I'm sure everyone is just anxious to know if our new Lenten project is working or not.
I'm pleased to say that so far, it's been a great success (thanks for asking!) In fact, Kathryn just came in a minute ago and said, "Mom, it's gorgeous outside! As soon as Reilly and I donate our five minutes, can we go out and play?" I'm hearing words I NEVER thought I'd hear in this house, such as, "Wow! This carpet really needs vacumming! I'll go do that and then I think I'll wipe down a few windows!"
Seriously, I think I'm going to cry...
Cleaning aside, however, what I REALLY want us to learn through all this is the value of little mortifications -- that saying "wait" to ourselves when we're anxious to do whatever is a great way to learn to master our appetites and desires. I keep telling the kids that the day will come when they will be faced with a big temptation -- something that appeals to them on every level, and the counsel on all sides will be to go for it. It is in that moment that all this training will pay off. They will have conditioned themselves, so that it will be easier for them to turn away and say no.
That is my prayer.
In other news, I made those chicken tenders again. WONDERFUL, just like last time... although this time I finally wised up (duh) and cut all the meat at one time, dumped it into the bowl with the batter all at once, and then used a spoon to drop it in the hot oil. Last time I did everything in batches, and spent over an hour and half cooking the darn things, as well as having to wash my hands constantly. Blech. This time it was one mess, one handwashing, and only 40 minutes worth of work to cook up over 4 lbs of chicken. Yippee!
Spending that much time in the kitchen isn't a waste for me. When the kids are otherwise entertained, I use that "alone time" to read. I just finished He Leadeth Me, and am currently reading Mark Shea's trilogy Mary, Mother of the Son. While the style is not as conversational as some of his other books that I've read (Making Senses out of Scripture and By What Authority?), I am enjoying the books greatly. When I'm finished with these I think I'll go back and finish Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth, and then... who knows? Maybe I'll jump into some of the Early Church Fathers again.
So many books, so little time...