Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of my Lenten fast. Not only am I fasting from, I'm fasting to, wanting to work on instilling good habits as well as breaking bad. My house is often cluttered, I am plagued by procrastination and laziness, an addiction to pleasure. Something needs to change. So I resolve and start out wanting to make a difference in my home. But on the walk to school, I fall injuring my knee. Walking hurts, sitting hurts, I don't want to do anything. I long to sit, read a book. After all, I'm injured. It's okay. Grace, right?
My flesh longs to cave, but my spirit has other plans. I set a goal just to carry up my fiction books upstairs so they can be put on our new bookshelves. While I'm there, I find another small chore so do that too...the pain is still there, but I can do this, just this little task. I find children's books in the hallway and on the diaper drawer, scoop them up and carry them downstairs to be put away. There are books everywhere in our house.
I rest for awhile, sleeping toddler on my lap, non-fiction book in my hand. Then I gear up for the walk to school. This I can do, even with 30 lbs on my back. We return and I think of ordering pizza for dinner. But I can do this, I am determined to. So I scoop out the cabbage, carrots, onions, celery and garlic from their hiding places and begin to chop. My oldest boy wanders into the kitchen, whining. I give him a job peeling crust from bread and he begins to talk, telling me about his thoughts. I listen, happy that I'm choosing to work, to make this meal for my family. The soup is done and I could go blow up jewels, but but but. I take a deep breath...I can do this too. So I lay out eggs and begin to peel the speckled and fragrant bananas on the counter. Strangely, this task that seemed too much becomes much easier than anticipated. My daughter greases the muffin tins and my son demonstrates his push-up abilities. I laugh, the pain in my knee easing a bit. When all is done, I keep going, clearing and cleaning determined to do this first day of Lent well.
My husband returns from work and we sit down to eat. Up we get again, turning on our 80s hits compilation much to our children's delight. Then we sit, with buttered bread, carrot salad and a simply delicious garlic soup with pesto. My children declare the soup spicy, but my husband and I just keep eating this, quite possibly the best soup I've made yet. And I have hope, that even when my body rebels, that I can do this, I can be an overcomer, someone who learns new habits and breaks the old. Even better than a belly full of delicious, mostly local food is this heart full of hope.
Linking with Emily