It’s the second week of our Lenten series, and Stelly writes…
I’m not one to make resolutions when a new year begins, but I did this year. My resolution for 2017 is “no excuses.” Often I’d find myself making excuses for things I didn’t get done… housework, prayer, whatever. Sometimes I don’t get things done because I am a mother to a toddler and a baby, but sometimes it’s because I’m making excuses. I was tired of talking about doing things. Let’s be honest, talk really is cheap. I needed action in my life, but how? I walked into church one Sunday morning and picked up Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. I started reading before Mass began and thought, “Wow, I really need to hear this.” The book starts out,
“The alarm clock goes off. It’s time to get out of bed. This is your first decision of the day. Will you get our of bed or hit the snooze button: You press the snooze button and roll over. What just happened? No big deal, right? Wrong.
Again I thought, “But how? How do I take action?” Because so much of my time goes to tending to our two small children. I started getting a few ideas after having a long conversation with my brother, and my husband and I decided to have a babysitter come into our home one day a week for a few hours so I could get some things done. Having help is working out well, but there’s more to this “no excuses” thing.
I don’t have quiet time to pray like I used to, and that’s OK. This isn’t an easy season. One thing that was suggested to me by a dear friend was to play worship music, so I’ve been doing that. And it’s a huge blessing in my days. For a very long time it’s been on my heart to let go of social media, specifically Facebook, and I think in listening to worship music daily I finally realized that God was the one calling me to let go of Facebook. I did let go. And guess what. I’m happier. Listen to me… I’ve been Facebook-free for 3 or 4 weeks now, and I am happier. I simply don’t need it nor does anyone on Facebook need me. No one is going to die without the advice that I have to offer, and the time that I would have spent giving advice is much better used doing something in my home; if nothing else, being quiet and listening to Jesus. So many of our habits are just distractions from what God has for us.
Another thing that has been on my heart for a long time now is spending time in the Adoration chapel. I just wouldn’t do it, but I changed that last week. When our sitter arrived, I left and went to the chapel for an hour. It had been about 6 years since I’d been in there. Six years, ya’ll! That’s crazy because it’s something I know I need. It’s really hard to let go of things we don’t need, things that we’ve just gotten used to doing. “No excuses” really is letting go of the old excuses that hold me back from being who Jesus wants me to be. Last week the gospel reading was from Matthew.
It’s so simple and easy. Matthew Kelly says, “Nothing on earth can satisfy your desire for happiness. The reason is very simple: You have a God-size hole.” I have a God-size hole. YOU HAVE A GOD-SIZE HOLE. AND YOU. AND YOU. AND YOU. If you and I let go of what is weighing each of us down and seek Jesus first, we will be happy. It’s that simple.
Reflection Question: What’s weighing you down? Is it an unhealthy relationship, Facebook (social media), cigarettes, alcohol, shopping?
Ask Jesus to help you recognize the excuse(s) that’s weighing you down. There may things that you cannot do because of certain circumstances, but don’t let that stop you. Don’t make a new excuse. Ask Jesus to make a way and show you what you can do to be closer to him. Ask Jesus to heal you. When I looked up the definition of heal two things stuck with me, “make better” and “improve.” Ask Jesus to make you better, to improve you.
Lord, open the eyes of my heart to the truth, your truth, and give me the courage to accept the truth about myself. Please also grant me peace as I grow and move forward. Heal me. Make me a new person! Amen.
This week we’re giving away a copy of Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly! All you have to do is comment below for a chance to win!