I feel like life has gotten a little busy and I haven't had time to say much lately but it is time for another post.
First of all, my niece was in town for her special 8th birthday extravaganza at American Girl. You can read all the details on both my sisters blog GEMS to Bragg about and my mom's blog Grandma's musings, but I just had to share so that I had a reason to post this picture of me and Mady having lunch at the American Girl Bistro. I happen to think I look particularly good so I am posting this picture everywhere, well here and my facebook page anyway.
Secondly, yesterday was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent and I thought I would try my hand at some thoughts on the subject. Since we have only been Anglican for 5 years, sometimes refered to as recovering Evangelicals, we are still learning the ropes in the world of liturgy and traditional celebrations but we truly love all that we have learned. This is such a great time of year leading to Holy Week and Easter the foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ.
So Tuesday was "Shrove Tuesday", that is the day before lent begins. It has gotten a little out of hand in some areas with the celebration of Mardi Gras but isn't suppose to get quite that wild. One of the traditions is to eat pancakes for supper. This stems from when people wanted to use up their sugar and lard before lent when they would be giving these things up. I brought my own gluten free pancake batter and was able to easily partake of the event. If you want to read an official description from wikipedia click here. We had a nice evening sharing a pancake meal with a couple families from our church.
Then Wednesday night I went to our Ash Wednesday service (the rest of the family had other commitments). It is a simple service with a short homily, communion and where they put the ashes of last years palm leaves on your forehead. It has something to do with this being a time of repentance where we turn ourselves toward God in preparation of Easter. Our pastor spoke about our heavenly rewards and how if we do things for ourselves here on earth that is our reward but if we work for God our reward will be much greater in heaven. When they do the ashes the pastor says, "remember you are dust and from dust you shall return". I know it sounds sort of morbid but it reminds me that this life is temporary and my real life and home is with Christ. And once again the wikipedia version is here.
So now we are in the time of year known as Lent. In the past we have given up television as a family and last year we twisted it and gave up NOT eating together as a family. It is sad when your teenage son suggests that you eat dinner together for Lent. But it was a good experience and we do it alot more now. This year Jake has decided to read through Proverbs for lent. I toyed with giving up a few different things but have settled on simply continuing my endo diet through Lent rather than ending it mid Lent as I had initially intended. The purpose of giving something up is related to Jesus fasting in the desert for 40 days. We are to give it up to spend more time focused on Christ and get ourselves in a right relationship with Him. I don't know that either time our "fasting" has really produced that but each year I desire to allow myself to direct my thoughts toward God rather than myself when I feel denied. This year will be no exception. And since this is my year of prayer I am looking for a good prayer guide for praying through lent. If you know of one let me know. I am sitting her at day two and I have nowhere to start. And of course to get wikipedias description of lent you can click here.
I pray you are all blessed with a growing faith in God during this season of Lent.