We’ve Only Just Begun

The Lenten has begun and, quite honestly, it’s one of my favorite times of year. (Kind of like the 4th of July – a seemingly unusual time where I really get excited.) Since I first started to observe Lent (circa 2004), each year I feel the Lord speaking to me in different way – this is a very good and exciting thing. And each year I seem to understand what direction I’m supposed to follow. Yet, this year has been a little more vague. On the whole I feel like I can pare back many of the things which are entertaining distractions in my life and make better use of my time. On Friday night I went to a Stations of the Cross service at one of the Catholic churches here in town. It was such a wonderful time for me to gather with people I didn’t know, worshiping in a way that was foreign to my Protestant roots, and yet experience the agony and sufferings of Christ in a fresh, new way. As the congregation read prayers responsively, several lines stood out at me.
~ “It costs an act of will.”
~ “Remove the blinders from my eyes. Lord it is you.”
~ Jesus referring to me as “His other self.”
~ “But you give me strength to struggle after you.”

Maybe the Lord is calling me to new discoveries this Lent – discoveries about myself, and, more importantly, about Him.

Recent photos of my days.

February 19 – squash! In February! Fixing it for dinner really did make me quite excited.
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February 20 – 2nd grade field trip to the public library day! I tagged along as an extra chaperone. 🙂 I love how 2nd graders still believe in holding hands with their buddy so they won’t get separated. How nice would life be if we held hands more frequently with those we don’t want to lose?
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February 21 – traveling home for my momma’s birthday.
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February 22 – the little Nazarene church where I grew up. Home.
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February 23 – ahh…the Ozarks. There’s nothing like it.
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February 24 – braid day! I said to Carol, my art teacher friend, how I wish I could wear my hair in pigtails to school. She said, “Well, who’s stopping you? I don’t think anybody would care!” Ponies versus piggies in the hair. I think I’ll soon take Carol’s advice. Plus I’m sure my kids would love it.
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February 25 – I personally like it when there are lots of clouds in the sky. Texture and dimension are beautifully and wonderfully artistic ways God shows His handiwork.
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February 26 – snow? Nope. Hail. And lots of it. This was the scene I witnessed when I arrived at school, which thankfully didn’t come to my side of town, or pelt my car as I was driving.
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February 27 – cobblestone streets in town harken back in time, and make my car rumble.
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February 28 – a beautiful sunset, but no snow…I was really hoping for a few inches of the fluffy, white stuff. We still haven’t had a decent snow this winter. 😦
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March 1 – our Lenten congregational challenge given today to “live simply so that others can simply live.” This jar now sits on the end table by my door as a reminder for me to place money I could normally spend on something frivolous, and instead have it go toward our Compassionate Ministries fund…to truly help those who are in need.
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“Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done here.” – Chris Tomlin

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