Breathing Grace Into Ordinary Time, by Colleen Pressprich
I am ready for Ordinary Time this year. Ready for the slow and steady progress that leads to a deeper relationship with God. Ready for being present to my day to day. Ready to remain in His love as I wash dishes, do laundry, and teach children. Ready for the rhythm of being filled and pouring out that is this stage of motherhood.
Advent and Christmas were wonderful and grace filled. And I’m absolutely looking forward to Lent, but I’m not in a rush to reach it this year. Because (and it’s taken me longer than I’d care to admit to come to this realization) it's been in the ordinary moments of my life rather than the feasts that my faith has grown the most.
While the world usually associates the word ordinary with the boring and the humdrum, it’s meaning, especially in the liturgical year, isn’t that simple. We only have to look at the color the Church has chosen to depict this season to see that. Green is the color of Ordinary Time because it is a color that evokes hope, growth, maturation.
This is the season for leaning in to the everyday crosses that I face as a mother. Being patient with my children who struggle with executive function issues instead of getting angry when I find, for what feels like the thousandth time, books and notebooks scattered around the house instead of in the school bags.
Remaining calm in the middle of a tantrum, quietly and peacefully helping my child regulate his emotions when I am exhausted and frustrated and ready for him to have learned this skill already. Taking a deep breath before responding to the umpteenth time I am asked the same question.
The list of small crosses is long for a mom. Longer still for moms of kids with special needs. And sometimes those small crosses can add up and feel insurmountable. But still, somehow, we do it. Step by step, moment by moment. In the regular moments of time we grow. I'm ready for Ordinary Time this year. The graces are always quite extraordinary.
If you’re ready to embrace the ordinary this year, here are a few resources and habits that I have found helpful:
Introduction to the Devout Life by Francis de Sales: This book is a gem that manages to be meaty and also easy to digest. He’s a saint that understands the challenges of everyday life and responds to them in ways that are helpful, encouraging, and actionable.
The Magnificat: My subscription to this lovely little book was a Christmas gift from my MIL a few years ago, and it has been a lifesaver for me. With bite-sized prayers and short reflections, it’s made it possible for me to pray each morning and have something to meditate on each day
Sing the Hours: Launched during the pandemic, this podcast is sung Morning and Evening Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours. I love listening to it in the morning while I make breakfast and in the evening during dishes or while sitting with my daughter as she falls asleep.
Colleen Pressprich is the author of a free ebook about practicing Lectio Divina with Children that you can request HERE.She is also the author of Consecration for Families with Young Children. You can read more about her books and her other writing at Elevator to Heaven.