Monday, March 30, 2009

It's All Rather Re-Lentless.....

It's the Monday before Palm Sunday and I'm still wondering what happened to Lent. Not just as in "Oh. Where did it go?" But also as in "How is it that it seems to have gotten away from me so thoroughly without me ever really having had it?" And (rather guiltily)....I don't seem to care as much as I should. And I seem to be in good company. From the sounds of my RevSisters...blogging and does go on...and we are not sure we can....but we know we must, and so we do, though from the sounds of it with more or less enthusiasm.

I will say, I did have a rather lovely weekend full of a great deal of nothing. I am not used to this. Nor am I used to having someone around who encourages self-care and playtime. I did what I was committed to, which was my worship service at the nursing home. Otherwise, R and I basically hung out. We saw Whale Rider on Friday night as part of the movie series my friends the Presbies are doing. A great movie which I had missed along the way. On Saturday we putzed with errands, made cupcakes for the WhY church potluck and made "our" first purchase...a new gas grill. It will live at my house, but we know who will get the best use of it...the one who cooks in this relationship (and let me tell's NOT me!). R made us a lovely meatloaf for dinner Saturday night and I felt very pampered. On Sunday I slept in until 10. I seriously cannot remember the last time I did this. It made a 12 hour night and I think was a turning point in the sinus crud that has been afflicting me for the last week or so. It also meant of course that I was not at "my" church for worship. This afflicts me with some guilt, though not nearly as much as it once would have, back in the days of the Energizer Bunny Overfunctioning Mad Priest. That crazy woman who was running full tilt from herself has slowed down....a lot. I don't think I could whip myself back into that frenzy if I tried. And I have no inclination (or need TBTG) to try.

Sunday was a lovely slow day. We walked Maggie a bit, actually got to sit on the front porch awhile, and did the thing we do best....hang out and talk. We also worked on the SWAG for the BE2 this weekend. That brought back memories of last year (again) of getting ready for "that boat" and all that entailed. C helped me with SWAG last year. On Easter Sunday she and I madly beaded away on the Anglican rosaries after she and D took in this lonely stray for Easter dinner. I was in shell shock as I recall. Not sure of what was happening or where my life was heading. And certainly not sure why on earth I was going off on this cruise...but just as certain that I was supposed to be there! What a difference a year makes.

Despite my lack of "lentishness" I am sailing in calm waters as I look forward to some post-Easter time in the desert with old and new friends. It seems I am looking past Easter a lot....and perhaps that is what we are called to after all. It is not so much about that one set of events...the dying, or even the rising....but the going on beyond...what happens when the risen Christ becomes part of the earthbound ones and the Spirit blazes forth. At least that's where my head and heart are this morning. How about you?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lent Moves On...

My mind wants to finish that quote with some variation on Shakespeare's...."in its petty pace from day to day." But it is surely not creeping. Hurtling perhaps? That feels closer to my pace sometimes. And hurtling and Lent are surely not compatible. It seems that most of my solitary reflection time has been of the necessary variety driven by sermon prep, or at the direction of others like at our recent ministry team retreat day. Until I finish my Soup and Sermon offering next Wednesday for our local ministerium, I'm feeling pushed to get things done, rushed by deadlines and, I have to admit, more than a little cranky about it all at times.

I am still having some euphoric recall about last Lent, though I have been reminded more than once that life, in its seasons, changes, and clearly, I am in a different one now. Last year was an interior time, and I needed it to be so. I was learning and facing new truths about myself and my place in the world and I needed space and peace and time away with God as a holding place in which to accomplish that soul work, and to heal from some of the buffeting my spirit and psyche were taking in the outside world as well. The outside world in which I live today is a much warmer, safer place, and I am just as likely to encounter God without as within. But it is for me like learning the beauty of a new landscape. It is just as lovely as the old one, it feeds the soul every bit as simply requires an adjustment of the inner eye to realize this, to acknowledge and remember.

