Today is Good Friday and I am thinking back on the last almost-40 days. It has been a very different Lent for me. I challenged myself to spend one hour in God's Word every day. This hour was to be separate from my morning daily-devotion time. It proved to be quite a challenge. Harder than anything I have ever given up for Lent.
Joe put together a read-through-the-book-of-Luke calendar for our church and that is where my focus has been. He gave me a great leather-bound study Bible on our 3rd anniversary (the year of the leather-themed gift) and so not only have I been reading the selected passage, but also all the accompanying notes. It ends up taking quite a bit of time.
I have learned so much more reading the Bible this way - in small doses but with heavy concentration on the words, characters, and context. After studying scripture, I reflect and pray. This has been fun actually. Oftentimes I found myself walking around the backyard (and getting sun in the process!) talking to God. I tried to do this routine before picking up the kids from school, but many days I sat in the backyard or on the playroom sofa while Hannah and Joseph played outside. Occasionally, I did have to try to ignore the little guy driving circles around me on his motorcycle or tractor. Such is life with little ones!
But this was a hard commitment and I was not 100%. There were many days when I found it time to get the kids and, telling myself I would do it later, never found the time (or made the time) until bedtime. And, yep, there were a few days when it didn't happen at all. Sometimes I thought it would have been much easier to give up something I ate or drank, but I'm glad I made that decision on Ash Wednesday. I certainly learned a lot - about my Lord and about myself.
I am thankful for this time of learning and growing in my faith. Challenging myself now to continue this practice year-round.
So, since I'm here and I haven't blogged in a while, I'll post some photos from the last couple months.
Date with Dad, February 5th:
Delivering Girl Scout cookies and selling at Walmart:
Valentine's school parties, making hearts for Daddy, and after-church special Valentine lunch:
Hannah's World of Coca Cola field trip with the Oratorical Club. I got to go, too!
Celebrating Cousin Stella's 1st birthday party in Savannah, February 20th!
Back home...being cuties:
(In Uncle Ben's sweater, he thinks he's pretty cool.)
Welcome March! Joe and Hannah, looking very liturgical in their purple:
My scripture-reading distraction, Officer Buck patrolling the backyard:
Pocahontas encouraging "Sharkie" with his shark-hotel building skills and then saying she's got to go kill a deer to eat for dinner. (Not making this up!)
Hannah's very favorite Sunday tradition, "helping Daddy" close up the church and walking from worship back to the office (currently relocated during construction).
Soccer. Lots of soccer! Hannah has loved it and looks forward to every practice and game. She has come a long way and is playing great. Joseph is Ferdinand the Bull (if you've read the children's book, you know exactly what this means). While he loves to kick the ball and play at home, he has no interest in playing with the team and prefers to piddle on the sidelines, playing in the dirt or with the water cooler. He does get excited when he can play goalie.
St. Patrick's Day...in Sandersville for the third year in a row. Hannah had pink eye and couldn't go to school so we watched the parade in Savannah online. That night I co-hosted girls supper club, so I wasn't home, but Joe made the kids a fun green feast!
Palm Sunday, March 20th. Hannah walking with Joe again. Joseph is excited about Reese's cups given to them during the children's message. It was about it being Palm Sunday but also Passion Sunday and therefore a day of mixed emotion. Rev. Sidney gave them the illustration of funny things that go together (like sweet and salt) and gave them chocolate and peanut butter. They loved it, of course and Joe did too (Reese's is his favorite candy).
Joe has had a few appointments in Athens for physical therapy. What started as a running evaluation given to him by my mom became treatment for injuries and pain relief for his back. The therapist is great and we are hopeful that he will eventually find total pain relief from all accident-related injuries. On two occasions, we made it a day-date and I went with him.
And today. I have a hard time with Easter parties and egg hunts on Good Friday, but I understand how it has to work with school. My cute Monkey before heading into school. She has a super fun field trip lasting most of the day:
Well, that update didn't take too long. Maybe I'll be back with more after Easter. :)