Winter birds on a snowy day - Observing Lent

 

Yesterday day was Ash Wednesday.

Did you observe the day in any significant way?

For the last few years I’ve attended churches where they smudge a cross on your forehead with ashes.  This year… I live in another place and Ash Wednesday was just another day… as it has been for most of my life.

I missed it.  Not so much having ash applied to my face… but the order of going to church… and making a plan for what I will do to observe Lent.

There’s much good in my world.  But somehow, this year, I feel scattered and unfocused.  I need to feel more grounded.

Yesterday I thought I’d sign up for a Lenten devotional reading plan.  But, the website was down or had a glitch. I’d planned to get back to it… but then I had more than a few hiccups in my day.  And those hiccups just kept on.  And when they finally stopped… with no solution… I stopped.  I came to a grinding halt.   And I never got the Lenten devotional reading plan.

This morning my computer had hiccups.  After several restarts… I finally got it going.  But in so doing… I got off track and stopped to read Ann Voskamp’s blog post.  It was then I realized that all the inconvenience of the morning had led me to this…. a devotional that will help me to think.  And more deeply process the cross.

If you’re been meaning to “do” something for Lent… here’s the link.  The link to the devotional: The Free 40 Lent Devotionals-Ornaments that focus not on Giving Up for Lent but Taking Back what it means to be The People of The Cross, is at the end of the post.  You’ll need to sign up with your email to receive it.  But it’s worth it, because when you do, immediately you’ll be taken to the “free tools library.”  There are some pretty amazing resources there. When you’re there… scroll down until you see the header for “Tools.”  The devotional is the first one in the block…. 40 Lenten Daily Card Devotionals.  If you choose to use it… let me know.

Just before I was finished with this post, I checked my email and discovered that Edie is still allowing women to join her for a Lent devotional as well.  And yes… I signed up for that one too.

If you were meaning to do something for Lent but didn’t.  Maybe these resources will help.

Just wondering… Is observing Lent something you usually do?

 

Cardinals and Red Bellied Woodpecker - Thoughts on Observing Lent

 

It started snowing yesterday… again!  

The beauty is incredible.  The temperatures… they’re incredible too!  Incredibly cold!  It seems that though we have more than plenty of snow and cold temps, we have it pretty good compared to those suffering with ice and power outages.   If that’s you… I’m so sorry.

One thing I take great delight in, is stealing a few moments to watch the birds at the feeder.  This morning I took a few photos of their constant flurry of activity.  With all that constant motion, it was tricky to get a shot.  But, I persisted.

Today, with all the fresh snow, our world looks more like a black and white photo, except for the cardinal and his bright red coat.   I love it.  There’s something about the snow covering up all the imperfections in our world and making it glow with pristine beauty.   That’s kind of like what happens when we confess our sins to God and choose to make Jesus our Lord and guide. God no longer sees us with the dirt and shame that we carry, but instead, just like the snow covers the ugliness of our world, Jesus’ blood cleanses us and makes us even whiter than the snow.

I’m not so good in the laundry department.  Actually I’m great at “doing” the laundry… I just don’t have the knack for stain removal.   When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives… he removes every bit of stain and presents us to God… whiter than snow.

I like that word picture.  So when the snow comes down and creates a winter wonderland, I’m reminded of how God in his goodness made a way for us to have a relationship with him.

Have you decided to follow Jesus and make him your Lord?

 

Observing Lent  | Cardinals and Bluejay

 

Needing prayer…

If you’re a pray-er, I’d appreciate your prayers.  I have my hands in a few different pots and things just haven’t been going well.  Major chunks of my time have been used up with nothing to show.   I’m struggling with a small health issue or two and trusting God for healing.  And the job hunt has not gone well for my husband… he just received another string of “No’s.”   Recently he applied for a ministry position that seems like the perfect fit, but ‘they’ usually want 20 to 30-somethings and so his age makes it seem impossible, except for God.  We are trusting God mightily for this as it is near the area we moved from in ’95.  Thanks for your prayers.

 

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Wishing you an extraordinary day!
Diane

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Comments

  1. Oh Diane, thank you so much for sharing these resources for Lent! I had hoped to make it to the Ash Wednesday service at church but my daughter was sick and with the snow on top of that, it just didn’t work out. I’m looking forward to reading these devotions so thank you!!
    I will continue to pray for you and your husband. You know that I know how it feels to be so busy and yet have nothing to show for it. I continue to lean in to God as I’m quite sure you are doing too… I KNOW He has a GOOD plan for all of us. I encourage you to stand FIRM in that truth. Your answer is already on its way – don’t waver!!
    I am always encouraged by Joyce Meyer and I recently saw this broadcast and it encouraged me, perhaps it will encourage you too: http://joycemeyer.org/BroadcastHome.aspx?video=Power_and_Authority_-_Part_1 (Part 2 is excellent as well.)
    xoxo,
    Jennifer

    • I need to get refocused in a fresh way, Jennifer… trusting that God will use these devotionals in significant ways.
      So glad that you’ll be blessed by them too. 🙂 Sorry Emma was sick again. 🙁 That isn’t fun. Hope she’s feeling better now.

