Teacups {Keeping the Love in Lent}


"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”


I want to start an antique teacup collection.

I've been thinking about this for awhile. Every time I meander into an antique shop, I peruse the teacups.  I don't want a set, I went a mess of mismatched beauty riddled with memories of teatimes past.  But I'm apprehensive.  I'll find a beautiful cup and be certain that I should make it mine.  Then the worry sets in.  What if it's not the right one? What if it's haunted?  What if it's not meant to be?

That's a lot of whatifs for a teacup.

Sometimes that's how I feel about life.  There are things I desperately want to do: go to grad school, finish my book, build a desk, start a garden, make a friend.  But I hold myself back, afraid of what might come.  I'm fraught with insecurities, desperately trying to wrap them in an air of confidence so that no one might suspect.  I'm terrified that someone will realize the series of self questioning and doubt that exists inside me, and know me for exactly who I am.

Imperfect.

I think that's the beautiful thing about Lent.  It's humbling, self reflective.  It's an opportunity to look within ourselves and draw out the good, banishing negativity and insecurity. That's one of the things I'm trying to do this year.  I want to be willing to say yes, Mary's yes.  The yes that comes with no clear future, nothing back.  That's part of the reason I find myself very involved this Lenten season- in liturgical plays, youth choirs, adult choirs, in prayer groups, in classes to enrich my faith.  I'm getting myself a bigger plate, and I'm appreciating everything I put on it, as everything is an opportunity to serve the Lord and come to know Him more fully, and coming to know myself.

I want to be filled with good things, the sweet tea of faith and love and God.  But to do that, I have to be empty.  I have to scrub away the dust from years of insecurity and empty myself of all my no's, all my whatifs, all my why's.  I need to be open to the life God wants me to lead, and I have forty days to set a standard within myself and follow through.  I don't see Lent as suffering.  I don't see Lent as an awful period in which we don't eat chocolate and recess in absolute silence.  Lent is the quiet place in which we find love again, and remember why we spend our Sunday mornings in mass and every evening in prayer.

Love.

Christ died purely out of love for us.  It wasn't for the remembrance or the fame or because it was a Friday and He didn't have great plans for the weekend, He died so that we might live in love, and continue to love into the next life.  He died so we might have teacups and babies and doubts that He could lift away and carry for us onto the cross.  He died for us.  What is it for us to spend forty days in reverence and preparation for His sacrifice?  What is it for us to spend one hour a week on Sunday in remembrance of His unending love?  In exchange for an eternity, it's nothing, a raindrop in a storm.



How are you keeping the love in lent?


Like this post?  There's more!  Catholics around the web are blogging about keeping the love in lent!  Check it!

22 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post, love the teacup take on your post. On a side note I think a mix match tea cup set would be wonderful and perfect (which I do know was not the real purpose of the post :)! )

    I LOVE the picture at the end of the post!!! Beautiful!

    this comment is linked to my kid lit blog, found you through my family blog Loving the Semi Country Life.

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    1. Thank you! I'm really trying to get over my teacup buying anxiety, it would be so fun!

      You should have seen the crazy looks I was getting trying to capture that picture. It was well worth it though!

      I'm so glad to have the opportunity to connect with other Catholic bloggers!

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  2. Another beautiful post. Although I'm a Christian, I've never given much thought to Lent. :( I was raised Quaker and we just didn't observe things like that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it!!

    Oh, and my husband has an assorted antique teacup collection! Any time we go antiquing, he finds at least one he has to have. Its a fun thing to collect. (:

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    1. I wish you lived closer so that we could sit down (probably with antique teacups!) and talk about it all! I would love to learn more about Quaker. Hope all is well with you lady!

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    2. haha that would be fun! (: I was raised Quaker, but now I attend my husband's home church, which is Disciples of Christ. Its pretty different from how I was raised! I love our church though. I don't know a WHOLE lot about Catholocism, but some people in my family are Catholics and I've been to a few services. They're beautiful. (:

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  3. There are so many what ifs about life, but having faith allows us to take chances and know that in the end, it will be okay.

