~ Welcome ~

Tomorrow  is Ash Wednesday – the day that marks the beginning of 40 days of Lent.  In the Christian tradition, this is a season of reflection that culminates in the celebration of Easter.

This hasn’t always been a personal tradition of mine.  I sort of adopted it around 15 years ago when I began attending a church that followed a variety of liturgical special days that I really knew nothing about, among them, Lent.  All I knew about Lent I picked up from my Catholic friends who entered church with perfectly clean foreheads and exited with grey ash smudges they were not supposed to wash off.  I remember seeing people around town….the grocery store, the gas station, etc. with similar forehead smudges, and thinking they were trying to “show off” how holy they were.  It clearly wasn’t something “my” church did, and was, therefore odd and mysterious.

But here I was, at a protestant church, with seemingly normal, ordinary church folk who were planning an Ash Wednesday service.  I was….intrigued….nervous….curious….and determined no one was going to smudge ashes on my forehead!

A few things have changed since then.  I now not only participate in this annual experience, but I fully embrace the opportunity to go on a journey with God.  Every year is different – some more meaningful than others – but I embrace them all just the same.  Sometimes I “give up” something such as coffee or desserts and sometimes I “add” something to my ordinary routine such as increased study or service.  These acts are not holy or important in and of themselves….they are just vehicles by which I can remember that I am set apart for God.  And it does not make ME holy by doing them….it reminds me of the grace that I walk in every day –  with a heightened sense of awareness.

In meditating on the path my Lenten journey would take this year, I wondered what it would be like to blog about these 40 days of Lent.  I have no illusions that anyone will actually read this journal, but I feel compelled to write it just the same.  Sort of like the beginning of a hike when you only have a slight idea of where you are going and just the basic essentials to get you there…..that’s how I begin this journey.  I’m a little nervous, but mostly hopeful about where the path will lead….

If you feel like checking in from time to time, I’d love to have the company.

Tomorrow it begins….

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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6 Responses to ~ Welcome ~

  1. Coming out of a catholic faith over 30 years now, this is something I have missed, but it was just a ritual back then because without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through salvation that’s all it was. This year I decided to honor lent for the 40 days as God is moving in our lives in a special way. A new thing he said, don’t you see it? So this year I decided even without the ashes I would participate in my personal walk with him. I too feel its not just abstaining from but giving to him.. How like Jesus to direct me to your posts. What a journey this will be. Thanks for your obedience.

  2. Diane Mencke says:

    Shellie I am soooo thankful you are doing this!! You have no idea how many lives you may touch!

  3. Cynthia J Wright says:

    I love that you are doing this Shellie. Thank you for sharing. I will try to check I with you daily.

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