Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Second Pause in Lent

Last week, the boys and I began Lent by flying up to Edinburgh to stay with my parents. I was wary of travelling while I was still ill, but we were really well-supported by Ben's parents, who looked after us overnight at both ends of the journey, and by my own parents once we arrived. Thus, Lent for me has meant a lot of moving around so far, and also gradually shaking off the virus which infected my thyroid glands and sent my hormones and health reeling. But through all that, I found the first Pause in Lent posts so variously thought-provoking and moving that I felt I just had to take the time to analyse what people had reflected and written.This is my slightly rushed attempt to synthesise what your posts meant to me last week!
Over at Me and Ma, my Christmas swap friend Maria did a non-Christian Pause in Lent post, looking at the meaning of Lent to someone who isn't part of that tradition. I was really happy about that, as I think diversity and variety is the name of the game here. She got me thinking about the rhythm of the seasons and how they affect our living patterns.j
Lydia, a juggling mum who claims to be either 'Waving or Drowning' (that poem really disturbed me as a young teenager, Lydia!) got me thinking with her reflections on faith, and how her personal faith journey is moving on. She and I have had different experiences in life, and I really appreciate hearing how someone else is working things out. She then shared the song 'Make Me a Channel of your Peace', which is such a good prayer, thinking of what we can give, not recieve. Pop over and listen to it if you haven't heard it recently!
At Lúcháir, Elizabeth summed up her take on the Ash Wednesday themes with the phrase: 'What it means to me at this moment is "Remember you are of the earth"'. She described the traditional Catholic ceremony and explained how it ties in with her environmental concerns - her guest blogger Miriam McHardy then wrote a second post explaining the Carbon Fast in Lent - this is a great idea and I am getting daily emails about it from Tearfund! Thanks for the tip, Elizabeth.
Becca at BrightHaven Days is observing Lent for the first time together with her husband, and it's really interesting to hear how it's making sense to her as she goes through it. Her blog has an emphasis on simple living, and Lent seems a real focus for the kind of pared-down spirituality I think she's aiming for.
Over at Pondside I was really struck to learn how harsh Lent used to be for children in families which observed it (although it's worth reading Yoli's account to see that there could be a positive side to it too). It really made think about how little the boys and I have looked at Lent before - for me it's a tool, not an obligation, and we've just seen it as a build up to the story-telling of Holy Week. Another blogger exploring Lent with children is MummyMad at the Madhouse. If you haven't heard what she's given up for Lent, you should pop over, as I think you'll see that it's a really positive thing for her children!
Like me, Angela at Tracing Rainbows comes from a non-conformist background, which means we've been brought up to show a certain pride in NOT doing things like Lent - we don't need them, oh no, we're super-holy without them, (lol). I'm being unfair on our tradition of course, and Angela has a great example of how someone coming to Lent from the outside can find new ways of making it real. She is giving away something every day. She's not posting about each thing, but I guess she may share a few experiences with us. Giving away, not giving up...
Someone who always gets me thinking is Denise, at her abundant blog A Bun Can Dance. Like Angela, she's taken up a number of ideas this Lent, all with the aim of achieving 'balance'. She says: 'So my Lenten days are days of Being rather than days of avoiding. Lent can be, and is a life affirming and positive experience, not sack cloth and denial. It's simply a time for reflection, for taking stock of your own self and maybe doing things a little differently.'
At French Village Life, Elizabethd is also looking at how she uses her time during Lent. She has a LIST! Her idea is simple but profound, and although I have a mental list of people I want to pray for, perhaps I should join her in actually writing it down, so that it actually gets done...
Pom Pom has also been writing, with the aim of 'creating a space'. If you haven't seen her pictures of her journals and very visual expressions of faith, they are well worth a look, as they show that there are so very many creative ways to pray.
Mrs Yappy Dog shared a picture from her family Bible with what I found to be a really inspiring text on it: 'Let us walk honestly'. She wrote about being honest with God.
Now I'm worried that I've left someone out. Please forgive me if I have! Here's another Wordle that sums up what I discovered from your posts:

The list of bloggers taking part is in my sidebar on your left - please do take the chance to visit, either as a participant or as an interested onlooker!


Jen Walshaw said...

Thank you for the summation, it really helps. I also love the wordle, it really helps me in focusing my mind on all the positive things at the moment

Pom Pom said...

What a perfect synopsis of the APIL participants, Floss. We are all searching around, paying attention, purposefully living in anticipation and consideration of the season. It's a lovely exposure to interesting faith journeys. Thank you.

Nearly there Claire said...

Funny how we're all connected by our varying views and strengths of faith.
After going to Mass last night I find myself reflecting on my youth. My oldest is taking his First Holy Communion this year, it is bringing with it many memories of my childhood and church. Lovely how somehow, just to stand still amongst the wildness of our days activities and just smile and be grateful.
'Make me a channel of your peace' was a favourite of mine at school.
They don't sing 'em like we used to! LOL x

Angela said...

Thanks for this summary of the APILs. But LOOK AFTER YOURSELF - you mustn't overdo it! Whilst it is wonderful to visit family, don't let all that travelling overtire you. We ALL want you to get 100% fit!!
Lenten Blessings
[sorry, just realised this sounds like I am nagging- It is just loving concern on my part, honest!!]