Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lent: Day 2

I love stories.  One of the things I miss most about my Granny is that she was the storyteller of the family, always remembering bits and pieces of her life in the form of a story.  In college, I had a friend who was an enormous storyteller.  The guy could go out to run a few errands and come home with a story that sounded like he had been out having the greatest day ever.  I can hear him in his California-drawl saying, “Dude!  You’ll never believe what happened…” and then he would launch into his story, recounting some silly thing or other that had happened in the post office line. 

I am not an innate storyteller, mostly because I don’t like to be the center of attention in a conversation.  I would much rather listen to others talk, responding and asking them questions.  Having my story or point of view driving the conversation stresses me out.  If I am one on one with someone, that is different.  But even then, knowing where to approach a story and what details to share or not share is not something that comes easily to me.

This morningI noticed this verse in Psalm 102: 

“These will be written for a generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.”  Psalm 102:18

The words “that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD” stopped me short and made me think of my kids and the stories I have told them and the many I have not.  It is not just my children who need to hear my stories, but my grandchildren and for their children and on and on. 

When I think about my life and the stories I have been given to tell, I see God’s mercy, grace, and kindness all over them.  So while I may not always be able to spin a trip to the grocery store into a funny yarn, I know I can tell of how God drew me to Him, how He has taught me tenderly and patiently, year after year, how He has held me up in the midst of loss and how His purposes and His love make daily life, no matter what the circumstances, always worth living. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent: Day 1

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a time of preparation for Easter set aside by the church.  I am choosing to observe Lent this year by giving up a couple of things that I enjoy daily and by making time in my schedule to write.  Though I know I will miss the things I am giving up, and I know daily writing time will be a challenge to find (hello the sixth sense toddlers have about Mom waking up early!!), I am feeling something today that I didn’t anticipate at all: freedom.

I have been hoping to make some changes in my daily life for a while now, but with life steam rolling along at top speed it can seem impossible to stop and change direction.  It is easy for me to look at my life and see all the ways I don’t have freedom to choose how to spend my time. This Lenten season has offered me something I have needed: a reason outside of myself to act on my desire for change within my life.

Our church has been going through a series lately called: Less is More.  The main point is that we need less of ourselves and more of God in our lives.  It is my prayer and sincere hope that the structure of Lent will help me to live more for God and less for myself, and that in doing so I will grow in love and joy in my relationship with Jesus and as I serve those around me.

It is good to be writing again.  I hope to write a more personal family update here at some point, but today the main goal was simply to begin.

And so I have.