It’s difficult for my body and mind to reconcile that today is actually Ash Wednesday. It’s only been 48 days since Christmas and I don’t feel like I’ve had adequate time to nest and fully relish winter since it has been so uncharacteristically warm where I live. We’ve had no snow, the average lows have been just below freezing during the overnight hours, and the days have been warm and windy. I’m a fan of living in the part of the country where I get to experience all four seasons and this year it’s only been closer to three & a half.
Nevertheless, today is a reminder that the seasons do change and spring will come again …even if it’s already gotten a head start. And with the passing of seasons comes the passing of time, which hopefully indicates growth and maturity in my walk with Jesus.
For many years Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, has been a season in my spiritual life where I’ve sought to draw closer to the Lord through a change in my routine. An abstention of something or a time to make a conscious choice to alter what is normal or passive in my life, all for the sake of remembering Christ’s death and ultimate sacrifice for my sins.
I’ve already seen progress with a few areas of my life where I’ve been deliberate in changing physical or spiritual habits over the past few months or years, which has given me no small sense of victory and fearlessness. So this year for Lent, I’m going to keep it simple – focusing on that which is routinely nourishing to my body and spirit: food and music.
Food – since I’m chief-menu-maker in our home, it’s sometimes easy to say “nah” to leftovers we’ve already fixed and be passive in the decision to just eat out, rather than eat the food we bought that’s awaiting preparation in our fridge, freezer, or cabinets. Therefore, I would like to eat more meals in, rather than out. I hope this purposeful time commitment will allow us to focus on God’s gifts of our home, our marriage, and leave room for the Holy Spirit to descend on us and any guests that join us in placing their feet under our table.
Music – our home is filled with many instruments: a saxophone, a trumpet, a guitar, two mandolins, a mandola, a ukulele, and a piano – all of which are played by The Optometrist and/or myself. He’s currently enrolled in online mandolin lessons, but I don’t have a dedicated teacher or practice routine for any of my areas of musical study. God has given us both musical gifts, which was the catalyst in bringing us together. Therefore, I would like to revisit my musical training to play, practice, or pick up one instrument a few minutes each day and offer this somewhat dormant gift as an act of worship.
“There is always something wonderful and surprising around the corner on earth and beyond. That is the sacrificial truth of Lent, the music that builds to the miracle of the Resurrection.” ~ Max Lucado via Guideposts