Wednesday, February 22, 2012

46 days and counting...

a friend and i joked this morning that this day sneaks up on us every year.  you're in the grocery store or coffee shop and look up to see someone with this strange black mark on their forehead and just as you are about to hand them a napkin to kindly save them the embarrassment of walking around looking 'dirty' it dawns on you that the mark looks an awful lot like a cross...hmmm...isn't that interesting...then all of the sudden it hits you...

it's ash wednesday.

ash wednesday is a moveable feast {which means it can be on different wonder i miss it!}.  it always occurs 46 days before easter.  this day marks the beginning of a season called lent.  since ash wednesday {and thereby lent} snuck up on me again this year i have not yet developed a plan for how i will be observing it.  

there's nothing magical about lent in and of itself...for me it's an opportunity...a chance to prepare my heart for one of my family's favorite celebrations of the year - easter.  just one way way that i can be intentional in the way that i am seeking God and the work he wants to do in me during this season.

i love ann voskamp's words on the subject...

It is an irrefutable law: one needs to be dispossessed of the possessions that possess - before one can be possessed of God.
Let the things of this world fall away so the soul can fall in love with God.  God only comes to fill the empty places and kenosis is necessary - to empty the soul to know the filling of God.
Lent gives me this gift: the deeper I know the pit of my sin, the deeper I'll drink from the draughts of joy.
Grief is what cultivates the soil for the seeds of joy.
His rising will be all my joy, because I know it in the marrow of the bones: He is all my hope.

she also has an easter devotional book that i am going to check out.

and here is a really comprehensive list of 40 ideas for lent.
i have to say that i have not had much luck finding many fun and useful ideas for preparing for easter with young children...i'm going to see if i can pull something together that i can share over the next week or two.  send me your ideas!