Thursday, March 02, 2006
Lent Begins . . .
Yesterday was the first day of Lent and at our church we celebrated its arrival with our traditional Ash Wednesday service. The service is a very meaningful one to me, because it really puts our relationship with God into perspective. We are made of dust and will return to dust . . . so we are challenged (by the symbolic placement of ashes on our forehead) to remember who and whose we really are! We use the forty days before Easter (what makes up the Lenten season) to work on our relationship with God . . . to be thankful to Him for the gift He gave us in Christ, and to "give up" things that hinder our spiritual life or to "take up" things to enrich our spiritual life.
So, my challenge to you is to take Lent seriously this year. What can you give up? What can you take up?
I'm giving up negative and ungrateful attitudes (now most people would probably find that surprising, because I'm a very positive person. I'm what you'd call a "cup half full" person). But I have found that too often I'm impatient and jump on those I love the most with a negative attitude. I'm going to do my best to approach Gary, McKenna, Delaney, and Sydney with more positive attitudes on a regular basis. I want them to KNOW that I love them . . . not wonder about whether I do.
I'm taking up regular Bible reading everyday. I feel like I'm being redundant because every Lent it seems I take up better Bible reading or prayer habits . . . but it's something I need to do every year. I'm one of those who gets gung-ho in these habits for a month or so, then completely drops off. For the last month or so, the main Bible reading I've accomplished each week is in my preparation for Sunday School. That's not enough! So, I'm going to try and be better about it every day during Lent.
Lent gets us ready for Easter, which is one of my very favorite holidays of the year. I love the blooming flowers, warmer days, and colors all around me. In fact, yesterday gave me a hint of it . . it hit 78 degrees! And some flowers are starting to peek out (my yellow daffodils are doing just that!) The picture on this post is from Easter last year--at my mom's house (where she has the absolutely most beautiful garden!)