13 February 2013

A little ash

Today is Ash Wednesday. I fully intend to get my ash in church, which is much needed these days.
A lot of my friends are talking about what they are "giving up" for Lent - whether it's beer, wine, facebook, etc. I like this concept - the idea that we sacrifice something we like to make room for other focuses.
But I also subscribe the concept of adding something into your life that is beneficial, that can help you grow as a person, or changing your life to make it better to being open to receiving God. I've heard of folks taking their lunch money (or what they would normally spend on lunch) and giving it to a worthy cause either daily or at the end of the 40 days (plus Sundays). I've heard of folks adding meditation into their daily routine to help them become closer to God. I like these ideas.
Mine are pretty basic this year, but full and with lots of explanation and underlying meaning.
  • In January I stopped biting my nails, in an attempt to 'become a girl', and let them grow. I did really well until last week. One snagged and ripped, so I had to trim it down. Then another did the same. In my trimming, they became rough and ick, so I started gnawing on just those two to try to 'clean them up' (I really need to invest in a good file). My nails are back to my normal, which isn't good. So my FIRST Lenten discipline is to not bite my nails. They did look nice when they were longer, I just need to not let them get as long so they don't snag.
  • Also in January, Mike and I took a concerted approach to church and made it more of a priority. He already volunteered to help with building the Faith Boxes for the church's newly baptized members. I am getting training next week to help count offering on Mondays (since I have that day off). And as for going to church we have only missed for guard drill and last week when we weren't feeling well and the weather was crap. It's great to be back in the church community. I'll be attending Wednesday services, too, and hope that he'll join me when he's not with his mom. So the SECOND is to continue to include church in our lives more fully.
  • Over the weekend, Mike and I realized that we both really need to get back into an exercise routine. Winter is bad for us as our motivation lacks and it's just so much easier to sleep in or curl up on the couch at night. So yesterday, we got up at 5am to work out. He's going gung-ho, which is great, and started back with P90X. I'm going a little slower but steady with yoga and the elliptical. I wasn't sure if I'd make it this morning too, but I did and I do feel better because of it. So my THIRD add is to keep exercise in my morning routine. I need it - bad - on so many levels.
  • This is starting to seem like a lot, but if you didn't have my long explanations, it would be quite short, really. My FOURTH plan is to read more and to take time for me. I haven't read a book in a VERY long time, and I really found I've missed it. This past weekend I needed something to read so I started the Harry Potter series...again. I'm almost done with Book 3 and, while I will finish the rest of the series - because I'm anal that way, I really want to read some other books and get back into a routine to take time for me. I do have quite a few books I've purchased over the last year, so I'm not lacking for books, I just need to shut off the TV and read.
  • My FIFTH and probably final, because I may be setting myself up for failure here, is to find and acknowledge the good in my day, each and every day. I really am blessed with great friends, awesome family, a loving husband, great job, and so much more. There are days when the world gets me down and I forget that. I once attempted a gratitude journal - it lasted a day. My hope is to revive that and really think about and acknowledge my blessings each day.
Lent doesn't have to be filled with darkness and depression. It's a time to reflect and find a way to be closer to God. I'm not sure if my plan will get me there, but I have hope that it will help me to be a better person all around which will lead me closer to God in the end.

1 comment:

K.E. said...

These are some great resolutions. I think one of my resolutions is to remember when Lent starts! I almost missed Ash Wednesday this year. And that is the only Wednesday night service I've made it to. Hope you are well!-Karen