Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Unclear of the Day

I've lost track, but am loving Lent. Television-free and working a few other practices into my little life. Loving. It.

‎"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." Maya Angelou

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Day 13

Lent finds me adding a few more "practices" to my 40 days (that I want to keep quiet) and still t.v.-less. Have watched a few shows with my husband and kiddo, but nothing on my own. Twenty minutes of news on a day where snow found its way from the sky and I had to see whether school was happening.

Today? A list of my thankfuls to start this Monday off.

-the practice of Lent.
-focusing more on the meaning of Easter.
-time alone.
-selling Girl Scout cookies at storefronts.
-the sunshine yesterday.
-promise of a clean car ride to work.
-the village of women in my life.
-the many "moms" who have adopted me over the year.
-Chris Daughtry's new CD.
-closed doors and recognizing open ones.
-tending to a heart with little experience.
-steady relationships that live on and on and on.
-a clean kitchen.
-the women I work with and often we laugh.
-Words with Friends (i know).

A Monday's best today. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Day 9

We upgraded our systems at work yesterday to Windows 7. I left not feeling very "Lent-worthy" in my head or my heart. One real long, real unproductive day.

The evening ended with our first "Holden Evening Prayer Service." It was the most amazing service I have ever been too - my kiddo agreed. The entire thing is sun - and often in the round. I thought were were hanging out on a cloud of angels.

A soup dinner was held beforehand. Made friends with the sweetest lady. A widow. Talked my ear off, but loved it all the same.

Entering Day 9 without television. I miss it - but not as much as I thought. I am loving this Lent season.

"As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst...'Repent and believe' Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor -- He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you." ~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Day 6

“And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.” Anne Lamott

Rejoining life. Anguish and Joy. They co-exist together. Amen.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Day 5

I'm not going to lie (which would be especially uncool during Lent), I miss my television. Last night, after the house was quiet and the hours were all mine, she called to me. I wanted so badly to hang out and "catch up with my DVR." It probably says something that I've personalized my tv habit. My. She. Yeesh. At least I don't have a name for the television...yet.

Instead, I caught up with my bible study. Three weeks behind, yo. After watching, I don't think I was actually behind, I think the delivery was right on time.

Anguish and joy. They can and often do co-exist together. The very thing that has been one's horror can morph into the situation that brings the greatest joy. Anguish can become joy.

Still noodling on that one. Onward to Day 6 of Lent! "...your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy."

"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.
It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy." John 16:20-22

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Day 4

Saturday. Random thoughts.

I totally blew my meatless Friday without meaning to. And didn't even realize it until hours later. God's grace is bigger than that. :)

Life is quieter. I don't know if it's the absence of television or the pointed resolve to remove distractions and focus. Television was just one of those distractions.

Moments seem bigger. Movements are more recognizable. The quiet is full. My heart is learning to be still.

God has blessed me with such strong women in my life. A village of them. I don't pay enough attention to their movement in my daily life. I want to live in that village every day - not just visit it from week to week.

One of those glorious women shared the most private moment with me yesterday. She was so vulnerable. We trust deep. We cried together. And laughed through the tears and the snot. Life is so big. God is so much bigger. And she is so brave in the face of something so beyond understanding. Honored. Moved. Changed. We love.

My daughter woos my heart. Brilliant. Strong. Sassy. Hilarious. She's growing up in a place that is safe for her to be exactly who she is. She knows she is loved. She can give words to every thought and worry. We receive and love and speak life. She will never have to worry. We will always be there. Her heart grows up full, knowing this.

I learned so much from my mother-in-law. Vulnerable. Sweet. Loving. Honest. My sister-in-law and I reminisced about her the second day of Lent. It's less bitter and just sweet after so many years of missing her. We talked about the cards she sent us every week, even though we saw her every weekend. The trinkets she would give us from shopping trips as she thought about what would make us happy. The way she loved her man. Her desire to be with family always. She would have loved our girl with such wild abandon. My heart aches over the thought of what a gift that would have been for her.

Dottie loved in the moment. She WAS the moment. She never left. No matter what happened. Even through hurt feelings, she still came back. Her ability to love and keep her family together lives on. Her son, her precious boy. He loves this way. It's not something he has to try to do. He just knows this is how life should be. He keeps short lists of offenses. Their family embraces everything and still loves. Still connects. I'm so thankful to have been raise up by these people. Twenty-one years with them. My heart is blessed.

God is so good. This article made me think of my mom-in-law. Missing you, Dottie!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten Thoughts - Day 3

Life without television is quiet. I don't think I actually watch tons of television - it just becomes the background noise of the house.

This morning when I woke up, I rolled over and immediately started for the remote. I'm a news junkie.

Lent is a spiritual training ground. Preparation for Easter - the sacrifice that makes life possible. Thoughts are still fresh and emotions swirling as I work to settle down. Move into a season without distractions. Looking for the small voice that sometimes can't be heard through noise.

Coming to Lent after a year filled with life-changing events (some good, some so difficult), I'm looking forward to what the next 37 days will bring.

A favorite line from this morning's blog reading:

"It doesn't matter what you get done if you've undone a heart--there are no real accomplishments apart from relationship."

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." -John Bingham, running speaker and writer