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what a day...

I know I promised a post on Lent last week but I've not had time to hash it out yet. Instead I offer you this unoriginal yet good reflection shared at my staff meeting this morning from our Christian Ed. Director. It reflects upon the spiritual discipline of fasting and it really hit home to me as I never give things up but rather try to add ways to relate to God during the time of Lent. To me, the experience of coming closer to God is what I'm after, and if I become resentful because I've given up any number of my addictions (caffeine, chocolate, caffeine, internet, oh and did i mention caffeine?) I never end up any closer to God and feel horrible about not being able to follow through with what I've tried to give up. Overall, though I think the practice of giving up something is completely admirable, I've never pulled it off without feeling further from God. So instead I add something to my life that I'm sure will enrich my experience with God. For me this year, I've decided to dedicate a half an hour every night to being without distraction and reading/journaling for myself. Though this blog action is great, and a great way to keep people informed, I really miss writing for myself and letting my words flow without thinking about whether or not what I'm saying will offend or whether it is just mindless writing that no one cares about. Pen and paper will accompany me, but I may end up blogging some of what I write as well.

With that I turn to what I heard in staff devo:

Lent has traditionally been a time for fasting. This is not a flashy “look at what I’m doing” kind of fast, but a humble, inward commitment. Lent is also a time of prayer and giving. An article I read by Jude Siciliano has helped me to discover how, in a season of fasting, prayer and giving, we can find ways to offer God an acceptable sacrifice. Jude Siciliano suggests that Lent is both a time for fasting and for feasting, that Lent is not so much a season of denial, as it is an opportunity for renewal and for growth.

With that in mind, I suggest that we can offer God an acceptable sacrifice by:
fasting from judgment of others and feasting on God’s love for everyone.
fasting from negativity and feasting on praise
fasting from injustice and feasting on justice
fasting from stagnation and feasting on transformation
fasting from complexities and feasting on simplicities
fasting from chaotic thoughts and feasting on purposeful silence
fasting from fear of change and feasting on renewal
fasting from guilt and feasting on God’s mercy
fasting from bitterness and feasting on forgiveness
fasting from anger and feasting on patience
fasting from anxiety and feasting on the peace of God
fasting from complaining and feasting on thanksgiving
fasting from discouragement and feasting on hope
fasting from unacceptable sacrifices and feasting on those things that create a new and right spirit within us.

Oh, and I'm curious... what are your impressions of who I am? There's a site that you can go to and pick out the 6 words that you think fit me. You can find it here.

So go ahead and give it a shot and let you know what you think about me. As my friend Bre said when she posted hers, "I like learning about myself so I can reflect and grow." That's my pursuit in life right now, reflect and grow and figure out what to do next.
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Laura, I find your thoughts on fasting for Lent interesting. It's not the first time that I've heard that giving something up for Lent didn't help bring you closer to God but further. I have wondered several times why this may be and will continue to stew this over in my head. In the mean time, go check this out: http://maggidawn.typepad.com/maggidawn/2006/02/just_dont_try_h.html


By Blogger Jessica, at 7:46 AM  

Wow, I'm mentioned on a blog! I first for me... way cool! Feast on my friend.

By Anonymous CE Dir, at 2:35 PM  

Your comment about writing for you made me realize that I haven't actually done that in a while. I've blogged and livejournaled...and even typed some journal entries...but there's something liberating about a pen and a journal that I didn't even realize that I missed. You reminded me...so I wrote yesterday. And it was wonderful.

By Blogger cb, at 11:38 AM  

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