Thursday, February 14, 2013
As the Lenten season begins and today is Valentine's day, I find myself in a reflective mood. I also had a few days off from the snow storm earlier in the week to catch my breath more the usual. It allowed me to think about what, if anything, I'll do to observe Lent.
Growing up, Lent was not something my protestant family celebrated but as I got older I was introduced to various ways to observe it. I heard friends talk about giving up something they loved like soda or junk food. Others added something to the forty day period, like spending more time in God's word or acts of service.
Over the weekend, church was canceled due to blizzard cleanup and going into a new week I felt a bit out of sorts. Just last week during community group, I had lamented about not being able to get into a routine since I left the house at various times and how that added to my struggle for a daily quiet time. But I didn't want to make excuses. I felt defeated each time I opened my YouVersion app to see I was behind on my current reading plan.
While rearranging some things in the living room on Sunday, I sifted through old journals. They reminded me of how I used to spend more time reflecting on the things I read. I also considered the many devotional books collecting dust on the shelf. The time off on Monday and Tuesday gave me the chance to dive into one of my favorites, Devotional Classics.
I probably won't be able to spend 30-45 minutes at the start of each day reading the devotional and reflecting on it appropriately, but I can give myself some grace. Yesterday, I read the third devotion when I got home from work and was grateful I took the time to let the words of Jonathan Edwards wash over me. As I sat writing out my answers to the reflection questions, I didn't feel pressured to write a lot.
Whether I start my day with reading the a multi-page devotional or simply praying, I want to be focused on things above rather than rushing out the door. I have so much to be thankful for and I really don't take time to reflect on it often enough.
Remember when God provided a second car last fall? It was so helpful for my husband's commitments. About three weeks ago, he started a new job and we no longer need two cars for our weekday routine because he can take public transportation. The new job is more mentally challenging and he gets to use his counseling skills, perfect preparation for pastoral ministry.