Justin and I participated in a weekend event through our church (All Saints Episcopal) called Discovery weekend. The purpose is to grow both in you faith as well as in the church community. The whole reason that we changed churches was to find a church family. In the past year or so that we've been attending All Saints we have really loved it and we are very comfortable in and at this church. I personally love that Justin likes it as much as I do and there is not discussion (or persuading) about if we are going to church on Sundays....we both want to be there and so if we are in town we go! I don't even mind going alone when Justin is out of town...and I am certain I would never have done that before. For the first time since we've been married we have even started going to Sunday School and trying to get to know other people of the church even better.
So this weekend was great in the since of getting to know some other members of our church, it was a small intimate group, as well as challenging my faith in a real and personal way. I sometimes feel that the Episcopal church doesn't do a great job of diving into God's word in the sense of really studying His word. Let me make a disclaimer: our preachers all preach from the Word of God and they to preach His truths. Not saying that the Episcopal church doesn't use the bible, but we don't carry our bible to church each sunday :) Make sense? But this weekend I felt I was covered in His truth and love. I experienced personal growth and I am thankful for all of the people who took their time to make the weekend as great as it was. In addition to the speakers and discussions that we had we also had amazing praise worship and some delicious and amazing food. Plus Papoo and Nunny came up to keep the kids so we were all set the entire weekend. It was really great!
I feel like the timing of the weekend was just perfect. Nothing like getting on the ground floor of your heart with God and then heading straight into Lent where we will spend the next 40 days humbling ourselves, repenting of our sins and realizing the true depth of what Jesus did when He died on the cross and then overcame death when He was raised up. can I scream run-on-sentence?
Last night we went to our Ash Wednesday service. I decided to not bring Collier in for the imposition of the ashes but then did get him for communion. What I did not know was, at chapel yesterday during school, Father Jack spoke to them about ashes and about lent. So, when I went to get Collier for communion he looked at me and said 'I need a cross, look I don't have one and I need the cross'. He would pull his bangs back so that I could clearly see that his forehead was clear of any ashes. Then I realized that he was more aware than I thought that he would be and he kept telling me he needed a cross. So, after the service we found Father Jack and he was so kind to take the time and give Collier a cross. Reminding us 'You have come from dust and to dust you will return' Jack also reminded Collier what they spoke about in chapel that 'even though you mess up sometimes that God still forgives you'. I think I need that lesson too! Oh, melts my heart. I am so thankful to a church and school that is teaching these truths to my children. I love it!
I struggle with Lent sometimes because I am not sure where or how to sacrifice....what to 'give up' for 40 days. I have read a million articles about what to and not to give up and how to go about it. But the bottom line is that in my heart I feel that I should give up something that will be for the greater good of God. Something that will help me grow closer to Him or that will teach me something that I am needing to learn at this given time in my life. I have given up everything from chocolate, pasta, beer and even listening to the radio. Time seems to be the one thing that makes the most sense to me...to give Him more of my time...instead of scanning facebook or pinterest to read His word or even just sit quietly (not listing off my wants and desires) but to just sit and listen for Him to speak. So, that is my goal. Quiet and stillness. I am also going to join Justin in no soft drinks!
In addition to this, I am going to make a strong effort to talk to Collier about forgiveness and to start using those words in our every day moments when we mess up and need forgiveness so that on the bigger scale he can understand what it means for Jesus to have died for us to be forgiven.
Jesus love me this I know, for the the bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus love me. Yes, Jesus love me. Yes, Jesus loves me. For the bible tells me so!
There is no greater love than the amazing love of our Heavenly Father
Happy Valentines day!