R and I went to his uncle's funeral yesterday in a little Catholic church out in the middle of nowhere. There were probably two hundred people there....most of them related to him in some way or another. As his uncle's family came up from the church basement to process behind the casket it seemed as if the line of them would never end...his children and their children and theirs. The siblings who survive and their spouses...on and on they came, filling half a side of the church. The priest talked about C, how he was authentic, real and true, "What you saw was what you got with C." he said. And that he cared deeply for others, was there for them, stepped up, reached out. There is a strong strain of that here in this family. C was not related by blood to R...but he might as well be, for that priest was describing him as well. It is, I think, the culture of this people I am blessed enough to be joining. It runs deep in them. As we walked to the grave and stood in the drizzle in the small country cemetery to send C to his final rest, I thanked God that I am loved by this fine man and that I have come home at last to family.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I told myself I needed to blog today. But I also needed to pay bills and do laundry and go buy some black pants (preferably at Goodwill) for the funeral R and I are going to across the state tomorrow, and work on the two remaining sermons. I did get the pants. And now it's bedtime. I have one load of laundry in the washer and one in the dryer and the bills are still languishing on my desk. We leave at 5:45 for the other side of the state, and I really do need to go to bed soon, so this is going to be a very quick little blog post, I fear. I am taking the lectionary readings for next Sunday and Wednesday with me. I will, I hope, read and reflect on them in the car. I have some thoughts about the whole "grain of wheat" business for a nursing home audience. I think they may know something about being broken and crushed and bearing crosses. Actually the whole nursing home pastoral care thing has me kind of tender right now. I had been asked to come visit a lady there. She was not "mine" as in "of my congregation," but she was having some mental health issues as well as spiritual ones and the chaplain thought I might be a good fit for her. I've been seeing her every week or two since January. She died last week. Tonight I learned that her husband, who, as of the last time I saw her, was still substitute teaching at the high school, had a heart attack and died the day of her funeral. I had met him a few times at the nursing home when I visited her. He was your typical high school coach and teacher combo....hale and hearty. She was fragile, frail and always afraid. I'd ask her how she was and that was her stock answer..."Afraid, Pastor." Of being sick, of being, alone, of dying. I don't know that I did her any good. I visited, I talked with her of God's love, I prayed with her. And one night I went and she was gone. "Discharged" the staff said. To the hospital and to hospice where she died, I found out later. I hope that sweet M is no longer afraid and that she is happy that her husband is there with her. His visits were the high point of her day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Five: Signs of Hope

Songbird says: "My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Solomon 2:10-13

In the late, late winter, as the snow begins to recede here in Maine, we begin to look almost desperately for signs of spring, signs of hope that the weather has turned and a new day is on the horizon. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Easter and Spring twine inextricably, the crocuses and daffodils peeking through the Earth as we await the risen Christ.

Share with us five signs of hope that you can see today or have experienced in the past."
  1. Looking desperately for signs of Spring....oh yes, I can surely relate to that! And just in the past week or so the birds are returning. The geese are flying over in their amazing formations, there are new songs in the morning to greet me as I start the day. I have seen two robins, and a friend has spotted a cat bird. The snow is melting fast....and leaving in its wake a lot of yard work, but also some dreams about a new deck that R and I will build together this summer, and a garden we will plant...the first of some projects in the house that will in the future be "ours."
  2. Hope is a big thing for me. I tell my clients that I will be their "hope-holder" for a time when they do not have any for themselves...I will keep it alive for them. And I watch for signs in them and give them back...little improvements, use of coping skills that were not there before, less falling back into old ways of doing things. Sometimes I have to remember to do this for myself as well.
  3. The second of the sermons in the "month of sermons" is done. And it's only 8am on Friday! Now I can go off to the retreat with a clear mind and actually enjoy the time with my team learning how to do the gifts discernment process.
  4. It's never too late. For pretty much anything. That is a big part of hope for me. I am not sure about old dogs, but even old humans are pretty amazingly capable of change. I had a friend say to me not too long ago that I give new meaning to the term "late bloomer." I said to R the other day that if someone had told me as I boarded that boat for the BE that one short year later I'd be happily engaged to this wonderful man....I would have wondered if they had taken leave of their senses. So this may sound kind of strange....but I am a sign of hope to myself....because I know that truly....anything can happen!
  5. The light. And of course, the Light.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday....the Third Week

