February 17

On this day before lent begins I cannot help but find much hope in the brief, but painful hardships that our family experiences due to our choice to live on a farm full time.  Our hands and feet burn in the immense cold, our backs ache as we pull squash from bins and carry them to protection, our hearts beat fast, our heads hurt and our minds fill with worry about whether or not our decisions will mean food to feed the families who depend on this farm-and ourselves.  My hope is in the reality that these brief experiences of hardship keep us in some small ways connected to the immense hardships of those around me.

My friend who will wait at the bridge hoping for homeless men, women and children to come for assistance.  People she knows by name, prayers for and cares deeply about.  21 men who claimed their faith in the Lord and were beheaded by ISIS because they believed in such a way that allowed them to give up everything (God, please have mercy on their families).  Black communities who are still hurting while the nation forgets.  As lent is upon us I’m thankful for the time to reflect, slow down, pray, focus on ways that this season can make me different, better, more aware.

A few ways that I will be doing that specifically is:

-Daily Bible Reading & Prayer
-Daily Yoga & Meditation Practice
-Daily Reflection & Writing

A few things that I will be decreasing are:

-Worry & Stress (a struggle for me, but something I want to decrease)
-Concern for Self (in ways that ignore the needs of those around me)
-Idle Worship (I know what I mean here…)

I’m spending time this evening reflecting on this question posed by Rachel Held Evans.

“When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for?”