, is to love more and become more engaged with my family. To do that, I’m going to get back to doing one thing at a time, putting away the smartphone when the kids are home, and talking to every member of my family.

It will require sacrificing other things. But as Steve Prefontaine said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

While Prefontaine’s gift was running, my gift has been my family. They started the spark that makes me get up at 4:30 a.m. to exercise before work. They have supported me through a lot of crazy adventures.

I haven’t been the best at supporting them. 

Prefontaine’s words are the theme for my Lent. Do your best, always. Let’s see if I can stick with it this Lent.

Do you plan to do anything for Lent?