Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Gratitude Day 6 & 7

230 Candles, originally uploaded by silphi77.
I remembered that I was supposed to post my gratitude just as my computer finished shutting down last night. Since I'm single-parenting this week, I decided that getting enough sleep was more important, and made mental gratitude notes in my head.

Today, Ann's post spoke to me. I had been longing for Lent, but then it kind of sneaked up on me and punched me in the head. When I thought about the disciplines I wanted to add (instead of giving things up) I did not think about Troy being away, and the sheer busyness of March. I have been faithful (although not always cheerful) to the 15 minutes of exercise, to help me worship by taking care of my body. The gratitude is pretty easy too. But then I added the 15 minutes of decluttering (plus my New Year's Goal of writing a hand-written note to someone for every day of this year, even if it's not ON every day.)

I think the exercise has to stay, but the decluttering is going to be a mindset of reduction and simplicity instead of a deadline.

667. Chats with two of my oldest friends (we're talking high school here.)
668. Plans taking shape to attend my high school class reunion this summer.
669. Taking my daughter to an author event at her school tonight. She was so pleased that I went with her, and I enjoyed both the author, and watching Meg talk to her afterwards.
670. The smallest glimmer of change I am beginning to feel in my body because of more exercise.
671. That first sip of coffee in the morning.
672. Howling wind outside my window when I know I'm in for the night.
673. A tax refund that will allow us to get some needed repairs on our cars.
674. That we're about a year into our 5-year debt-elimination plan. So grateful to be on the right track to financial health.
675. Only three more sleeps until my hubby comes home.
676. Going to bed early.
677. The discipline of prayer and reading Scripture in the morning, even when I don't feel like it, even when it doesn't feel like it "speaks" to me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Gratitude Day 5

Candles 1, originally uploaded by EuroMagic.

662. Just when I was getting stressed about not having change at work, a gentleman came in and gave me a bunch of $10 bills.
663. Meggie Joy finding out she'll be able to take Spanish next year, which made her very happy.
664. A brisk walk to the library under a blue sky this afternoon.
665. A plate heaped high with roasted veggies for dinner.
666. Knowing Troy arrived safely in England.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lenten Gratitude Day 4

Candles..., originally uploaded by Klearchos Kapoutsis.

Feeling a little raw tonight. A bit lonely, a bit sad. Missing my Mom, and missing community. Keeping track of my gratitude on paper tonight.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten Gratitude Day 3

Candle light., originally uploaded by JoĆ£oMoura.

655. Afternoon tea out with my girl to celebrate her birthday.
656.Chili-cook-offs at church.
657. Saturday mornings omelets with the leftover Brussels Sprouts, bacon and garlic.
658. Sunshine.
659. Dreaming about some-day homes.
660. More energy, even if it means more hormones.
661. Walking through a store full of temptation, and not buying a single thing.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten Gratitude Day 2

Candles -- Earth Hour, originally uploaded by DCZwick.

651. Kids who are old enough to stay home on Friday night by themselves and also not throw tantrums in the check-out line at Target.
652. Laughing with friends.
653. A better day at work, mainly because of my better attitude.
654. Looking forward to a birthday outing with my girl tomorrow.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Gratitude Day 1

Candle, originally uploaded by jasonstaten.
This first full day of Lent (after the ashes last night), it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a moody day at work, the kind that makes you want to come home and update your resume. On the way home, under dark sleety skies, I sighed when I thought of 15 minutes of exercise (let alone the 30 I normally try for on Thursdays) and the 15 minutes of decluttering. It's Meaghan's 15th birthday and my inclination was to leave these things I had chosen by the wayside. I can always start tomorrow, after all. Isn't there a fresh start every morning?

At home, I prep gifts and cards. I change my clothes to get on the rower, gritting my teeth. But then I think of my daughter, the 15-year-old who pummels young men in their 20's at Wii boxing. So instead of the rower, I challenge the birthday girl to some Wii. She barely moves, and knocks me out. I flail a good deal, but my heart rate is up :) I get in more than my 15 minutes, and it's a lot more fun.

We eat birthday pizza, and banana splits. The burdens of the day are a bit lighter. I have committed to count, every day. So I count.

646. Girl Scout cookies at the dinner table, a treasured treat.
647. My girl (who chooses goat cheese and spinach spinach for her birthday dinner.)
648. Banana splits.
649. Having a job, and health insurance, even when it gets on my nerves (The job, not the health insurance.)
650. Grace, that covers so much of me.

It's supposed to snow a lot tonight. Tomorrow will start all white and fresh and clean.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Waiting for Lent

I started writing this post, and then I looked back at a previous post that I wrote for Lent and found myself repeating myself almost verbatim :) I'm going to leave it as I had it, but it definitely confirms the importance of Lent in my life. If you want to read what I wrote in February 2010, it's here.

I have mentioned before that I did not grow up observing Lent. While we were church-planting and pastoring in Spain, we adopted a lot of "ancient-future" spiritual practices. Now, several years down the road, I find myself looking forward to Lent every year. It has proved to be such a good spiritual season for me that I almost crave it every year.

At the beginning, and for the first few seasons of Lent, I gave things up. Facebook, chocolate, etc. I find it interesting that in the post I linked to above, I talked about writing more letters, and just scanning them and emailing them to people. That never really materialized...but that obviously took root in my heart, because this year (2012) I am hoping to write someone a hand-written note every day.

I am still processing what this Lent will look for me. One of the things that I realized last year was that Lent is supposed to including feast days every Sunday. That adds another beautiful layer into the season for me.

Here's what I DO know.
  • I have been REALLY struggling with getting my weight to come down, and getting back into a regular exercise routine since we moved in July. We still have not arrived at a definitive dosage for my thyroid medication, so I keep hoping that each higher dose is finally going to be the one that does the trick. At any rate, I believe that I need to view exercise as worship. So during Lent, I will be doing SOME kind of exercise for at least 15 minutes every day except Sunday. Even if it just means a walk around the block, I think that until exercise becomes a spiritual practice for me, I will struggle with it. This is the main things I will be adding.
  • Daily gratitude. Last year I kept daily track of gratitude. I have been lax with this practice lately, so I want to do it again this year.
  • I'll also be doing only 15 minutes per day of de-cluttering and working on things I can give away. I want to constantly be working on keeping the "stuff" in my life to a minimum.
I'm mindful of my tendency to overburden myself with lists so ambitious that I set myself up for failure, so I may tweak things a bit. There are a couple of other things I am pondering, but I want to mull them over a bit more.

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