Monday, February 15, 2010

Think Spring

Women of Faith:

Considering it is snowing out again as I write, I hope everyone prays for Spring to arrive by the time Lent (which means Spring) is over. I am really looking forward to some of those little “snow white” crocus blossoms that seem to appear out of nowhere as soon as the days warm up.

By the number of replies I received last week, I have the feeling we are a very stressed out, overwhelmed group of women, who really need to slow down and remember what God’s “little” instructions are for our lives. We are really not intended to “do everything,” take care of everyone, make everyone happy and know everything.

God’s instruction is to LOVE, not work, not to do everything perfectly, not even to do “everything” but simply to Love! What a great message for Valentine’s Day and the start of Lent this Wednesday.

Today’s readings Jer 17:5-8 and Lk 6:17, 20-26 both tell us who will be “Blessed” and who will be “cursed.” We are reminded to put our trust and hope in the Lord; “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the water, that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.” And, also, that if we don’t use our gifts wisely, these same gifts will become a curse, rather than blessings we have to share.

The reading speaks to “Spring;” to growing in our Love of the Lord, to growing in our Trust of God, by planting our roots deep so that no matter what/who tests our faith we will stand strong and be able to handle the “overwhelming” times as humbly as the good times. Jeremiah reminds us that we are to plant Love in our spouses, our children and everyone else that we meet.

So my question this week is actually more of a Lenten challenge: Our instruction is to Love, not ourselves, but God and others, so think of something to do, rather than to give up for Lent. An action that is totally unselfish and doesn’t affect only yourself, something with roots and growth deeper than giving up chocolate or desserts, something that will speak of your Trust in the Lord, that takes your time, but comes from the Love in your heart, that truly plants and grows Love, that makes everyday speak of the love of Valentine’s Day.

Some ideas as a spouse: Make Lent reflect the “special” love you showed for Valentine’s Day, by doing something extra for the person God made your mate, like greeting him at the door when he gets home from work, giving him a hug before you get out of bed in the morning, tucking a note of blessing in his pocket, or maybe in the reverse, by paying special attention to not say an unkind word or voice a criticism.

As a mom, or a child, try to resist the urge to tell your parent/child, “later, when I have time,” instead, simply say yes and give them the most important part of you, your time. (By the way this works for husbands too, did you know we say an average of 14 words a day to them? And we spend less time with them than our children and/or our coworkers! Think about the time you spent with them just talking when you were dating… why should it be less now? No wonder we have a “lack of communication” and a disconnect.)

Or if you don’t have a spouse or family to care for take the time to write a letter each week to a lonely “grandparent” or friend who doesn’t have any of their own family. Or extend an invitation to a friend or family member to attend church with you during the week or on Sunday, send them a special prayer or possibly forward them this reflection.

Dear God: Our blessings lie in your love, given to us and passed on by us. Forgive me when I have been selfish with my love. Thank you for putting people in my life who love me. Help me to accept their love, and help others to feel your love in their own lives. Amen.

Blessings and Love for this Lenten (Spring) Season:

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