February 17th, 2010


Ash Wednesday

Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday. Looking back at a few years past, I find many of my struggles are consistent, so my disciplines will be, too. Some initial thoughts:

Objective: Laying down and taking up things during Lent serves to create right space for God. It's all His, of course, but noise and distraction keep me from talking with and listening to Him in ways that are relational and intentional. Sacrificing anything uncovers need (and often, idolatry) and calls me to gratitude.

Laying down (stuff I'm not going to do during Lent):
  • Browse the web while TV watching when I'm not alone (my attention can't go that many directions at once, which slights other people—mostly barlow_girl)
  • Watch TV or browse the web at within an hour of going to bed (I need to "shut down" better)
  • Have coffee out more than 2x a week, except with others (it's expensive and unnecessary)

Taking up (stuff I'm going to do during Lent):
  • Pray the Psalms with barlow_girl using the seven-week plan here
  • Have devotional time first thing each morning, even when it's a random mess
  • Establish time/batch parameters for checking email (this one needs some work—I'm hoping to leverage AwayFind to help, but I have some decisions to make first)
There are one or two other possibilities, but that's a start.

We've had a full week so far, which almost always freaks me out a bit because I'm afraid of getting used up. It's been full of great stuff, though, and much of my fear is groundless. Really enjoyed time with friends Sunday-Tuesday, and Taproot's production of The Great Divorce was fantastic.

Bad dreams the last couple of nights, more stressful than usual. Realized upon waking this morning that last night's dream (the details of which I can't clearly recall) really challenged whether I believe God is good—truly, deeply, and personally good. That's a very core struggle, so I'm grateful to be confronted with it; too often I just say it and go on about my life, a life I live in ways that reveal I don't trust His goodness at all. It's too big of a deal to just keep sliding on.