Lent: Oh Honey, I’m So Glad You’re Here

lisieux_scott praying, blog

As much as I sing the praises of the Christmas season, I’ll freely admit that Lent is my absolute favorite. Even more than birthdays. Yes, even more than those.

I’ve written before about making Lent awesome, getting your kids involved and NOT taking Sundays off, but today I’m asking a favor.

Don’t be that Catholic.

Don’t be the one who goes around saying things like, “Oh I’d love to have that cup of joe, but I GAVE IT UP FOR LENT” loud enough for all of Starbucks to hear.

Don’t be the mom who says snarky things to your friends on Facebook who are enjoying that glass of wine you gave up.

Don’t be the gal who has to make sure folks know you’re doing seriously awesome acts of charity BECAUSE IT’S LENT.

And, definitely don’t be the one who goes around on Ash Wednesday telling people how hungry you are. You know those kids in Africa and China, right?

Instead, be that Catholic.

Be the one who your friends look at and say, “Man, I want what she has.” And then they promptly get themselves to church.

Be the one who finds herself falling more in love with God with each passing day.

Be the one who recognizes her misgivings, her failings, her shortcomings and asks God to use the Lenten season to purify her soul and to put her trust back in her Maker.

And, most definitely be the one who feels the absolute love come Easter Sunday because she’s prepared her soul for the feast.

“That all sounds great, Kathryn, but get real.” Hey, I hear ya mom of littles. There were many an Ash Wednesday when I was doing good to just survive the Mass that allowed me to get those dang ashes. I was a downright Olympian for limping through Lent and then enduring another long Mass called Easter Sunday. Lent after Lent, 40 days after 40 days I was just surviving.

Been there. Done that. Bought the freaking t-shirt.

And then one day I decided to stop making excuses. I realized that I was wanting God to make my Lent awesome when it really should’ve been the other way around. I’d put zero effort into it. And, on the days I slipped instead of jumping back on the horse, I just gave up. Honestly, I was tired of feeling let down and disillusioned.

Perhaps it’s the pregnancy, or perhaps it’s all these kids running around the house. {Whose idea was that anyway?! Oh, right.} But, I’ve found I need Lent. I crave it. I look forward to it. The last several weeks Scott and I have been talking and discussing. Praying and reflecting. Lent 2014 is sure to be one full of prayer, fasting, alms giving and perhaps a new little life to love. Honestly, I can’t think of a better time to be pregnant than right now. I’ll spend my last weeks preparing, praying, not sleeping and anticipating the big day, much like this penitential season. The suffering will be there, but the payout? Oh, girlfriend. Mighty fabuloso.

My Lent this year will {hopefully} look like this:

PRAYER: I’ll be tackling one religious book a week to read. Many of which will come from my spiritual board of directors. And, I’ll likely mix it up with a little natural birth reading, too. You know, the spiritual with the physical.

FASTING: As much as I love social media, I am a better mom when I limit my time on the interwebs. A complete fast had varying results for me in year’s past. This year, I plan on setting aside specific and small windows of time each day in which to engage on my favorite apps: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and blogs. I’ve found that, for me, some of those are stealing my joy. I’m comparing too much and finding discontent. Yes, I’ll still be blogging.

ALMS GIVING: Inspired by St. Therese, I look forward to doing small things each day in service to others. Some days it might be many things, other days just one. I likely won’t blog about anything specific, but I do look forward to seeing how “the little way” can have a big impact on my spiritual preparation for Easter.

As a family, we’ll be doing our annual fast from eating out (no Sonic Happy Hours, boo hoo) and the kids will employ the Prayer-Fasting-Alms Giving Basket, in addition to the bigs making some sacrifices. Scott and I are both committed to going to bed earlier so we can be better prepared for the next day. We’ll be sleep deprived soon enough, so we are looking forward to a few weeks of decent sleep.

I’d love to hear how you plan on celebrating the season of Lent and how I can pray for you during these 40 days.

Let’s go be THAT Catholic!


  1. Bea on March 4, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I love Lent too. I love remembering in a million big and little ways how much I need faith and God in my daily life. I love how it shapes me to be a better version of myself through introspection, awareness and prayer. I find hope in remembering what Jesus endured for me as it makes my burdens much more bearable. It’s a wonderful time.

  2. Jennifer on March 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Do you know of any Lenten spiritual reflections for pregnancy? I have been trying to find one, but not sure if this even exists!

