Last night, we attended our first ever Ash Wednesday service at church and it was such a wonderful way to kick off this liturgical season. I was so excited to wear the ashes and make that commitment of self-sacrifice and preparation. Even Caleb came home from his mid-week program with a washable marker cross on his forehead and plans to give up one of his favorite toys. I'm not sure he understands exactly what it all means, but it warms my heart just the same.
I must confess, I had grand plans for this week. Blog posts in preparation...things I had wanted to do at home...photographs I wanted to take...but this week has been a bit of a loss for me. I'm still finding myself a bit troubled by this past weekend's difficulties. I find panic creeping up on me and anxiety knocking at the door. My creativity and focus have been lacking (to say the least). Sleep hasn't been sound and what sleep I've found has been full of strange dreams.
It has been a difficult week.
Last night, our children's director (and Tom's frequent seminary classmate) Dawn shared a meditation based on Luke 9:22-24:
22And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (NIV)
I have been a bit obsessed lately with the idea of what it truly means to follow Jesus, and essentially I believe we are called to live a life of radical difference.
And not radical in a "let's-blow-things-up-seperatist" sort of way, but at a more basic living way.
I love this comment about Alice Waters that I came across recently and find it sums up well how I want to live as a follower of Jesus:
She was a true radical - not the kind who wants to destroy things or tear them down, but the kind who looks past the surface to the fundamental nature of things. (from Chew on This)
As followers of Jesus, we are called to be different at a fundamental level and that is something I intend to explore more fully during this Lenten season.
I am excited about what this time of Lent will bring. Hanna, Tom and I are going to be taking part in the 40 Days of Water Challenge. In a few weeks, Tom and I will be joining the Emmaus community as we take the Walk to Emmaus. We are continuing to pray and seek God's guidance about homeschooling next year.
And of coure, above all, we are preparing our hearts to receive again the gift of Christ's death and resurrection. It is truly a wonderful time to seek and follow Him.
Read more of my thoughts about Lent.