Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. Wow, it's really early this year. I still have a few Christmas items to put away. Luke and I didn't even finish reading A Christmas Carol until the middle of January. Now, the Dickens novel sits on my nightstand awaiting me to put it in the Christmas books box. We finally found that missing ornament behind some cookbooks. Take a wild guess who could have done that. It drove me crazy that the cute little carved wooden squirrel ornament that Sammy had received for St. Nicholas day had vanished. So, it seems that there are still some Christmas items that need my attention.

Although I knew that Lent would be starting early this year, It still snuck up on me and I found myself unprepared. A few days ago, I started thinking about what I would be giving up this year. As we began the new year, we went on what we call super-saver mode and I promised my hubby that I would not buy any books during the month of January while we made some financial goals. That was tough. So, I thought I would continue on that path for Lent, but this time I would stay away from Amazon and other booksites altogether. I use Amazon extensively to research new books, new topics, new hobbies, etc. Right now, my current obsession is knitting and I've been looking at many knitting books. I will have to stay away from real bookstores as well! So, I thought a little harder and thought I might extend this book fast to include knitting supplies and beautiful yarns. I am a beginner anyway. How can I possibly use up that much yarn in 40 days?? After thinking this through last night, I made one last little purchase (it wasn't all for me!). After thinking about this, I saw this post in a couple of different places and it made me think...a lot. I started pondering how relevant this is to my thoughts on de-cluttering and not adding anything more for a while. I felt that this post came at the right time. I've felt overwhelmed lately, but somehow I kept adding more things (to read, to think about, to do, to study, etc). I want and need to de-clutter my brain as well as my home. Lent is the perfect time for that. It's a time to cast out all the bad and keep only what is good and beautiful. I read these following words over and over trying to absorb them so I could apply them to my life. I want to profit by this Lenten season and in these words I believe I've found the key!

"Almost all of my successes in life have come because I do less than other people not more. I realized this the other day. I am not one of those whirling women impressing the luncheon guests. If I have less of a garden and less of a house and less curricula, fewer hobbies, fewer errands, smaller expectations I accomplish more. "

I figured that during these forty days of Lent, I could slow down, turn inward and have well, way more room for God because I've cleaned out and de-cluttered the space. Isn't it ironic that by slowing down and simplifying, I might just accomplish more? So, as I enter Lent, I find myself happier that I will be taking a break from so many of the wonderful things out there, but truly making room for the King of kings in my heart. Those wonderful things will still be there to be discovered, but now is a time for reflection and prayer.

By the way, this is the one book I chose for daily prayer and meditation during Lent.

Have a blessed Lent!

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