      Oh Jennifer… I know you know. 🙂 I have grown so much through the unexpected turns of this journey…. even still… the more we grow the more we realize how utterly dependent we are and how we need reminders. Our devotionals the last two nights at bedtime were truths we’ve known forever, but it was as if our ears were newly opened to walking boldly in those truths.

      Thank you for your prayers… and for the link. I read one of Joyce’s books, Battlefields of the Mind, several years ago with a friend. It was helpful, and expect this will be too. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

      [[hugs]] and blessings!

  2. My commenting has been pretty scarce here, lately, but know I’m still out here in blog land and the prayers for you continue! Dona

  3. Diane
    I’m lying down and decided to read a few emails and I read on about Lent. I too decided to download something but for some reason it did not show up in my email so I quickly found another free book by Billy Graham and Max a Lucado but it’s been good. Looking to that day He did so much. It seems many Christians that take faith truly serious are having what you listed. Us too but beyond that. Struggles every household. And I think, Praise You God. I will praise You even more. So now about you, yes I will pray for your health. For a stable home. A yes. I know you don’t focus on self but a bit of updates does help me know to pray. Refreshes my mind to pray. And stand by faith.

    • Gwen… the path you have walked since your injury and all that you sweet husband has gone through is beyond imagination. You continue to amaze and bless me as I see how you SHINE so brightly in spite of every difficulty. Your life glorifies God beautifully…a bright star you are for sure. We continue to keep you in our prayers (I, too, appreciate your updates) and thank you for doing the same. Standing with you in faith today! [[hugs]]

  4. I appreciate you sharing. I have also been feeling a bit scattered too. I read the blog called She Reads Truth which also has a daily devotion during this Lent season.
    I will pray for you and your husband. Love the bird photos. Blessings

    • Several people have mentioned recently that they follow She Reads Truth. I need to check it out. 🙂
      Thank you so much Carrie for your prayers… and your kind words. [[hugs]]

  5. Diane,I am so sorry for the”no” your husband has been getting.I have been waiting and prayed for the position he needs to be there.Waiting and trusting is hard but we know God is gonna see us through.I TO have felt very scattered in my mind even finding it hard to get into my bible study book or studying the word.I hate to admit it but I have to get the bible out to be reused on what ash Wednesday is and lent.I read then I forget and I’m not that old.lol thank you for your beautiful and honest post.

    • Thanks for your care and concern Betty. 🙂 We have been in the “waiting room” a long time. It’s so crazy… he’s applied for all levels of jobs (outside of ministry) and doesn’t get them. We really need something. I keep reminding myself that Jesus tells us he knows what we need and I justpre need to trust him.
      Betty… you have a lot of stressful things going on in your life right now. When anyone is in that state… it’s always hard to focus. 😉
      Thanks for your thoughtful words. I really appreciate you. [[hugs]]

  6. Hi Diane, I just wanted to say hello and tell you how thankful I am for the impact you had on the lives of my girls when you were their small group leader years ago. Still miss seeing you guys. I’ll be praying for you and Tim. Take care!

    • Tammy… it was a privilege to be your girls’ small group leader. I treasure many memories of sitting with the girls around that table… laughing, playing, and talking about matters of the heart and of course, God. You must be so proud of your daughters. They have grown up into wonderful women of God. I have enjoyed staying in touch with Carly and am thrilled to see God at work in her life in such amazing ways.

      Thank you so much for your prayers. You’ve touched my heart with your thoughts today. We miss seeing you guys, too. More than most will ever realize. [[hugs]]

  7. I went to first Lenten site and scrolled thru pages and pages that I did not have time to read and never saw a place to sign up. went to 2nd one and did sign up but have to get off FB and onto my regular email to confirm–thanks! as for the Ashes–no more and see no need for them after years as a Catholic getting them!
    hugs
    glenda

    • At the first site, Glenda, the sign up was way at the bottom. Here’s the link again: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/02/the-call-for-the-next-40-days-to-the-nations-people-of-the-cross/ Scroll down until you see the sharing buttons: Facebook, Pinterest, Twittetr, etc at the bottom. The sign-up box is just above it. It’s faint so you could easily miss it.

      For many who didn’t have the same experience you did growing up, it is quite meaningful. The visual of ashes is one that helps us to remember our humanity and our need for a Savior and to choose to repent of our pride and arrogance. It’s a sobering moment. Many evangelical Christian churches are incorporating the ritual of ashes in their Ash Wednesday services recently.

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