|My chicken gumbo, voodoo chips and smoothie at Fountain of Juice|
In just a few hours, one of my favorite holidays of the year will begin - the Lenten Season. Though I am not super vocal about it, I am constantly looking for ways to devote more time to God. Of course, I find myself skipping mass, skipping my devotions, and basically breaking a commandment or two from time to time. It happens. I'm human.
Though they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I often believe deeply that this year will be THE year something sticks.
Today I celebrated Mardi Gras with a cup of gumbo, some spicy chips and a wonderful smoothie. I will indulge this evening with some ice cream and laziness. But tomorrow - it's ON!
I am super excited to announce that I have started a small bible study group for Lent! I added just a few close friends from a wide variety of denominations, kept the schedule loose, and picked out the perfect book for us. Nothing too intense - but exercises and discussion questions created to make us better people. To me, that's the whole point of Lent.
The name of the book is "Open Our Hearts: A small group for an active Lent."
The topics for the next six weeks are:
1- Led by the Spirit
2 - Shining Divinely
3 - Investing in God
4- Love Unconditionally
5 - Look Beyond
6 - Faithful to the mission
It is published through a Catholic publishing house, but looks simple enough not to trip up any of my Protestant friends! (You have to realize.. down here, everyone is Protestant. Out of all of my friends, only one or two are Catholic.)
With that being said, Lent is sort of a foreign concept for some people around here. They think it is some scary "Catholic Thing," and I just try to explain, in the simplest of terms, it's just a time to prepare yourself for Easter.
The basics are simple: Abstain/Fast - Prayer - Alms giving.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.
It's a humbling time for certain, a day we are reminded that from Ashes we came and to dust we shall return. Everything else in between is a gift from God. During my "reinvention" (my word of the year that was adopted last night,) I will use this time to heal my spirit. I've been taking great strides to change my life, and it's a continual process. Lots of harsh things have happened, and with the Grace of God and a little perseverance, I was able to pull myself back up.
Now it's time to inhale the good and exhale the bad.