Lent moves on and so do I, not necessarily in any kind of synchronicity, or decently or in order (which given that I am only Episcoterian, perhaps is a forgivable offense). Today has been a hard day. I know that I am a Pollyanna about people, tending to believe the good in them, and that most of the time they mean well and to do good. This works for me most of the time, and often people will rise to the challenge and be who I believe they are. Sometimes, however, it backfires, and people are not who I hope or think they are and I get disillusioned and hurt. That is what happened today, and I am heartsore and weary and sad. It is very hard to be friends with a person with whom one has been more. I'm sure that is true on both sides. And when the one moves on....well a chance to give a little jab....perhaps that is understandable, especially when the other is hurting and life on that side is not going so well. And when there is a long history of an inability to "do anger" in a direct way....well perhaps one can be forgiven if one does a little go around, creates a little drama if given half a chance. It will all pass. It is nothing in the larger scheme. It just comes at a time when there is already too much going on. Too many things in not enough time, a Lent that does not feel like one, a steadily growing impatience with an unresponsive distant body that sits still with a chunk of my future in their hands, the reflexive snap-back from another person who I thought was someone she clearly is not....and I missed thoroughly that it stuns me, people whose needs just keep coming, and whose boundaries I do not seem to be able to set strongly enough. I am grateful for the presence of those who get me. Those who make me laugh at unrelated things and forget myself for awhile. Who encourage me to take time doing nothing of importance, go to bed early, indulge myself as necessary. I am grateful for love in times of trial. For the net that now surrounds me. I need that net tonight and intend to fall into it. It is of God and I am grateful.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sermon for Lent 3B 2009

