As many of you know, I am not an overly religious person. I believe in God, I follow the teachings of Jesus and believe that you can find spiritual truths in the Bible. Observing Lent has always appealed to me because I see it as a chance to grow and move forward in my spiritual journey and as a human being.
My Lenten sacrifice was presented to me this year - it was not one I chose.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in January, had the middle lobe of her right lung removed on Valentine's Day. She came home to stay with me and my family until she recovers.
If you've ever taken care of someone, particularly an elderly person, who has had major surgery, you know the amount of personal sacrifice it takes. They depend on you for everything.
You might say, it's your mother, how can that be a sacrifice?
My relationship with my mother has been rocky to put it mildly. I have a lot of resentment, anger and total frustration that built up over the years.
I made the decision when I learned of her illness to take this time to try to work through some of this. I took her into my home to care for her.
This decision was not about her, but about ME. It was about the person that I want to be, it was about losing the burden of those angry feelings through personal sacrifice and spiritual growth.
I understand her better. I know she loves the best she knows how. I have to love her for who she is, she's not going to change. The only thing I can do is change how I react and feel.
A friend sent me a book of daily meditation to take me through this time. I opened it randomly today to this quote:
A wise woman strengthens her family
The influence of a woman on her family is phenomenal - for good or bad. Sadly, some women weaken their families through selfishness, ambition and carelessness. The vigilant, wise, and godly woman holds her family together, makes sacrifices to ensure its stability, and entreats God's blessing with her prayers. You can be that kind woman - the kind that builds up and strengthens. Ask God to help you. He will show you how.
I pray that my family is stronger, now.