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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


is here....did you think i'd post about it?  I have not always observed the season of Lent but for the past few years, I have.  We've had Ash Wednesday services and given up something to reflect on the sacrifice that God gave for us.  Well, this year was a little different for me.  I didn't want to give up chocolate or coke. I blogged about a year ago my disdane for those types of fasts b/c they're so insignificant in relation to Christ's sacrifice for us. I realize it's a symbol and when you miss it, you have a teeny tiny taste of sacrifice. I get it.

Anyway, we had an Ash Wednesday service tonight. It was powerful for me. I missed the first little bit b/c I was in the lobby.  When I came in, we sang some.  Levi got up to direct us about the ashes.  He had burnt ashes today and the cool part about the ashes was that he used our "corporate confessions" from a few weeks ago.  I blogged about it.  He gave us time during one of the services a few weeks ago to corporate confess our struggles that we're dealing with currently or that we've dealt with. People were brutally honest and it was so refreshing to hear people share from their hearts.  Anyway, Levi kept those and burnt them for our ashes. I love that.  I sat in the back row and the back row went first.  I got to sit back and watch the other 70-something people get their ashes.  BTW, not on our foreheads, we had a string with a card that had double sided tape on it.  You dipped your card in the ashes, shook the excess off and kept it.  I hung mine on my rear view mirror so I'd think about it everyday.  As I watched each person take their ashes, tears began to flow.  I thought about each family or person. I thought about their struggles.  I thought about their history. I thought about were they were 3,6, 12 months ago. I thought about their wins.  I just reflected on each of them. I loved that we were all there together in that moment participating as the body of Christ, confessing our imperfections and being willing to sacrifice something during the next 40 days. 

I love our church (church as in people, not building). I love that I sat at the longest table I've seen in a long time filled with wonderful friends.  I love that I am blessed to be married to a man who is flexible, open, daring, and bold when it comes to making followers of Christ.  He leads Catalyst with passion and drive.  I love that people love me for me-even as a pastor's wife.  I had a friend tell me tonight I'm different than any pastor's wife she's ever known.  I told her thanks.  She said, "that was a compliment, because I didn't usually hang out with my pastor's wife."  I love that I can be me, flawless, goofy, too many inappropriate jokes to count, emotional at times, just me.  I love that!!  I love that people can be themselves.  They're not afraid to share their struggles or hang ups.  They're them and proud of it.  I love that b/c it's allowed me to be me and proud of it.

I find myself these days getting pretty fed up with organized religion, doctrine, rules, laws, etc....which is a tad bit funny seeing as that's my husband's livelihood.  He is different (on so many different levels-ha). I get caught up in worry about the future and the control freak in me spazz-es out.   I see and understand why people leave the church. I get why they call Christians hypocrites.  I totally get it.  Some of the meanest people are found in churches.   They are petty, judgmental, critical, dogmatic, know-it-alls.
I have also encountered some of the most giving, compassionate, FUN, loving people in the church as well.  I cannot be judgmental or critical and that's the trap for me.  I focus on the wrong instead of forgiving, moving on, letting go, trusting.  I hear stories of hurts all the time but the ones that get me the most are the church hurts.  It's so hard to forget.  For me, it brings up bad memories.  At that moment, I have a choice, I have to choose to forgive. I have to choose to see people the way God sees them. I have to love in spite of myself and my own issues.  That is hard but key.
 So, as we enter the Lenten Season, my focus is on love, forgiveness, compassion-growing closer to Christ.  I will fast somethings but I will also take on a positive "thing" and by doing both, I hope to make this time of Lent a meaningful, powerful season in my life.

Filled with lots of joy,

1 comment:

llowry said...

You are a great pastor's wife. I am glad that you can be "you", don't you dare every change. They day you have to start pretending is the day I need to find a new job.