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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Lines in the Sand


“Tell us what to believe!”
The people shout from the crowd

The small still voice replies

“Much of this is for you figure out”

“Tell is what to hate Lord! Tell us,

Who is in and who is out?”

The small still voice draws silently in the sand

Pause 

“Are you without sin?

Don’t I accept you?

Didn’t I make a way for you when you had utterly failed me?

Did I not include you?”

Stones

Dropping

One by one 

To the floor

“Do a mighty miracle for us! Show us you are King!”

The small still voice gave no reply

Instead he stretched out his arms and finished it all

“I did this for you

One who doesn’t belong 

Who’s shut out of church doors

Who’s tolerated with clenched teeth and fake smiles 

Who’s not quite welcome

Politicians and clergy argue

Who’s right?

Who’s wrong? 

And the saved ones despise you

As if you had some contagious disease.”

The small still voice

Oh how he is grieved

When his children throw stones

When they could throw parties 

Invite the last

The least 

and the lonely

Open the gates wide for all to be welcomed to great table 

Let’s feast together!

Instead we made a club with an application process 

It shut you and me out 

But fear not

The small still voice is always making a way

Coming is the day 

When he’ll confuse us all 

With his radically loving way

Then our rules and our clubs will fall

And Love will win once again.

Oh I ache for the day when love will win once again.

x Gem x