Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ash Wednesday.

I am happy to report that Day One of our Lenten projects was a success. One thing that has really resonated with me is the idea of NOT giving something up for Lent, but rather taking something instead. Instead of giving up dessert or bread or wine, take time to spend with God. And if you ARE giving something up, the whole point is to fill that time with an act of service for God, or time in prayer, or time reading Scripture. Whew! Seriously. I must have read this idea/heard this idea 25 times this week. Point taken and duly noted! No giving up without taking.

Our family's mission on Day One was to pay someone a sincere compliment. We had to explain to James what this meant and he was still confused so he didn't participate. {I think he was worried that if he complimented someone in front of someone else it might hurt feelings.} I DID participate, but I have to admit that even something that small I had to really focus on it and take time to act on it. Is that sad or what? I told James he could compliment someone's clothes or hair or toy, but I wanted to be more sincere with my compliment. Our mission for Day Two is to pray for a friend. I can't wait to hear who James comes up with during our Bible reading and prayers tonight.

A friend asked if I would please continue to document what we're doing and so I will do that on and off. Especially so that next year I can look back and SEE what we did. I do not intend to make this in anyway about US. This is absolutely not for bragging rights {and so I'll keep lots of it private}, but I do want to document the activities we're doing along the way!

I went to my VERY FIRST Ash Wednesday service tonight. I cannot ever remember going another time in my life so I'm assuming that really is the case. I have always known what Ash Wednesday was and we've always talked about Lent and giving things up, but I'd never been to the actual service {as far as I can remember}. The boys did not make it through - it was getting late and we'd been sitting for a while - so they left with Grandmama and went to the Activities Center to play. James asked if I brought him any ashes for his head afterwards so I smushed my forehead up to his. Please don't tell me if this is sacrilege. It made him so happy!

{Why, yes! I am just as tired as I look! We were up until almost 2AM working on a project and getting some housework done and then WILLIAM woke up SCREAMING at the top of his lungs at 5:30. And it was Wednesday and they're nuts anyway. Good times.}

If you haven't heard of Ash Wednesday and Lent, I'll give you a little history. Please note that I am not at all a Bible scholar. Lent is the 40 day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. {We don't count Sundays in the 40 days.} It is a time of reflection and repentance. Lent means "spring" and is a great time to renew your walk with God. Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season. We draw ashes on our foreheads in the form of a cross representing our human mortality. The person leading the service or drawing on the ashes says, "Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return." Because we are all going to die, we need to live our lives for Christ because we need His sacrifice. {Here's a little trivia that I learned yesterday! In a few weeks we'll celebrate Palm Sunday which is the day that Jesus came into Jesrusalem and the people celebrated by waving palm branches. More on that later. After Palm Sunday is celebrated - in our church the children walk down the aisles waving the palms - the branches are burned and THAT'S where the ashes come from. How neat is that?} Whew! Is that enough knowledge from someone who is not at all knowledgable?

Y'all have a great week! I'll be back with PRECIOUS pictures {fingers crossed!} of my biggest boy at his Teddy Bear Tea Party tomorrow. 

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