Today, a pre-Lenten promise to myself: reflect here during the prelude to Easter. Think through the days and live them mindfully. I do not expect that to mean anything lofty. I mean it to have meaning for me, and perhaps for you. Maybe you will read the words here and find something in them that speaks to you, too. I hope so.
This morning, I wrote in my journal with two grand-babies underfoot. The older one grabbed an orange crayon and “wrote” on top of the words I was jotting down. It made me so happy. We do not learn to grab the crayons without help. Someone buys them, makes them available, reacts with wonder as the wax makes its way across the page. It all adds up over time. Then, one morning an 18 month old joins you as if it has always been this way–as if she came writing with her grandmother on a sunny porch since the day she arrived.
Lent has never been an easy season for me. I do not do well with giving things up. I have tried and failed throughout many years. Sometimes I say I’ll give up Coca-Cola. Or chips. Or eating out. These days wine would be a biggie. Or cheese. Or coffee…God forbid. So, I adjusted somewhere along the way. Now, I focus less on what to give up and more on what I might add.
Last year, that meant $40 extra in the collection basket at church each week. The 40 representative, of course, of the 40 days of Lent. I actually managed that one. This year, I have decided to set aside 40 minutes a day to disconnect. It doesn’t sound like a lot, I know. But if I use those minutes to just look and listen and think and observe, I think it will turn out to be quite a lot. I think I will see a change in myself that I will be able to sustain and increase over time.
This morning, Sofia and I sat on the sunporch and watched the birds. There were dozens of them. I saw a baby bluebird dart from the roof. The cardinals are busy, as are the robins. Two geese have taken up residence again at the pond. And a gold flash of feathers gave me pause–a bird I do not know. One I will look for again and learn about this year, I hope. And this was during only a few of the 40 minutes I decided to set aside today.
What will I learn during these minutes? I have no idea…but you are welcome to accompany me. For some time now, I have been wanting to use my time more wisely. To create more during the day. To write. To read. To start some projects that have been making their way into my mind. So, that is what this Lent is going to be about for me.
I am still going to have the private offerings of the season that will be between just me and my God. But here, I will share a few other things. I realize He gave me so many gifts and it is time I started using them. I hope they will turn into something good. I am counting on it.
Happy Mardis Gras, dear readers, and here’s to a blessed and bountiful Lent. I invite you to join me in awakening to the world around us. There is so much to see.