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  4. Simply and perfectly stated. And definitely an analogy I can get on board with (making the "wrong" decision over something so minor).

    I look forward to reading future posts!

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  5. Wow! BEAUTIFUL post! Great analogy and awesome picture; I feel like I can relate to so much of it. Thank you for this reflection! God bless you!

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  6. A lovely reflection, Megan! I also enjoyed your post on your Lenten promises. Prayers for us both as we use Lent to say "yes"!

    Regina
    http://www.alivinggarden.com

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  7. Beautiful post and picture! I can completely relate. May God bless you this Lent and always!

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  8. This is a beautiful post, Megan. :) Thank you for reminding me that above everything else, God wants our "yes," Mary's yes! :D Thank you, too, for joining the link-up! God bless you and yours always! :)

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  9. Love this post!! And, so needed to hear it today too . . . I often let insecurities stop me from something I feel God is calling me to too.

    I think I would collect tea cups if I had the space. I have a couple of old ones from my Grandparents and I just love them!

    Oh, and I say, go buy a tea cup!!

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  10. Hi Megan, our perfect shining example is Mary's yes! When I was a young child, I used to daydream that God picked me to send the archangel Gabriel to inform me that I was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. I used to think she was the luckiest woman in the history of the world! That's before I fully grasped that she would endure many sorrows throughout the life of Jesus. Much joy but also deep searing pain at the end of His life.

    It is an incredibly humbling thought to know He suffered for us...for me. If our society really understood this fact or even accepted this fact, we'd be living in a very different world.

    That's wonderful that God has shown you His desire for you "to get a bigger plate" and that you've accepted it and have embraced it. God will do great things with your "yes"!

    May your Lenten be fruitful!

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  11. Hopping over as part of the Keep Love in Lent link-up...

    Your post really moved me. I liked the way you tied your anxiousness over starting a tea cup collection with the imperfection of being human, and how Lent is an opportunity for us to examine ourselves (and our imperfections), and remember that Jesus died so we don't have to be anxious or worried! It reminds me of one of my favorite Bible passages, Matthew 6:26:

    "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"

    Thank you for giving me something to ponder and meditate tonight!

    Blessings,
    Cheryl
    http://www.diary-of-a-sower.blogspot.com

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  12. Wonderful analogy and beautiful prose. I also just want to say YES to "I want to be willing to say yes, Mary's yes. The yes that comes with no clear future, nothing back." Right there with you, but also learning through my own experiences at my own age and stage of life that I sometimes need to say "not yet" or "not now" when *I* am the one saying "yes" instead of letting the Spirit move me to the Yeses He wants. realizing that something may be right, but not right now has been huge for me - and continues to be... Anyway, thank you for your beautiful insights and images.

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  13. I have to agree with the first comment. GREAT photo!

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  14. Such an inspiring post. 40 days. Sometimes it feels so long, but it really isn't, is it? Thank you for reminding us!

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  15. What a thoughtful post and beautiful analogy! Hmmm...and the mismatched teacups would be so fun for my little girls to have for their tea parties with Grandma. They already make up characters and imaginative dramas...the mismatched teacups would only add to the bonding time!
    OK, back to your Lent post...thanks for your thoughtful reflections about Lent...love the picture of the heart made with hands, in Church!

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  16. Hi Megan,

    I too like your tea cup leap. I just wrote about a similar situation in an antique store. You are a writer, or at least you write like me and I want to call myself a writer. LOL. I wrote about EMPTY as well. God Bless you and yours.

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  17. I can identify with insecurity over making friends, or changing your life in other ways. I do hope your lent is fruitful in wiping away your insecurities and showing you God's plan for your life. May your dedication this season lead you where you need to be. Blessings and prayers.

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  18. I can identify with those insecurities. May your dedication to Lent prove fruitful in that you discover your path. Blessings and prayers to you.

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  19. Beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing the post and the lovely picture,

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