Lent took my Gilmore Girls

This week marks my one year anniversary as a practicing Anglican.

I remember nervously walking into the small chapel early Sunday morning in 2016, not entirely sure what on earth I was doing there.

All I can say is that I followed my curiosity.

And what I have found is a truly beautiful, life giving, healing community and a spiritual practice that nourishes me.

Not to mention it’s a mere three minute drive from my house!

But enough of that.

We’re here to talk about…

Lent (Latin: Quadragesima: Fortieth)

Being in the charismatic stream of christianity for so long, the liturgical calendar was foreign to me and seemed a bit unnecessary.

These days I find deep, spiritual food in a traditional practice. It’s funny how things change. It’s funny how I have changed.

Lent is a 40 day observation in preparation for Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Palm Sunday. People can give up rich foods, luxuries, television, alcohol and whatever distracts from seeking God’s face. Its a time to become quiet and to seek a deeper connection with the divine.

Pope Francis aptly articulates the heart of Lent when he says:

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.”

This past year for me has been a year of loss, of starting again, of letting go of dreams, of grieving what was and things I am waiting for.

It’s been really hard. And I have found myself staring at a screen a lot medicate my own pain and to feel as if I’m connected in some way.

Praying, meditating or any serious spiritual practice has fallen by the wayside. I’ve had a deconstruction experience with faith so I’ve deliberately kept myself from being zealous in any spiritual discipline.

Come to think of it I’ve actually stopped being zealous about most things.

My bible has been sitting on the shelf in true “backslider” fashion for six months *shock horror gasp

In saying that, I now have a deeper faith than ever before.

But my heart longs to become quiet again. To learn how to sit with myself without constant options to distract, to numb myself from my own reality. Maybe I could try to trust God to hold me again.

This year I’m giving up social media and television. This is going to be an exercise in being brave.

I feel scared to just sit with God and myself again, I’m scared I might come away empty handed. I don’t want to force things anymore.

I don’t want to twist God’s arm into giving me my wildest dreams. I’d like to learn how to humbly accept and be thankful for the blessings in everyday.

This morning at 7am, arriving bleary eyed with my husband, we received ashes upon our forehead with the priests refrain over us “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

We then sung these words

We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts, the gift not fully given, the dreams not fully dreamt. Give our stumblings direction, give our visions wider view. An offering of ashes, an offering to you.” -Tom Conry

Are you doing Lent this year? I’d love to hear what your intentions are for this very special season.

Be free my friend

x Gem x

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6 thoughts on “Lent took my Gilmore Girls

  1. Wonderful, Gemma. Thanks for encouraging us about the beauty and depth of Lent. I’m giving up tea/coffee and sugar (including cake, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream etc) – pray for me. These things seem trivial on a global scale but I always find making small physical (food) sacrifices strangely gives me a sense of getting my life back. Not in a control freak kind of way but more like pulling the drip out of my arm through which I am being fed endless distractions and dependencies (blueberry baked cheesecake) to which I am totally enslaved. I’m also planning to give up the habit of overstating my case – still working on that one.
    I will be using the app INTO THE DESERT from ABM for enriching, Australian, daily reflections.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful, Gemma. I think your spiritual journey has been inspirational. Sometimes the old traditions give us a frame on which to hang our faith. In a society that doesn’t have many traditions or practices that hold us together in community, leaning into Lenten sacrifice is one way to share Christ’s sacrifice, but also to share with our family and friends. As we all sacrifice something, the spirit of Christ is able to work in that space. He also works with us corporately as we do this together.

    Giving up TV and social media is a huge sacrifice in our society, but the space created will be so full you’ll wonder how you fitted it in!

    Beautiful writing and beautiful journey. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for an inspiring entry. I’m glad to be reminded of Lent’s importance. It’s also a joy to watch you discover the joys of liturgy. Your words are a treat.
    What I’ve chosen to give up is something that also provides an opportunity to give to others. I’ll be taking at least one item of clothing a day and placing it in a bag to donate to charity. It seemed a simple and worthy commitment to make; however, when I opened my wardrobe and pulled out a beautiful silver party dress that I never wear anymore… my heart did wrench a little. This realisation made the significance of what I wanted to do in terms of Lent more profound. I was removing a luxury that I certainly don’t require, and not to make myself feel better – my reaction proved that! It is a removal of the excess, with the added bonus of providing someone else with a joy. The dress is in the bag, along with a pair of shoes.
    Lent is making me reduce and reflect… and I’m truly grateful for that.
    P.S. Will you not post over Lent???

    Liked by 1 person

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