Wednesday, February 17, 2010


--Madeleine L'Engle from The Weathered Heart

I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart
To silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended.
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I turn me to the Word to pray. Amen.

I love that. Since today is Ash Wednesday, I thought it was fitting. This blog is a departure from my regular writing fare. I don’t want to come across as preachy, I just want to share something I don’t usually put “out there” in the public eye.

When you think of Lent, what’s the first thing you think of? I think many of us automatically think of giving up a food, whether it’s chocolate, Starbucks or meat.
However, there’s so more to Lent than giving up a favorite food or an ingrained habit. It’s also about doing something to be closer to God (maybe praying more or making reading the Bible more regularly) and even giving time or money to a charitable organization.

This year, I’m giving up something for the Lenten season. And since Lent isn’t about broadcasting or bragging what you are giving up or doing, I’m not sharing it on the blog.

Forty days without something you love may seem like a long time. But that’s really the point, isn’t it? Discipline. Self-sacrifice.

I contemplated “giving up Starbucks” as a commitment but ditched that one because in reality, I only go to Starbucks about once a month. Of course, there’s always an excuse why you (or I) “can’t” give something up.

I made a list of potential sacrifices, and it made sit back and think because I truly came up with a “valid” reason why I couldn’t give up this or that. I finally settled on something that would require a conscious effort but would not be at the peril of others (trust me, you don’t want me to give up my coffee).

So there it is: 40 days of reflection & change. I’ll leave you with one last thought that is my favorite quote of today’s Lenten lessons:

“God doesn’t want my chocolate. He wants me.”

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