Exodus 20:1-17, John 2:13-22

From Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday here at St. J's there are twelve services in which the Scriptures are read. This doesn’t include Wednesday night GBD and the LifeCycles Bible Study groups which add six more bringing us to eighteen. This is a lot of grappling with scriptures whose main focus is preparing the people of God to participate in the experience of the crucifixion of Jesus. The Old Testament readings in Lent focus on Israel’s salvation history
We were reminded over the last two weeks of God’s promise to Noah to never again destroy the earth and God’s people, and then last week, we heard about God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah to bring about that which seemed impossible to them and make them the parents of many nations. And indeed, God was and through all time continues to be faithful to these promises. This week we hear another Old Testament reading in which God makes a covenant with a particular people. In the covenant God made with Israel through Moses ,the Ten Commandments, are God’s instrument for forming this people their unique relationship with Yahweh.
The Gospel readings over the last few weeks have been from Mark, telling us the story of Jesus life and ministry to help us understand more about who this incarnate redeemer was who chose to undertake this crucifixion journey. We see him calling disciples, healing, teaching, even transfigured. But always Mark makes sure that we know that we are focused on the fact that this is Jesus, the Son of God, and at least since the Transfiguration, the one who is heading for the cross.
Today, at first glance, it seems we make a shift. Both of the stories we heard in the Old and New Testament readings are familiar to us. We have heard them in church and Sunday school since childhood. We have seen the pictures depicting these events, maybe we have even seen the movie of the Ten Commandments. And we may have reactions to these stories as well. Or to their contents. The Ten Commandments. Laws. Rules. The “Thou Shalt Nots.” More things to feel bad about that we do not measure up to. And this Jesus who is making whips and getting angry and creating havoc in the temple precincts. Well, he just makes us more than a little uncomfortable. I mean, where did our gentle Jesus meek and mild go, anyway? Frankly this might be some of the stuff we’d all just as soon ignore.
And yet….if we are willing to take that deeper look, there is much here that is worth the discomfort. Those commandments for instance. I don’t know about you, but in my religious upbringing, the notion that they were about relationship was not something that was up there on the radar screen. But in reality that is exactly what the commandments are about. Theologian Larry Gillick says that while the commandments can be heard as have-tos and should-dos, they can also be heard as forms of seeing and respecting God’s presence in all of life’s relationships.
The “sinfulness” of things, the breaking of commandments really is about the breaking of relationship. That first one about having idols and false gods, for example…..We know that it is easy for us to get off track, out of right relationship, with God, with others, with the better part ourselves. We can lose sight of what is important. Work, money, success, stuff, anything can become all encompassing to us….can become….gods. We become so focused on “the one thing” anything….that we lose sight of what’s truly important. And when this happens, well, things fall apart. We have only to look around at the current state of things in our economy for a little evidence of that. And honoring the Sabbath…well, maybe that is about slowing down long enough to remember that everything is holy, and we need time to catch up, not on our work, but on how God is at work among us. Sometimes we try so hard to do it ourselves, forgetting that we really are not in control, can’t do it alone. Perhaps keeping Sabbath better would help us remember that we really are not God after all, we really are not in charge, and don’t have to do it all.
In a relational view, breaking the commandments is saying loud and clear that I value what you have more than I value you and will go to whatever lengths to take it from you, whether it is your property, your spouse, your reputation or your life. There is no honoring here for one another as a beloved one of God. There is little justice, little goodness, little right relationship. So it seems that maybe rather than a set of constricting laws designed as something to should and ought us into submission, the commandments really are invitations to fullness of life in relationship with God and with each other.
Jesus as an observant Jew of his time would have been well-schooled in the “ten laws.” He would have understood them in depth as he understood the Hebrew Scriptures. He would have understood about the covenanted relationship and the faithfulness between God and God’s people and the importance of not letting anything stand in the way of that. And if he saw something that did stand in the way of that relationship happening, especially in sacred space, it may well have been enough to arouse the kind of anger we see in him in today’s Gospel. Jesus would not have been angry because the sacrificial animals were there for purchase, or because the money-changers were there changing coins from all over the realm into the temple currency. That business was necessary for the temple to be a place for the people from all over to come and make sacrifices in worship. Certainly it was easier to travel and purchase your animals in the temple courts than to bring them with you across the country. Possibly, as some scholars suggest, it had become a corrupt and exploitative economic system that made sacrifice increasingly impossible for the poorest of worshipers, and made access to God dependent on economic circumstances. Everything Jesus was about would have been offended by this. In his mind, no obstacles could be put in the way of being able to access God’s grace and compassion. No limits can be put on the way to God’s forgiveness. If the temple itself is the limit, then even it must be destroyed.
Unlike in the other three Synoptic Gospels where this scene happens much later, in John’s version Jesus comes on the scene early in his ministry. He is still an unknown quantity, fresh from his first miracle. The disciples are still trying to figure out who he is, what he is about. And in this moment he is about change and liberation, about allowing access to God and eliminating whatever might be interfering with access to that relationship, whatever form that interference might take.
So, too in our own temple precincts, we find our own chaos and rabble, our moneychangers and our dove sellers, and Lent is a good time to reflect, to ponder, and to cleanse….what kind of interference do we have going on that limits our access to God? What is it that we need to be purified of during these days of Lent? Perhaps a relational review of those commandments would not be a bad place to start.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Five: Mid-Lent Check-In

Sophia says: The pastor of my grad school parish once gave a fascinating reflection, at about this mid-point in the season, called "How to Survive the Mid-Lent Crisis"! As I recall, his main point was that by halfway through the season we have often found it very challenging to live up to our original plans....But, he suggested--on the analogy of the healing and reframing of our life plans that can happen during a mid-*life* crisis--that that can be even more fruitful.So here's an invitation to check in on the state of your spirit midway through "this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed" (Roman Missal). Hopefully there's a good deal of grace, and not too much crisis, in your mid-Lenten experience!
1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year? The plan was to give up anxiety and take on joy.

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way? Um, er....No and Yes

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent? Oh yes, as always. God has a very interesting sense of humor, as always.

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week? I need to survive March. Two sermons at my own church, a nursing home service to plan and a sermon for there, a "Soup and Sermon" sermon (all by April 1) with two weekends gone and the day job...and then we come to Easter. We are having five services Easter week. I am sure it will be wonderful and most holy when we get there. Right feels like a marathon at the end of another one.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter? I need a little attitude adjustment involving my church life right now. It would also help if the weather would cooperate. Light (courtesy of Daylight Savings Time) going on into the evening accompanied by minus 24 is just all wrong!

