Friday, March 13, 2009

Mid-Lent Meme

I'm back...sort of. I thought that this would be a good post to help get back into things, although I still have the weekend to get through. Anyway, enjoy this, and my 1000th post appears on Monday.  This meme comes courtesy of the RevGals.

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year? This was a hard thing to come up with this year, for reasons I can't really articulate. I wasn't feeling especially focused heading into this season this year...March has been and will continue to be a month chock full of activity. So that made me think that I should take on a prayer discipline. While I haven't been able to keep it every day, I have most days with some positive results. I've also given up fast food, but for me the "giving up" exercise is played out, at least for now. Maybe in a few years it'll take on meaning for me again.

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way? That's quite the question. I have been able to stay with original plans until this week. My brother-in-law died unexpectedly last week, and between that and my grandfather's memorial service this weekend, this week has been the epitome of Lennon's classic line, "life is what happens when you make other plans." Did I mention that I came down with the flu the night we arrived at my in-laws' house? Yeah, there was that, too.

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent? That's also quite the question, because I believe God has. Surprising blessings have come in ministerial discernment and church relationships, they've come in family relationships, they've come in changing priorities and renewed energy and vision. Sometime I may flesh all this out more, but through, instead of, or in spite of what even modest amount of plans and inspiration I had coming into this Lenten season, God's been showing up in much bigger ways.

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week? To hopefully figure out what I'm doing for the next couple years, or at least the rest of this one. To enjoy Coffeewife and Coffeeson as much as possible. To pray and to listen. To pay attention to the energy around me and what it means. To be thankful.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter? At this very moment, in the hearts of my in-laws. They/we were spiritually and emotionally punched in the stomach this week, and I hope that healing comes to them.

Bonus: Share a favorite scripture, prayer, poem, artwork, or musical selection that speaks Lenten spring to your heart. Lately, it's been this prayer of confession out of the E&R Hymnal, which I've been using for my prayer time. It's a prayer that I recognize as often appearing in worship in some form while growing up, and so I've been celebrating that connection:

"Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their sins. Restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen."