iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “Lent”

Flaws and All


I saw a quote from Augusten Burroughs on Facebook today that read, “I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

Around the time I first met my husband, I had a cold sore on my lip. I started getting them one summer from too much sun a few years prior to meeting him. It is hard to flirt with someone when you have a very noticeable defect oozing out of your bottom lip. Trying not to make a big deal of how awkward I felt as we made small talk, I simply pointed to my lip and said, “I’m human” and cut the conversation shorter than I would have liked.

Have you ever been around people that seem to have a too perfect of life? I am not one to verbally judge, but I do have some questions in my mind when I come across this type of person. I most wonder how much energy they expend to keep up a spotless facade? When they get home behind closed doors, do they deflate like a used balloon? Does a woman take a bobby pin out of her sleek hairdo and it poofs out all messy like in a cartoon? I just wonder.

I am attracted to people that are flawed and can admit it. Don’t puff up like a beautiful peacock only to have that be a costume? Be yourself. Be real. We will have more in common with others if we can drop our facades. God intended the human race to live the good life. He made Adam and Eve flawless in the garden until that one day they ate from the forbidden tree. That was the moment humans became flawed, but God did not give up on us.

As we close out day two of Lent, let us remember that we are all flawed and it is okay. Jesus, our Savior, was human and he understands us more than we understand ourselves. Remember, he looks at our hearts and knows our intentions and he still loves us.

Show me your flaws and I will surely show you mine.

2 Corinthians 12:9 New International Version

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

MARCH 2, 2022


Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a solemn day in which I take my Christian faith seriously and begin the next 40 days on a journey to the cross of my Savior Jesus Christ knowing that the cross is not the end. I observe fasting ingrained from my Catholic upbringing and tie it in with a Lenten Grace group devotional from my practicing Protestant tradition.

Today also marks the third anniversary of my mother’s entrance to heaven.

I started this blog in 2010 after my father passed away in 2009. Writing helps me sort out all the thoughts that tornado in my mind and gives you, the reader, a peek at how I incorporate God in the whirlwind.

I wrote many blogs on grief (Late Night Visitor series) after my mother’s passing. It was a healthy way for me to voice the pain of loss. I acknowledged the elephant in the room of my mind and gave it space even though it was very hard. But it was definitely healing.

I think of my parents daily as they were such big influences in my life. After helping to care for each of them at the end of their lives, I remain a little empty and lost. When my mom passed away, I paced around my house not knowing what to do with myself since she was a big part of my day for the three years prior to her passing.

As we read in the Bible, the disciples of Jesus were lost and confused after Jesus’s death on the cross. In fact, they hid in fear that they were next. But the three years they spent with Jesus on his journey to the cross gave them the directions they needed for their life ahead. God gave them His strength for their calling to grow His kingdom.

My parents worked hard to give my family a good life. I know my mother would be shaking her head at me if she saw me shed a tear for her today. She and my dad raised me in the Christian faith, and I know death is not the end. She is face to face with Jesus and all her family and friends that went before her. So mom, the tears I shed today are because I miss your physical presence. I miss the wonderful aromas filtering through the house from your days of cooking and baking. I miss talking to you each night and I miss how you kept our family traditions. I am so thankful God gave me you as a mother.

Today I will have ashes placed on my forehead as remembrance that I am from dust and to dust I shall go. I will begin the journey on the road to the cross with Jesus knowing that death has no victory. I will shed a tear or two in remembrance of my mother and then God will give me His strength to keep going to grow His kingdom.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

Lent Thus Far


February 14 was Ash Wednesday; the first day of Lent.  By my own will, I got in line to receive the imposition of ashes in the shape of a cross on my forehead from my Pastor.  While drawing the cross on my forehead he said, “Remember from dust you came and to dust you will return”.  Those words, along with the cross symbolically marked on my forehead, humbles me and starts me on my Lenten journey.  I am a Christian who observes the forty days of Lent.

It is common to make a penance during this church season.  This year I have chosen three ways to sacrifice which is minute in comparison to the sacrifice of life that Jesus offered for our sins.  I gave up chocolate, Facebook, and my game apps, i.e., Words With Friends, GSN Games, Solitaire, and Wood Puzzle.  Compared to Jesus’s life, these seem so unimportant, but let me explain.

Chocolate is a big one for me to give up because I simply just love chocolate.  Walking through the grocery store, I have to pass by the three sectional displays of Easter candy.  “Yes!” I exclaim in my head because I avoided eye contact with the Lindt Chocolate Bunny.  Thinking I am safe, I get in line to pay for my groceries and I cannot avoid my next temptation, the impulse-shopping candy display.  Uniformly lined up in their easy-to-display boxes I spy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&Ms, Carmelo, Nestle Crunch, and Kit-Kat…drool.  I pretend to look at the neighboring magazine rack, yet from the corner of my eye I see the delicious-looking calorie-counting candy bars that at any other time of the year would find themselves riding along the checkout lane, getting bagged and in the car to their new home.

So, yes, chocolate is hard for me to ignore and give up.  Every time I want a bite of chocolate, I bite my lip and say a little thank you prayer to Jesus for dying for my sins.

Giving up Facebook is a new one for me this year.  Even though social media is an avenue to keep in touch with family and friends, I took a look at how often I am on Facebook and realized I had a lot of wasted time.  I know you are thinking, “Wait, you said you are not on Facebook, but I am reading this blog from her Facebook link.”  Right you are, but I have the ability to link the blog to the Facebook page I created.  There is no reason for me to go on Facebook to see my blog or do anything with it.

With the extra time I have from not scrolling through Facebook, I have been able to focus more time on the two Bible Studies I attend.  I realize that I am missing out on important information regarding family and friends, but am thankful for the people that have kept me in the loop of such information via email and text messages.  I will certainly cut back on Facebook time after Lent is over.

I REALLY miss my word puzzles, and other games.  I feel like my mind is a little mushy without being able to play Words With Friends.  But again, I was spending way too much time on my games.  I would play them as I fell asleep at night, which is currently spent taking inventory of the day and thanking God for all that happened and seeking His forgiveness for all the things that I should have done.  I also have more prayer time in the mornings as I drink my coffee.  I am not scrolling through Facebook or rearranging letters to form a high-scoring word with my friends at breakfast.  I am immersed, instead, in the Word (the Bible).

Although the ashes on my forehead have since been washed away, I continue to be humbled by the sacrifice of Jesus.  I don’t think I could give up my life as Jesus did, so I do what I can with giving up things that have been a big part of my life.  Stripping myself of worldly pleasures helps me to focus on future heavenly treasures.

Have you given anything up this Lent?  Why or why not?  Let me know if you need motivation to keep going, I will be your cheerleader.  We can do this together!  We are more than half way done.  Easter is almost here!

Thank you, Jesus!

Psalm 40:8  I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.

 

 

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