Well as I'm sure you're aware...that didn't work out. Ellie needed to come right smack dab in the middle of Lent and it really threw my plans for spiritual growth off.
Fortunately God doesn't need to work around what we plan. I always knew that becoming a mother would change my outlook on life, on myself, on what's important but I had no idea the changes that would occur so deeply and so quickly. The entire experience of her birth humbled me in such a way I'm still working to process it all.
And even though it was nothing like I planned it has been one of my most spiritually fruitful Lenten seasons. I've thought more about God's love and His sacred Passion in the past 4 weeks than I probably have my whole life. I've offered my suffering up with His on the cross. I've literally given my body to be cut open to ensure the safe arrival of my daughter. I have come to better know what unconditional and truly sacrificial love is. A love that I thought I understood from the graces we've received through marriage but have found we've only begun to learn what that kind of love means.
I have never felt more connected with our Holy Mother either. Every late night feeding or "Why won't she just quit crying and just sleep for like 1 minute!!" freak out I think of our Blessed Mother comforting Jesus and again do my best to join my suffering with hers. What a gift Jesus gave us when He looked down from the cross and bestowed her as mother to us all!
Of course, it hasn't all been sufferings and trials but it's much easier to focus on the hard times and how to emulate our Blessed Mother during them than it is when she's peacefully sleeping. Though contemplating the human aspect of Mary and imagining how she reacted when Jesus first smiled, or made a silly face. Thinking about how I call for Steven "Quick!! Look!!" and imagining her calling for Joseph in a similar way. It warms my heart to think of those intimate family moments they shared.
This definitely isn't the Lent I planned on having but I'm so thankful for the chaos.