Thursday, January 21, 2010

As All Creation Sleeps

The God-etched lines in my hands long to be filled with dirt.

I know--it's not even February yet, but I'm already tired of the cold ground, of the monochrome shades of brown and beige that surround me, of winter in general.

I keep watching, waiting in anticipation for the signs of new life to peek through:

The green shoots miraculously appearing in the black earth and reaching heavenward toward their Creator. The seeds that come alive in multicolored blossoms where busy honeybees hum.

These are what I long for.

But now, all I see are bare limbs making long shadows on the ground in the late-afternoon sun. Winter weeds crisp and brown after the 15 degree freeze of a few weeks ago.In the season when creation has fallen asleep, I wait much like my three-year-old waits in line with me at Wal-mart.

And I prepare for the spring.

Cutting off last year's canna lilies and chrysanthemum stems to make way for what is to come.Tearing down seed-laden vines from salvaged wood hanging in the green barn.And also, preparing my heart for spring, for Easter.

This year, I am celebrating Lent.

Many people consider Lent to be purely a Catholic celebration. But there is no reason it cannot be a Christian celebration that transcends denomination.

In fact, one dictionary defines Lent as "The 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter observed by Christians as a season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter."

40 days of preparing my heart to embrace the fullness of Jesus' sacrifice for my sins.

Yesterday, my ladies' group gathered once again to do just that. We hadn't met since before Christmas, so the atmosphere was much like a family reunion (one where the family wanted to attend).

Over the next eight weeks, we will be studying God's Word with Ann Marie Stewart's Preparing My Heart for Easter: A Woman's Journey to the Cross and Beyond. By studying the women's role in Scripture, we seek to prepare our hearts for our Savior's journey to the cross and for His glorious resurrection from the tomb.
Stewart's book provides daily devotional-type, Scripture-based writing. The devotionals aren't too intense or time-consuming in themselves (unless you like to hop off on bunny trails like I do). But they help keep your heart and mind focused on Jesus.

If you're like me and need help keeping your mind focused in Scripture, perhaps you would like to go through this devotional book, too. Although my group is starting early because of our children's holiday schedule, the first devotional in the book is intended to start "Seven Weeks Before Easter"--that's the week of February 15, so you have time to order the book.

Even though most of you are miles away, I would love for you to join my ladies' group in spirit.

Think of how much preparation you put into preparing your heart to experience Christmas, the birth of our Lord. Why not try the same thing for this Easter?

1 comment:

  1. This is such a good post...with your longing for spring to you have prepared the ground for new growth after the long winter... and sharing what your group is doing to prepare for Easter.

    I'll try to order this book, and hope it gets here before Feb 15.

    Loved reading up on the latest about your family.