Happy Ash Wednesday

Well, that just sounds weird. You know what I mean. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know what I mean.

As I sit here this morning trying to get my day in order the boys are still sleeping. Or at least pretending to sleep. I can here Bryce laying in his crib slowly bouncing his legs off the wooden slats. He seems content so there he will stay until he demands further.

This morning, during this sacred and all too rare quiet time, I read a devotion by She Reads Truth about Lent and Ash Wednesday. It was beautiful. I suggest you read it to. I have been struggling to go places and do things as my children have been taking turns being sick for the past 3 almost 4 weeks. And it’s freezing outside, for Atlanta, and we are starting to get cabin fever. We were supposed to go to our church for Shrove Tuesday last night. This is one of our favorite nights. Noah gets to participate in a pancake race and this year Bryce would have been old enough too. 🙁 But alas Noah has a cold so we couldn’t make it. Today is Ash Wednesday and I wanted to make it to church for our services, but that’s not happening either.

As I was wallowing in my little pool of self pity I began to read the post from She Reads Truth and it immediately addressed this and basically threw it out of the way. God was saying, “Hey, I get it. Now get over it and pay attention.” Well, He said it a little nicer than that, but you get the point.

What stood with me most from the post was the reflection on the purpose of Lent.

Lent is a pause button. It is a quiet unlike any other time of year. Lent is a season to close our eyes as the busy world buzzes around us, to consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity. We came from dust, and to dust we will return.

I have never religiously followed the season of Lent. This year I hope to be different. This year I’m not going to give up sodas or chocolate or coffee. Good Lord, no, not the coffee. Instead I want to “give up” something that truly makes me pause and reflect on “those things we’d much rather forget.” 

My vice, as you will, is my evening baths. I take one every. single. night. I love my baths. I will sit in them until the water is cooled and I am slightly shivering. Sometimes I will lift my wrinkled foot and turn the hot water on so I can stay in just a little bit longer.

Most often I am reading, scanning Facebook on my phone, flipping through Pinterest or Houzz on my tablet, or even writing posts. I scare many people, who cringe at the thought of me dropping an expensive device in the tub. And one day it may happen, but this is what makes me happy and helps me decompress at the end of a long day.

Let me just say real quick, I will not be giving up my baths. That was the first things that came to mind, but I have a mild form of restless leg, self diagnosed of course. Basically my legs hurt a lot at night and my baths keep this at bay. If I gave up my baths my family would suffer. I would get no sleep and when Mama gets no sleep, Mama is mean. That would put me a little too much in touch with the whole “sin and humanity.” Not what I think God has in mind.

No, what I’m going to do is eliminate all distractions from this time of day. No longer will I “hitch a ride on someone else’s mind” to quote the amazing Barbara Brown Taylor. No books, tablets, iphones, nothing. Nada. This will be a moment to reflect on whatever comes to mind. I’m going to look for a reflection prayer to read as I draw my bath and try to get me focused. But I have no doubt that in the beginning my baths will probably be quite short.

It’s hard to just be.

Do you recognize this season of Lent? Do you have any plans?

Be Still