Bonus: Share a favorite scripture, prayer, poem, artwork, or musical selection that speaks Lenten spring to your heart. I think I need to share in the bounty of others. I know I have such...they are just not "springing" to mind right now.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Second Sunday in Lent....The Dance Class

I told R last night that I thought it might not be a bad idea to send pre-marital couples to a few dance classes. Oh, not to teach them to dance....but to see how they handle the up close and personal of follow and lead, how they are with rules, what happens when things fall out of step, and how well they play together. Because those are all things I have been learning about me and about us in the last five weeks as we have taken ballroom classes together.

What I have learned about me has been that I am still a lot more uptight than I want to be and that I don't follow well at all, at all! I care more about rules than I ought when the object is fun and I will get growly at my poor partner when he does not do things the way I think he should be doing them! Ouch. What I have learned about R is that he is just as patient as I thought he was, though I do try him at times. Overall, he cares more about having a good time and being playful than "doing it just right" and following the rules. Particularly since as he reminds me, "we are here to have fun, right?" As we waltzed and foxtrotted around the gym, there were moments when it felt like we were actually dancing. Then I of course would have to start to THINK again! And look at our feet (my biggest fault) and get messed up. My "correction style" is to come to a complete halt, feel terrible, say "my bad" and want to start over. Him...not so much...."just keep dancing,'ll work itself out."

Despite the fact that I have been in some pretty long relationships, I have never experienced interdependence with someone before. I have always had to be the "strong one" where the buck stops. So, clearly I know how to lead. And I was taught from little on that you simply must follow the rules, always at all times! And life, as anyone who knows me will tell you, is a pretty serious thing for me. Play is not something I have known much about until rather recently, and I'm still getting used to the idea that doing something that has no outcome other than my own enjoyment is an acceptable use of my time. So dance class brings me head on into a whole bunch of walls, and I am doing so in the arms of someone with whom I am experiencing a whole lot of new ways of being. To say that this is a big learning experience would be to put it mildly.

Last night was the last class. From here on in we are on our own to practice dancing. Speaking strictly for myself, I think I better keep the rug rolled up and the CD's handy.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Five: Hasty Pudding Edition

Songbird says: "Our regular poster, Sally, having been oppressed by Blogger today, I bring you a hasty Friday Five on the subject of pudding. If you are not a fan of pudding, then you will feel solidarity with Sally, except that you will be oppressed by pudding instead. ;-)"
1) First of all, thumbs up? or thumbs down? Do you like pudding? Love it! All flavors.
2) Instant or cooked? (Does anyone make pudding from scratch?) Cooked preferred but eat instant's instant!
3) If you had to choose, would you prefer corn pudding or figgy pudding? Never had either as far as I know, would give them both a go!
4) Have you ever finger painted with pudding? But of course, I like to play with my food.
5) Finally, what is the matter with Mary Jane? Too long on her diet, perhaps?

Bonus: Share a favorite recipe that includes pudding! My mother's Sour Cream Raisin Pie...which no one since she left us has been able to duplicate!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lent...the Third Post

I'm not even trying to keep track of what "day" of Lent it is. It's Lent...good enough. Apparently many of us are in this place of trying to launch this thing, and not feeling like our take-off is going particularly well. My friend C sent me this yesterday from d365 and I found it hopeful and comforting:

Lent is about change. We think about what we want to quit doing, or what we want to do more or better, and we make promises, and try really hard. That’s good,and that’s as it should be. But know this: the Spirit of God is always working in you, on you, with you, to transform you. You are swimming with the current,in other words, and God knows where you’re going.

R and I have been attending a non-denominational service on Sunday afternoons for the past month or two. It's hard for me to even call it church as it's so far from my experience of that particular thing. I say that in a couple ways. For one thing, it's in a big meeting room at the Y. It's informal, no real "prayers" are said, there is no "liturgy" as such. We do have ritual in that we gather and share a meal and fellowship, then we usually sing together, often some contemporary Christian music. perhaps with new words provided by the Methodist pastor who has been the main impetus behind the group. After that there is something to kick off discussion. Lately we have been using the Nooma series by Rob Bell. This week we watched a video called "Shells," the theme of which was purpose. One of the discussion questions was about "the one thing" in our we know what that is, do we focus on it? Is that our purpose in life? Basically the folks at my table all just kind of sat and stared at each other. Well, duh, yeah of course we all know what the answer is supposed to be here....most of us somewhere along the way went to church or Sunday school and heard that the one thing was God, Jesus, and that is supposed to be the focus and purpose of our lives But are we doing it, can we do it? Two of us at my table are "professionally religious" types, myself and a woman who is a commissioned lay pastor. Another man whom I did not know clearly has a church life as he was able to quote scripture to chapter and verse. Others I know to be people of faith, but we were all in agreement that "the one thing" can be many things and that it changes sometimes many times, not only in the course of a life, but in the course of a week or even a day.

