We "church shopped" again this morning - 1st time we've had to look around & not fallen instantly into the perfect place b/c of my involvement in MOPS. Today's was fine - more singing (great for me, although I only knew one song; almost too much for JB) and super sweet people! I can already see becoming friends with two other SAHMs I met...but it's very weird not to have an overwhelming "THIS IS IT!!!" feeling. We are absolutely LOVING life here, but I am missing the comfort of NCC & Trinity on Sunday mornings still...
I honestly feel like SUCH a big chunk of my heart is still at NCC. My spirit is almost heavy over it... I don't know how to go forward, (b/c leaving NCC last year was going right back to Trinity = not going forward, either.) I can't wrap my head around the fact that we were still at NCC this month last year!!! :'( Seems like 5 years ago... I can't shake feeling this way...
I *am* finding so much fulfillment in the Lenten daily devotional Journey to the Cross, though! Writers Andy & Amy Dodson-Watts are really speaking to me:
Creating God, guide me as I observe this Lent with self-reflection, confession, prayer, and works of love. Amen.
Often we travel too fast through the really important places in our lives, especially if those places look like a desert, where nothing seems to grow. Yet if we slow down, we might just find that the landmarks in our spiritual wilderness become meeting places with God.
God, forgive me for avoiding you. Slow me down. Prepare my heart for your presence, your love, and your joy. Amen.
Wilderness is a symbol for places and experiences in our lives that bring us silence, fear, uncertainty, and loneliness. It can cause us to withdraw from our relationships with our friends, our family, and from God.
Can it mean something else? Should we ask: “What can the wilderness do for me?”
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. ~Matthew 4:1-2
People who own horses often provide salt licks for them. Horses tend to drink less water in winter because of the cold, and dehydrate more quickly in summer because of the heat. Salt helps the body retain water, but it also replenishes minerals caused by dehydration. Salt not only nourishes bodies but also teaches them to seek what they need.
Jesus was led into the wilderness, isolated from the clamor of life's demands. He was led, possibly without knowing why, by the Spirit that intercedes when we need it. In the wilderness he was confronted with more than hunger; he was tempted to forsake his calling.
Often we don’t know why we enter into wildernesses that come our way. Often our wilderness is emotional, like anger. Or it is physical, like sickness. Other times, it is spiritual, like guilt and shame. Like Jesus, sometimes we feel depleted when we act on the Spirit’s urging, but the wilderness is a place where we might learn the most about ourselves.
Beautiful and loving God, I hunger for healing. I thirst for you. Lead me to you, like the deer to water. Amen.
We have been told in the letter to the Hebrews that Jesus journeyed to this unfamiliar place before us as a forerunner on our behalf. Wherever you are, Jesus waits for you as the “sure and steadfast anchor” of your soul.
And finally, re: Daylight Savings from my cousin on FB: I saw this quote by a wise Native American: "Only a white man would cut the end off a blanket, sew it on the other end, and believe he has more blanket."