Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a lenten journey

I grew up in a church tradition where we did not follow the liturgical calendar very closely. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, of course, but it wasn't until I was in college that I began to get interested in different church traditions and the ways they observed holy holidays. 

There is something about the Easter season that has always been especially captivating for me. One year I attended a Tennebrae service on Good Friday and another year, R and I hosted a Seder dinner. This year, for the first time in my non-denom life, I'm observing Lent. After reading about it and reading about some of the creative ways other people observe this time before Easter, I was really drawn to participate myself. 

For this Lenten season, I am going to try to blog every day for 40 days. Let me explain. 

I was really intrigued by how some people talked about how, instead of "giving something up" in the traditional sense, they are "adding something". For example, adding a reading or daily prayer, or practicing charitable giving in a different way each day. I began to pray and reflect on what God has been trying to teach me lately that I could focus on during the next few weeks.  

The same thought kept popping up over and over: discipline in my writing. I believe that using our passions and talents is a form of worship and when we neglect those things, we neglect worship. Not to get too Sunday morning on you, but for me, neglecting my love of writing and the discipline it takes to cultivate it and get better has been a thorn in my side for a long time. I am constantly hearing the conversation in my head between my Father who loves me and loves when I write with reckless abandon and the nagging voice that, "You're not good enough. You have nothing to say. Just don't bother." Agreeing with that voice manifests itself in a stream of excuses about why I don't have time to sit down and just write. It's not just writing though. Neglecting to be disciplined about a whole bunch of other things (wait, what's a vegetable?) is also thorn in my side. 

So, for reasons more personal than I can put into words, I felt compelled to spend this time before Easter focused on carving out the time to be disciplined in my writing. Blogging every day creates a chain reaction where I have to manage my time better and better regulate my social media grazing. It creates the need for more self-reflection and and more personal writing time. It probably means I need to take it easy on the snooze button in the mornings. Basically, it's one part of a much larger effort to embrace discipline as I prepare my heart for the celebration of Easter. 

I realize this is a bit of an anti-fast and perhaps a liberal interpretation of the observance of Lent. When I struggled through that and asked my Mom if all the hardcore Lent-ers would laugh at me and tell me to go home, she reminded me that if my heart is in the right place, and if that place is desiring to seek God's face, and if I crave a posture of discipline, then overall I'm probably doing okay. Then she told me Lent-ers isn't a word. She is wise in a lot of ways. 

So, friends and family and whoever might stumble on this little blog, I invite you along for this journey. I hope there will be participation from you and grace all around, especially if I happen to miss a day. I assure you every post will not be sweaty-preacher altar call, but I do hope to create space for a little more intimacy as I find my footing. 

So for now, I invite you to check out the verse that started it all, Hebrews 12:11

See you tomorrow! 

4 comments:

  1. You posted this at 11:08PM......impressive!
    I love you, and your precious heart <3

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    1. Thanks, Mom! I love you too.

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  2. Love! I know my church is super liberal, but they talk about the adding of something, too. Can't wait to read your posts for the next 40 days.

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    1. Well, I'm sure you'll be popping up in my posts here and there. THanks for always reading... : )

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