Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Five - MidLent Check In

Can it really be the middle of Lent? Over at RevGalBlogPals, Sophia writes:

So here's an invitation to check in on the state of your spirit midway through "this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed" (Roman Missal). Hopefully there's a good deal of grace, and not too much crisis, in your mid-Lenten experience!

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year?
I am trying to do several things this Lent. I want to develop a time for devotion, separate from my daily dog walks/pray-as-you-go sessions, so I have been trying to spend some time each night on my knees in prayer, and then some time journaling. This has been working out ok, probably 5 nights of 7. Not bad. I wish it could be better. A couple of things I have tried (like limiting facebooking to 1x a day, and playing my guitar) have utterly failed. BUT at least I have learned something about myself - I need and crave social interaction, and if I don't get it then I will seek it out via electronic means. Now to figure out WHY that is so important to me (is it that I am unsure of myself? Is it that I am avoiding things I really need to do?)
2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way? see above!

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent?
I wish I could say yes. Learning more about myself has been a blessing, but in many ways I am still stuck in some same old ruts, that I need to get out of.

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?
I am planning a meeting with my spiritual director, whom I have not seen for about 6 months. And I am ordering a copy of Kathleen Norris' Acedia today - I am surely suffering from this malady/sin, and I want to deal with it! I will continue to work on my evening devotions, but some of my daily agenda stuff needs to change. Writing a sermon all in one day (Thursday) to preach on Saturday really isn't working! I need to come up with a better pattern, that still fits with the girls' and our family schedules.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?
Ah. I long to feel an inner spring that has nothing to do with the miserable weather. I long to be a more empathetic mom. I long to become a better preacher and really feel I have a good word to give to the people each week. I long for our church to know how much it has to offer, and to offer that to the world.

Bonus: Share a favorite scripture, prayer, poem, artwork, or musical selection that speaks Lenten spring to your heart.

This song came up on my iPod this morning and I realized it is all about where I am right now:

The words really fit my life, and how I feel, straying again and again,
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Thank you Sophia!


RevAnne said...

Your #1 resonates with me; I've figured out that part of why I'm thriving as an associate pastor (after 3 appointments as the only pastor) is the interaction with my staff. Someone explained the difference between extroverts and introverts to me this way: extroverts (like me) get energy from interacting with others; introverts use energy interacting with others.
Well, for what that's worth, anyway...
grace and peace this Lent!

Sophia said...

Thank you for the wonderful music video--it nourished my heart today.

Blessings on your honest and courageous struggles this Lent.

MumPastor said...

RevAnne, thanks for your insights - I used to be a pretty strong introvert, but now I seem to tip the scales the other way! The hard part is feeling like spending time catching up with friends is "wasting time" - I guess I need to get over it!

Sophia, thank you!

Jan said...

I found Norris' book on Acedia convicting for me. Still struggling this Lent with this propensity. Nice to meet you.