Lent in everyday language. Day Two

Welcome to Lent! If you have no idea what that means, the simple explanation can be found over here.

Our family is collectively fasting from entertainment media (no movies, no hanging out online).

Each week during Lent we are pursuing new habits and hobbies.  Since the ages of my children range from 2-12, our list of new pursuits is pretty simple:

  • play cards
  • paint
  • exercise
  • go to the library
  • play board games
  • go to bed earlier (that’s mine)
  • go to a new museum
  • go on a hike
  • fly kites at the beach
  • have people over for dinner more often
  • learn how to cook some new things together
  • read stories to one another
  • get our homework done earlier
  • serve people in new ways
  • enjoy our neighbors
  • go for walks around the neighborhood

Confession: I broke the fast DAY ONE when I got a phone call from the director of my masters program and I didn’t want my 2 year old interrupting my call.

So what this has shown me is that I need to be prepared and mindful of new activities that I can have on hand to move my busybusybusy toddler through his mornings without using the famous media-as-babysitter tactic. Or maybe this is an invitation to simply slow and be more present with him during the day and not take important phone calls until he is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, I am spending a little time every morning with a spiritual discipline called the examen.

Daily Examen

  1. Where did I notice God answering my prayers today?Today was a day where  I noticed that many of the long roads I’ve been traveling (writing, spiritual formation leadership, academia, family unity, church collaboration) all convened together like the final pieces in a frustrating jigsaw puzzle. The sort of puzzle where you are sure near the end that you have lost some of the pieces or they were never in the box to begin with.   It was as if God was pouring new courage into my spirit to remind me that He is the One who has put all of these pieces into the box of my life and these pieces will work together to serve a greater purpose.  In a brainstorming meeting, we were reading through the very very last chapters of the Bible and I was struck by God’s description of what our home will be with Him.  In particular, I noticed that God is telling us even now that He is making all things new. Even when all I notice is the scrambled up pieces, He is making my life new.
  2. Where did I need to God answer my prayers today? Our family is at a place of extreme financial lack.  While my husband is diligently pursuing a new chef business and working a bit for a former boss, we have nothing near what we need to take care of our monthly expenses. I have seen God provide miracle after daily miracle for food, shelter, transportation. Yet, I don’t know individually what I am supposed to be doing to contribute to this ever growing debt. Do I return to full time work? Do I continue to pursue other free lance job opportunities? Do I take in children and do babysitting at home? Do I work alongside my husband in his new business? I can’t even find space or time to listen properly to what the best path will be for the future and as the days and weeks pass by, I need God to speak and invite and confirm His best plan for me in this season. Today I have little idea about what that could be.

How do these questions help you notice God today?