Shrove Tuesday

Oh yes, this morning we all ate pancakes - the babe with his sneakily packed with grated carrot and zucchini, and ours dressed with salted caramel, blueberries and greek yoghurt, lemon juice - a last hurrah before we fast from sweet delights for the forty-six days of Lent which start tomorrow. I have always found this to be the most special time of year - one of prayerfulness and contemplation, intentional living and lovingkindness, and all the while celebrating afresh the gift of Grace - His coming, and going, and returning.

I have made a couple of commitments for the Lenten period this year;
- to read the Living Word every day and to make note of phrases or image that arise from it,
- to pause in prayer as often as I can
- to abstain from sweet treats
- (and by far the hardest one for me) to have computer and internet free hours each day, with a complete rest from it on Wednesday and Sunday.

I have been struggling, you see, with the computer. Time is passed searching the internet, pinning pretty things or finding inspiring recipes, trawling through blogs, or working on my own, reading facebook updates, or media articles, refreshing emails - and often feeling empty and depleted afterwards... especially when I do it around Reu who almost always gets frustrated and irritable that he can't touch the keyboard. Its also knowing that I am idling away valuable minutes that could better be spent bonding with my child, walking somewhere interesting, making, listening, embracing my neighbourhood, practicing french... That is not to say I do not love the beauty and friendship, connection and dialogue the internet brings! I do get so much out of glimpsing the lives and experiences of my friends and kindred strangers - and I think its so important to be inspired by fresh ideas; its just lately I have felt like I am unable to step back from here even when I need to - and so my hope is that by structuring in deliberate rest times, that healthy breathing space between my eyes and the screen will return.

That and,
the voice of my Lord is not loud,
nor is it tyrannical, or even competitive for my ears -
rather, it is sure and constant and soft,
it asks for very little -
except my heart, open,
and a willingness
to sit still and listen.

This lent, I commit my whole self to know afresh the small voice of my greatest Love -
to rest, to create, to unfurl in my soul as the wee blue irises do in our winter garden -

Little promises of the Spring to come...