Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lent: Spiritual Spring Cleaning

This morning, as I was preparing to work  on my blog, I could actually hear Teyve singing "Tradition" in my head!  I may have smiled remembering a certain Angel Girl who danced behind a scrim in a land far away during a run of Fiddler on the Roof.  I love his words, "How did this tradition get started?  I don't know.  But it's a tradition and because of our tradition everyone of us know who he is and what God expects him to do. Without tradition our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof!" If you know me very well you know Lent is my favorite season of the Christian year and the traditions of Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter are so powerful and meaningful in my life.  A few years ago, I wrote a Lent blog-to this day is is the most read of all my entries.  But this year I felt a tugging on my heart to write another.

1.  I'm Sorry is going to become a phrase of the past.  When I spend more time than I planned instead of saying I'm sorry to my kids I'm going to turn it around and say, "thank you for allowing me to spend the time I needed to caring for ___________."  When I can't join a friend for coffee instead of saying I'm sorry saying "thank you so much for inviting me to join you, I'd love to join you _____ when I've got a free afternoon to enjoy our time."  Saying I'm sorry always makes me feel so guilty when I don't need to, for the next 40 days I'm focusing on GREATER POSITIVITY.

2.  Did you realize that every time you get a receipt from a store, doctor or restaurant there is a phone number on it?  You may have used it when a clerk was rude or you got poor service to call the manager and complain.  How many times have you used it to compliment?  For the next 40 days every time I receive a receipt from a business I am going to find something positive about my visit and call the manager and let them know how much I appreciate their business, an employee who was helpful or nice, how clean their bathroom was, how fresh and hot the food was or maybe you noticed a plaque or certificate for something they have done or given to the community, more thank you's might encourage them to help even more next time.  For the next 40 days I'm expressing GRATITUDE more often.

3.  A wise young lady reminded me yesterday that you can't pour from an empty pitcher.  Unfortunately I spend much of my life pouring from myself and I forget to take time for a refill.  When I do that, I take from the energy, love and time I need to spend on myself.  I wind up feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted often taking out the feelings of frustration on those I love the most-my Handsome and my Angel Girls.  For the next 40 days I'm being more GENTLE to myself and keeping my pitcher full by taking my time to recharge.  Thanks Brittany!

Together let's take the next 40 days-use them to their fullest-the true sense of the tradition of Lent which is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, spiritual growth, conversion and simplicity.  Lent comes from the Teutonic word for springtime and can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out the things which hinder our relationship with Jesus Christ and our service to him. ( Thank you Church Year for this great explanation.)

A while back I was a little stressed and during the night, I woke up with this prayer running through my head:  For the next 40 days, this prayer will be my plea as I seek to do a little spiritual spring cleaning and focus on the areas above reminding myself every day that I AM crazy blessed!!!!

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