    • Kristin on March 4, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      It’s not a Lenten book, but the reflections in “Your Labor of Love” by Agnes Penny are brief, yet very insightful every time I read them.

  3. jen on March 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

    This is AWESOME! Thank you! You can see my list on my page- your tags are included! One thing I am really excited about is Father Barron’s Lenten reflections. I love Father Barron!
    You can sign up here- http://www.lentreflections.com/
    Blessings to you~

  4. Ellen Thrifty & Chic Mom on March 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I am determined to get out of surviving Lent mode and truly enjoy it this year… it has been far too long since I have! Thanks for the reminders and inspiration your excitement is contagious.

  5. Bethany on March 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks for your post. I am so excited to for a restart. Our family’s rythem has been off due to sickness, saying yes to way too many things, and too many snow days. I am ready for lent. My kids are excited too. I just found your blog today so this year we will not formally be doing the PFR but the kids decided they want to do something kind to others each day. And choose someone to pray for each day. Some of my kids are still little so doing some things as a family will be fun and encouraging to them. We are excited to create a new rythem as we long for Easter and spring to arrive.
    I would love to see your book list. Did you have it posted? I look forward to reading through your blog.
    Thanks for posting.

    • Kathryn on March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      I don’t think I published it. So far, this is on my Kindle and either “in progress” or “up next!”: Forming Intentional Disciples, Catholicism, Mother Teresa-No Greater Love and St. Therese’s Autobiography.

  6. Renee on March 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been meditating on the upcoming lent and fighting the petulant child within me. My prayer request is for the little one I’m carrying. We received a fatal diagnosis last week – and I am so in love with this child (our fourth to be delivered, our ninth or tenth little soul overall). I am struggling with railing at God that he has given me something hard enough, I don’t want to do anything extra for Len and KNOWING how much my heart and soul needs to seek the fast, especially at this time.

    Sorry to write a book. Mostly – thanks for sharing your thoughts, your family’s journey, it has been a source of comfort and inspiration for me.

    • Bea on March 4, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      You will be in my prayers, Renee.

    • Abby on March 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Praying for you and your precious family.

    • jen on March 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Praying for you Renee. I will add you and your family to my prayer journal. God bless you~

    • Kathy on March 4, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      I’ll place your name in the Prayer Intentions book in our parish’s Adoration chapel tonight.

  7. Kelly Kaczmarczyk on March 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I’m being baptized and confirmed this Easter Vigil. I used to be that complete raging atheist, constantly molding myself into what everyone else wanted me to be.

    That being said, I don’t know how to be the person God created me to be. So, for Lent this year I decided to give up wearing makeup. It’s a huge deal. I hope to never wear makeup again, except for very special occasions. I don’t know. It actually terrifies me to think someone else works catch me with no makeup on.

    And then I plan on reading the Bible, daily readings, and the Saint of the day every day with my husband.

  8. Heather on March 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I just emailed you a longer version but, had to say thanks for this blog. I am missing my angel boy so much and was feeling that I just am not as strong and losing my Faith. Then, I read this and I love it! Thanks for the inspiration to get up again, stay strong and be positive.

  9. Holly on March 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I just love your Lent posts. <3

  10. Shandra on March 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Great post! It really gave me a lot to think about.

  11. Suzette on March 4, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    “Honestly, I can’t think of a better time to be pregnant than right now. I’ll spend my last weeks preparing, praying, not sleeping and anticipating the big day, much like this penitential season. The suffering will be there, but the payout? Oh, girlfriend. Mighty fabuloso.”
    A-men! From a fellow prego momma. Right here at 33 (and 3/4) weeks!

  12. Catherine Boucher on March 5, 2014 at 8:41 am

    YES! Let’s be those Catholics and joyfully do this thing called Lent! Prayers that you and the rest of Team Whitaker have a blessed Lenten season.

  13. Deme @ House For Five on March 5, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Thank you for this, Kathryn. I love and crave Lent as well, because I need it so much. It’s so easy for the priorities to shift out of place and I love that our beautiful Church guides us through a season of throwing off everything that hinders so that we can return our hearts fully to God. Lent is the pain that hurts so good! Praying for a blessed Lent for your family and for those that have shared their struggles/burdens here in the comments.

  14. Catholic Father on March 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    You know those kids in Africa and China Austin’s Children’s Shelter, right?

  15. Sandra on March 17, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    love that picture in Lisieux!

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