Day 001: Easter & My Own Personal Live Not Ordinary Challenge
We’ve entered the Easter season, but part of what I’ve been thinking, as Lent slipped by and some days I did what I’d committed to and some days I didn’t, is how much better I could have been at keeping my commitments.
This year for Lent, I vowed to do several small things. I promised to a eat fruit or vegetable every day. One lousy fruit or vegetable every day – pathetic I know! I’d gotten away from healthy eating and needed to get back on track. I’d used legitimate pain from an accident and pushing too hard, too fast as an excuse to fall in nutrition and quiet time and other areas vital to optimal performance too. Almost two years ago, physical pain had gotten overwhelming when I tried working out. I was not able to push through, so I stopped. Stopping was the right decision to avoid worse injuries, but it also became the impetus for dropping the ball on other areas of my health and self care too. I didn’t want to be seen as a victim, and so I made myself a greater victim by falling prey to my own pride.
Maybe that’s part of what got me thinking about this personal Live Not Ordinary Challenge. I say I’m big on not making excuses, yet here I am with a year and a half of excuses about not exercising that led to excuses in other areas too. What’s worse, is here I am reflecting on 40 days of a so-so Lent. I could have given more. Now, I have to live with that and reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and how I can make more right than wrong happen in the future.
Did I Live a Not Ordinary Lent?
I ate more fruits and vegetables than I normally would, but I did not do it every day. I also said I would follow through on my physical therapy and go for a ten minute walk every day. I did more PT than normal, but not every day. After the accident, when I pushed myself to force out the pain, fear, humiliation, and intense flashbacks, I ran far and got fairly good for my age, but I was in constant pain and failed to listen to my body. Now, a ten minute walk, which I wanted to do more to keep me clear headed and grateful than to get me in shape, was difficult and painful. I walked some days, but not all. I wish I could say I skipped days because I was taking the high road and not hurting myself, but I can’t. I didn’t do it some days because I forgot or put it off until late in the day and was tired.
Looking at all that I did in a mediocre fashion and how most Christians and even Catholics approach Lent, I’d have to say I lived Lent in a pretty ordinary, non-spectacular way. This is time lost that can never be regained – What a waste!
In fact, through Lent, there was only one vow I’d committed to that I kept to almost perfectly – veiling. I wore a chapel veil (almost) every time I went to Church and I went to Mass or stopped in to see Jesus for at least a few minutes almost every day through Lent.
So What’s Up with Veiling at Mass?
Veiling is something I’d been interested in for a while. About ten years ago, I saw a beautiful young woman come to church wearing a black veil. She received the Eucharist so reverently. She was the only I’d ever seen veil, and I admired her for the veil, for her reception of the Body of Christ, for her ability to be stand out, especially without knowing anyone to lean on for security.
Looking back at that last sentence, it seems so obvious. She leaned on Jesus for security! I have such a long way to go!
I hadn’t thought of that veiled young woman in this context before writing the above, but now, I think she may have been my first real life example of someone who chooses to Live Not Ordinary.
I’ll have to go back and think more on that another time.
I have to wrap this up, but before I do, I want to get back to veiling.
Veiling is more than just a beautiful accessory. It is more than a fancy head covering. Veiling had been calling to me for a while.
That’s wrong. Veiling is not a living thing, so a veil or an act of veiling cannot call someone, but something had definitely stirred in my heart when I saw that woman so beautifully veiled. I don’t know whether it was/is My Mary, or our Lord, or all the holy Angels and Saints that called me to veil, but I knew I had to do it. I’d talked to a friend about it once. She mentioned she’d thought of veiling too but didn’t want to be a distraction in Mass to those who might look at her and wonder. It made sense. A veil in Mass would be something people would notice. Heck, I’d noticed it! I understood her point, but it seemed there was more to it too – at least on my part.
I didn’t want to veil because I didn’t want to stand out. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to slide by unnoticed. I did not want to be gossiped about. Veiling would accomplish none of that!
If I wanted to veil, I had to come out of my comfort zone and do what I believe is good rather than what I know to be comfortable.
And so I chose to veil for Lent.
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone to do What Makes You Self-Conscious
I was super self-conscious especially at first, especially in my small home parish, but I realized my discomfort did not matter. Veiling was not about me. It was about doing something for Jesus.
I chose to veil as an act of humility, a return to modesty, a submission to a Will greater than my own, and a loving respect for Jesus who is truly present in our Tabernacles. These reasons gave me purpose that I had to make greater than my self-consciousness.
Sometimes you wait for motivation or just the right moment, when there is no motivation or perfect moment. It comes down to just digging in and doing what you don’t want to do. That’s what I did.
Funny thing is…I got used to it. In fact, I think I made a bigger deal out of it in my own head than other people did. I notice that happens a lot!
As the end of Lent drew closer, the question became whether I would continue to veil once the sacrificial season was over or if I would go back to my old ways. I began to consider why I had veiled and what had changed or stayed the same because of my choices and how things would change or stay the same if I continued.
If I chose to veil during Lent for humility, modesty, submission, and loving respect, would all that go away just because a new week started on our calendar? Of course not! Should I then chose to stop veiling when so many lessons and graces were coming because of it?
If veiling was in question, what else was in question?
That, my dear Fiercely Beloveds, is a question for tomorrow. Tonight, I am over my time limit and past my bedtime and, in this case, two negatives don’t make a positive. I am going to keep my word-ish and head to sleep.
Good night and God Bless…
Gratitude List Tuesday, April 11, 2023:
- Lying in bed knowing I could hit snooze again or read Overcome by Jason Redman.
- Reading Overcome by Jason Redman this morning.
- Planning for today’s return to school before break.
- Coffee and having a sense of humor for when my coffee is not going well!
- The 8th graders in my class. They drive me crazy, but I love them!
- F’s letting em know where he’d be after school today.
- T and F inviting me to go fishing with them.
- Seeing LI and JM and having them hug me hello and then hang with the boys and fish.
- Being able to help F with his homework.
- Dinner – chicken and soy sauce recipe and F saying it smelled good!
- Sweet dreams y’all!
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