Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Journey or destination?

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Is 43:19

I often hear people use the word "journey" to describe life. Frankly, I dislike that word a lot because I think it is highly over-used. If life is a journey, then we are constantly seeking something, going somewhere. Or are we? Is a journey the trip or seeking the destination? Glass half full or half empty? I suppose it's all in how you look at it. Frankly, thinking of life as a journey makes me tired -- I want to rest a bit, if you don't mind.

But, if you think of Lent as a journey, it means we start at one place and end at another. I hope that I am not in the same place at the end of Lent, which means I guess I am on a journey.

As Sara said today, yesterday was rough, but not in the ways I thought it would be. Isn't that the way it always is? In a comment here recently, Jennie said she didn't have any plans for sacrificing in Lent because God always finds the "best" way for her to sacrifice (and when I say "best" I really mean His best not her best). He does that, doesn't he?

Yesterday I had a rather quiet day, which means I really wasn't all that hungry. I am prone to feeling rather yucky on Ash Wednesday because of low blood sugar, but because I didn't really do anything, I didn't really feel hungry. In fact, I haven't eaten yet today. 

I sacrificed in other ways. Faith is sick, really sick. She's had fever for three days and an awful cough. It makes my head hurt when she coughs, so I can't imagine how she feels. She saw the doctor last week when she had croup, so he called in a fast-acting antibiotic yesterday. I imagine she has sinus infection, bronchitis or, possibly, pneumonia. She happens to have an appointment tomorrow for a well visit, which is why he called in the prescription instead of asking to see her. Today is the second dose, and I am hopeful that coughing will subside some. She (and I) slept some last night, but not a lot.

But because Faith is sick, we didn't get ashes, and I missed that. It hardly seemed like Ash Wednesday without them.

Doug came home from work and he had really dark ashes. He said he stopped for a hair cut after work and the barber said "What the heck is that on your forehead?" Doug replied, "It's Ash Wednesday. Are you going to say something smart (meaning stupid)?" And the barber muttered, "Um, no." Normally Doug wouldn't say anything in case he would hurt someone's feelings, so I'm glad he said something. People think they can say anything to poke at your beliefs.

I was proud of the boys yesterday. No one complained about fasting, or scrambled eggs for dinner. I even heard Noah up at about 11:45 having a glass of milk. He certainly could have waited 15 minutes and had a snack, but he didn't. That may seem like nothing, but this is Noah -- he's 6'1" and 200 pounds and he doesn't like being hungry. Joshua volunteered that he gave up eating after midnight, which is something for him, considering the late night snacking that's been going on here. And Noah gave up, um, using bad words. Ahem. I don't know what to say about that. I mean that's good, right? But he should never be using  bad words, and that's what I told him.

I bought a 50 pound bag of sand to create a candle centerpiece for Lent (because apparently play sand doesn't come in lesser quantities). Besides wanting to avoid another table fire, I like the symbolism of the sand during Lent -- 40 days in the desert? I had a large, round, shallow glass bowl I wanted to fill and so I took it out to the garage and filled it. But apparently the sand was too heavy for the bowl because when I picked up it cracked apart and I cut my hand in a couple places, one of which is right in the center of my palm. I ended up with the two square containers in the photo above, and a little cut to remember the first day of Lent by.

"The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.” – Pope Benedict XIV


  1. I think Jennie is so right about God finding our sacrifices for us. He's good at that.

    Love those candle/sand things you made, the cuts make them even sweeter, don't they?

  2. Poor little Faith! What a lenten sacrifice for her, to be so sick. Did they give an antibiotic that's also good for pneumonia?

    The candles are lovely--sand is a great idea. Too bad you have to buy so much; maybe you can share with someone.

    God's plans are the best, but we need to work harder at our own sacrifices so we're able to navigate His! And that's something I'm no good at.

  3. GRrreat thoughts, Barbara...Thank you for sharing! It helped me really think about my perspective on the word journey! Here I've been going around wishing everyone a blessed Lenten journey! I guess I tend to think it's a journey in the sense that Lent is a time of discovery and growth, as is our life, until we reach our heavenly home.
    God is SO good at giving us His plans and I love when that happens. He just loves to put me in my place;-)
    Praying your Faith feels better soon and you have just the right Lent that God has in mind for you.
    P.S. I love using sand for Lent as well...Love your candle creations!

  4. Hope and pray Faith is much better soon! Your centerpiece is lovely. And that picture of your hand - wow, what an image to start off Lent with. It's so tiny, but still so like His.

  5. Thank you for the food for thought. I also pray that Faith feels better very soon. It sounds like your sons are on the right track! :D Your husband had just the right thing to say too. It wasn't rude. It wasn't wimpy. May you have a holy and much blessed Lent and may God bring you closer to Him. I agree with everyone: Beautiful centerpiece too!

  6. I'm in agreement with you about the word "journey" Barbara. It is over used but it's perfect for the season of Lent. I do want to be closer to Christ at the end of the 40 days as we all should. Your candle center pieces are beautiful and your cut will always keep this Lent in your memories. May your Lenten journey be a blessed one as you grow in love with Our Lord.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!