Skip to main content

Invitation to the Observance of a Lenten Discipline

I had a hard time deciding how to observe Lent this year. I'm still fairly new to Lent so I'm still trying to grasp the meaning of it. The past two times I observed it, I gave up something. But I wanted to do something different this year, to go deeper spiritually. I wanted to take these 40 days to reshape my life and to strengthen my relationship with God. Right before I went to my church's Ash Wednesday service, I read a post by A Sacred Journey and these words struck a chord with me:

So often Lent is associated with death and with fasting, but that’s not the whole story. It’s about the stripping of the false self in order to call forth the true self—the imago dei. It’s about surrendering the things that don’t give life in order to allow the things that do to flourish. It’s about clearing away the brush of winter and making space in our lives so we can tend to the new growth that comes with spring.
But as a sat in my pew, I still didn't know what my plan for Lent was. Through the words and the music of the beautiful Taize service, nothing was speaking to me. It wasn't until the pastor closed the service and also said that Lent means spring and that it was a time of action, that I decided what I was going to do.

I'm going to look at things in a different way. I'm setting my alarm for half an hour earlier and reading a devotional before I go to work. I'll end my day in the Examen tradition of lighting a candle and reflecting on the day's events. I'm going to take every opportunity to get something done around my house, even it that happens from my couch. I'm going to watch less TV and read more. I'm going to look at my life and give up the things that don't give life. This is especially on my mind with the passing of my coworker Vicky. There are no guarantees and I need to start appreciating this life that God has given me. Even if it doesn't look like I thought it would, it is a blessing.

When I celebrate Easter, I want to look back and see progress - to have cleared the clutter of my house and my mind so that I can concentrate on the things that matter. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment, not in that I survived 40 days without something but that I spent 40 days discovering what I have.

I will read these words from my Ash Wednesday service bulletin as my mantra:

Create in each of us a kneeling place,
where we may empty ourselves of our self-importance
and become vulnerable to your Word to us.
Help us to set our faces firmly
against friendly suggestions for safe, expedient lives,
and toward the risk of discipleship.
Loosen our grip on certainties that smother possibilities.
Forgive our resistance to change.
Let us pursue the adventure of losing our lives
in order to find them in you.
Guide us to follow the way of the cross
where despair is transformed by the promise of new life
and where we are compelled to intercede
for those who have more pain in their lives than hope.
Hold our feet to the fire of your Lenten grace,
so we can see our actions in the light of your costly love. Amen.

  I am so excited to see what my life is like on April 5.


Popular posts from this blog

Five Minute Friday: Should

Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at This week's word is Should.

I am constantly looking for signs, my own personal burning bush to show me what I should be doing and this week's prompt is my signal that I need to get back to writing my blog. That I should be writing.

I've thought a lot about this word since seeing this video of Oprah and Tony Robbins.  In it he says we should all over ourselves and that if we want to see change in our lives we should change should to must. That is when we actually do the things, when we change that one word.

I should have done laundry today.

I should have pulled weeds.

I should have posted this on Friday instead of Saturday.

I should pray more.

I should trust God.

What would happen if I changed those shoulds into action. Maybe not as strong as must, because laundry and weeds aren't life changing. But if instea…

31 Days To Change

I started this blog four years ago with the intent of helping people find their way through the same situation I was in - a divorce they weren’t expecting and did not want. After awhile, I didn’t feel like I was helping, just dragging people down with me. I took long breaks from posting then I would start back up again, only to take another long break. The whole time I felt like I was missing out on my calling, to help people with my writing.
I have struggled with just how to do that. Do I keep posting, even on the down days? Do I concentrate on making a life with the emphasis on my blog title “One Is Just A Number?” Do I switch focus and do posts about fixing up my 1930 bungalow? Do I make it a cooking for one blog?
I am going to use this 31 Day writing challenge to figure out my focus. To use the words to look at my life and the areas in my life I can change, prompted by the words suggested by Christine Hubbard. I don’t know what my focus will be exactly but I do know that as long as …

31 Days: Park for Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at This week's word is Park.

This is Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. when I was in Portland for my friends' wedding, I really wanted to see the Portland Headlight but the person I was traveling with had been to Portland several times and had no desire to see it again and everyone else I knew at the wedding had left town already. So I did something out of character and called a cab, told the driver to take me to the park, and I found it myself. And I called the same driver, had him pick me up, and bought myself a nice lunch to celebrate.

That simple act of calling a cab and getting to a destination on my own was so empowering. Most of the time I would have just let the fact that no one wanting to go with me keep me from doing something. I would have just taken a safe walk in a straight line hoping to …