40 Day Lent Challenge: Day 9

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photo credit: ctklansing

On Ash Wednesday, I outlined my goals for Lent. Here’s how I fared on Day 9……

Counting My Blessings – Five Things for Which I Am Thankful (listed in no particular order):

  • Good manners.  The tiniest word or gesture from a loved one or even a stranger can sometimes brighten my whole day.  A simple “thank you” or the holding of a door as I pass through.  As time passes, fewer and fewer people use good manners.  My mom always stressed the importance of speaking and behaving politely.  I do my best, but I’ve found myself second-guessing that sometimes.  But when I hear my 21-month-old son use “please” (pee), “thank you” (tank too), and “you’re welcome” (usually says “tank too” for this as well, but we know how he means it) correctly and frequently, I feel confident that he had to have picked it up at home.
  • My ugly blankets, sheets, and pillowcases.  When I moved into my apartment in Indianapolis, my mom gave me the bedroom suite that she and my dad bought when she was pregnant with me – 28 years ago.  The furniture is gorgeous, the king-sized mattress is sort of comfortable.  The accompanying blankets, sheets, and pillow cases are atrocious.  Tonight I’m taking the time to remember that victims of natural disasters have lost everything.  And I bet many of them miss their pillows and blankets.  I’m lucky to have mine tonight, no matter how they look.
  • My son.  For innumerable reasons.  (It’s killing me not to start listing.)  When I was pregnant, I didn’t have a preference in terms of gender, I just wanted a healthy child.  Now I know that God intended for me to have a little boy so that I could experience the bond that only a mother and her son can share.
  • Instant gratification.  I live in a world that has drive-through restaurants, microwave ovens, overnight shipping, credit cards, the ability to get online and order pizza or groceries to be delivered to my door, and more.  I don’t actually have a credit card or use an online grocery delivery service, but still…  I need only put forth minimal effort, like clicking a mouse or swiping a debit card, in order to get what I want nearly immediately.
  • A studious state of mind.  When people stop learning, they stop growing.  I have always been eager to acquire knowledge and wisdom.  I love to read and conduct research.  It makes me feel like a weirdo, but I don’t like to imagine the kind of person I would be if I weren’t as inquisitive as I am.

Fasting Research of the Day:  7:  An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

It was on my front porch when I woke up this morning.  I set it aside so that I could start reading it when Josh laid down for his nap…  But I wound up carrying it around the house with me all day until then.  I was so excited to read it that I couldn’t stop touching it!

Now that el bebe is napping, I’ve read the cover, acknowledgements, and introduction.  And I already feel the spark of inspiration.  This woman sounds just like me – an oblivious spoiled brat with a sharp tongue.  I love it!  I can’t wait to read the rest of it, and learn how a fellow sarcasmo was able to turn her life upside down in order to serve God and the needy.  If I had read this during a time when I wasn’t the mother of a small child, I know I’d have this book finished by morning.  Even still, I’m betting it doesn’t last me through the weekend…

Nonprofit/Charity of the Day:  Austin New Church

The church Jen Hatmaker and her husband, Brandon, founded in Austin, Texas.  I am so impressed by their church’s commitment to serving others at both the local and global levels.  A few times, I wanted to sign up to participate in some of their initiatives…….. until I remembered that it would be a long drive to Austin and back each day.  (Yes, I’m aware that it’s impossible to do from Northwest Indiana.)

Two passages I pulled from their Web site because they really resonated with me:

  • “We believe people typically find God when they encounter his people.”
  • “The essence of Jesus’ ministry was his incarnation.  Jesus came to us, became us, lived among us, felt our pain, and gave up his own ‘safetys’ to give his life to us.”

Swear Jar Contribution:  $0.00  I’m on a roll!!

Stockpile Item to Donate:  A giant bottle of Up & Up Body Wash

If anyone else is doing something special for Lent and could use some encouragement, please feel free to leave a comment about it!

Other Posts in This Series:

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