Perhaps we were not thinking deeply enough....maybe we were thinking more about focus than purpose...I don't know. I do know I can, and do, get awfully distracted from what I really, honesty do know is the One Thing. And not just by shiny things! By every day things, by just the flotsam and jetsam and the grocery list. By the cat box and the gas tank. By the e-mail from a friend whose concerns become mine, by the overheard remark I cannot let go. And by happiness and anticipation. By "what comes next." But I also know that somewhere, down there underneath it all, like a deep spring, like a life giving underground well....God is always there. Do I take God for granted? Perhaps. Is that wrong? Maybe. Or maybe not. There is a permission in loving relationships to rely... so I am assume that permission is given to look away for a time, to focus on other things with the assumption that if you were to suddenly look back, or fall into....the loved one would still be there. Is it not this way with God? Or am I simply telling myself something I want to hear so I can be distracted with out guilt? As I am working on giving that up for Lent you know. Well, those are the thoughts as I go off into Wednesday as the the first full week of Lent ends and the second one begins.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lent...the Second Post

While I know that Ash Wednesday officially begins Lent, it seems like it really begins with the first Sunday. There are so many tangible (and deliberate) liturgical signs that, at least at St. J's a person would really have to not be paying attention to know that something is up here. The beautiful brass candlesticks that grace front and back altars are gone, replaced by somber wooden and brass candle holders on the table only. This year we have small purple votives on the back altar that will be extinguished one by one as part of our opening Lenten reflection each week. There are no flowers on the altar and of course, all of the paraments are somber purple. The choir wears red robes with no cottas. We have a ceramic chalice and plate instead of the shiny silver. We use Rite One for liturgy. This is the "old service" and the language reflects a much more penitent sensibility. The alleluias of course are gone from the hymns and, at least this week, even the hymnody was solemn. Our organist even had a bit of a grouse about that, and one of the choir members was heard to quip that "if we are singing like this all through Lent, that should be enough penance, I won't have to give anything else up!" Yes, it is Lent, and we are surrounded by the reminders in a myriad of sensory ways that cause us to pay attention. This is a good thing even if not always comfortable. I have kind of a mixed relationship with the Rite One liturgy. There is part of me that loves the connection to the past, to the sheer oldness of it and the connection to all of the people who have prayed this liturgy through all of the ages of time, and I have to say to the beauty of some of the language. On the other hand, there are parts of it that make me kind of theologically squirmy. But perhaps that is not a bad thing. Thinking about not being worthy to collect the crumbs under God's table (from the communion prayer)....on the one hand, that takes me to a place of weird subservience that trips all kinds of triggers. But on the other hand...well...there is some profound truth here, and it is only by grace, is it not????

My own efforts at Lent bumble on. I will not say that I am necessarily succeeding at worrying any less. I am more aware of how much I do it, so perhaps that's a start. One of my worries continues to be L. I haven't heard back from him yet and he was not in church. I didn't expect to see him, as he's now twenty miles away, and other than contacting me to get the names of the congregants who live in his town for a ride, I don't know how he would get to church. It's very hard not to go charging into the night to try to save him from himself. It's very hard not to feel that I failed to do just that in the first place. But I try to remember what I told myself from the very beginning with L. He is God's and in God's hands, and I need to trust that and trust God with him.

I guess that would not be a bad thought in general...because it all is, we all God's hands. I remember that and then forget it again, or I trust it and then I don't. Perhaps one thing that I might want from this Lent is longer intervals of remembering and trust. That would be a good thing I think. Good for the joy and peace quotient.

So my first full week of Lent begins. How's it going for you?