Friday, April 3, 2015

Well I'm gonna to go then! And I don't need any of this. I don't need this stuff, and I don't need *you*. I don't need anything. Except this. And that's the only thing I need is *this*.The ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need... And this remote control. - The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need... And these matches...

      I love Lent, what with the prayer, and fasting, and whatnot.  I will admit it is not exactly SUPER fun, but it is so freeing.  It's like a good hard run the morning after a really big dinner; it's just refreshing.  Purging all the crap and getting right down to the important stuff.  This year I did this mostly literally and not so much spiritually.  We are moving and spiritual reflection has proven somewhat difficult.  Believe it or not, watching a newly walking baby and a fairly rambunctious three-year old while also trying to  pack up all our belongings and get our house ready for sale is not as easy as it sounds.  Moving, however, does necessitate a garage sale, which is kind of like spiritual reflection.
     Oh.  My.  God.  We have so much crap.
     I feel like I just want to take a snow shovel and throw it all into a furnace.
       People often say that when they start packing up their belongings they realize how much stuff they don't need, but honestly I am really baffled by how much stuff our family does need.  Why?  WHY do I need fancy dishes for holidays? Where did all these vases even come from?  Do the kids really need all these toys?  WHY? Why do we need this rug? or this table?  or these shoes?  Is it really worth packing them all up?  I HATE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!
     Never mind that my sister is also moving and, as she brought things to the garage sale, I would immediately carry it into my house like a crazy hoarder.  It's just that all her stuff is so pretty! and there is no poop on it.
     Sigh.  Sometimes I think we are moving just because that house is cleaner than ours.

What was I talking about before?

Oh, yes.  Lent and getting rid of crap.
Yeah, maybe I did less of that than I had previously imagined.
But you know what I DID do?  I made Amani a place mat.  prayer place mat.  See?  That's pretty Lent-ish.
Cute little place mat in a terrible little photo.

     I was thinking that, although Amani goes to a Catholic preschool, we don't really incorporate Catholicism into our daily lives at all.  We don't talk about God, or Jesus.  We don't pray.  We don't go to church.  I mean, how would she know we are Catholic at all right?  So, since Lent has the prayer element in it, I decided that we should start praying before meals.  I had been wanting to pray before meals.  It seems like the perfect time to pause and give thanks, and reflect for all the work that goes into our meal.  But, I would always forget.  (I get very excited about food.)
     So, the place mat.  At first I didn't really have an accompanying prayer I just knew the things that I wanted Amani to reflect on.  I took some of Amani's finger paint paper, and drew the main ideas, then laminated it at it OfficeMax.  Amani was obsessed with it for a short time; I think we prayed about ten times she first day. Once we practiced a bunch of times, we had kind of figured out a rhyme and rhythm.  We say:
We thank you for the sun, the rain and the soil
The animals that give, and the hands that toil
for our family both far and near
and all of those that we hold dear
For running and playing and all of our friends
and for Your love that never ends.
So that totally counts.
See, God?  See?!  I am totally trying here!
That means You're gonna help me pack, right?

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