- On Wednesday, my co-teacher came into the classroom with ashes on her forehead, and I don’t know that anything has ever confused the kids more. After confirming that, Yes, there’s something on her head, and No, it’s not mascara smudges or eyebrow pencil or Expo marker; and Yes, lint is pocket fuzz, but that’s spelled differently than the kind of Lent that leads to Easter—we answered their questions about repentance and forgiveness and fasting. What’s the point of fasting for the next forty days? Lore Ferguson Wilbert says, “Fasting is the means of true feasting—when all the fantasies fall away, and we see the good, faithful, kind, and generous God apart from the trappings of our counterfeit idols.”
- It’s so easy for Easter to sneak up on us, and even now, you may feel as though you’ve missed your chance to start a Scripture reading plan or devotional to guide you through the next few weeks—but it’s not too late! Start today. I’m a few pages into 40 Days of Decrease, a book by Alicia Britt Chole that was recommended to me last year. The first day’s readings begin with a challenge to consider Lent as less of a project and more of a sojourn with our Savior, a time to thin “our lives in order to thicken our communion with God.” I’m also excited to begin Asheritah Ciuciu’s devotional book Uncovering the Love of Jesus, a beautiful new resource that was written to help us reclaim the Lenten season as we meditate on new aspects of Christ’s love.
- “How are you? Those words, usually from a well meaning friend, or a truly concerned loved one, can strike terror in the heart of the suffering. For the tormented who endure chronic pain, or those silent souls who hide their wounds, the question threatens to expose the sufferer to the inspection of their pain. Those three words enter their isolated world and threaten to undo them. How can one answer truthfully, honestly, and completely—when the answer would be filled with details, and a depth of agony, that the listener is unable to comprehend?” As Kimberly Wagner explains in this post, “We may need to find a more creative path to uncover the needs of the suffering heart.”
- Look around: “We twenty-first-century women have been running on ourselves, rather than our God. We’ve been running on self-help, self-empowerment, and self-actualization. The fuel of self help has run out, and that’s why we’re tired and discouraged and even in crisis. Enough about me. And enough about you. If we want to keep running, we need to run on the fuel we’re made for—God himself. We will indeed be restless until then.” Yes! If you resonate with this message, check out Jen Oshman’s book, Enough About Me: Finding Lasting Joy in the Age of Self, which comes out on Tuesday!
- “You’re okay most days. You’re okay with watching movies alone and grocery shopping for one and not having to worry about syncing up your schedule with someone else’s. You’re happy serving Jesus in your church, and you know you’re not wasting this wait . . . Then suddenly it stops being okay. And it hurts.” It hits you—you’re lonely. “But on the days that you’re not okay,” Samantha Nieves says “your disappointment is more than allowed. Just know that Jesus is more than trustworthy. Place your delicate dreams, your heart-stopping fears, and your wild hopes into His healing hands. He’s outrageously trustworthy, even on all those Friday nights without any plans.”
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