a scary-mess.

Lent started out sloppy for me.

I should have known lent was going to be a scary-mess this year when these guys were spotted on day One!

My first Shark sighting! A friend and I spotted over 15 of them along the beaches of West Palm.
Notice all the fins….

Timid and skittish, the blacktip reef shark is difficult to approach and seldom poses a danger to humans unless roused by food. However, people wading through shallow water are at risk of having their legs mistakenly bitten.
Umm, that’s where I spotted them…wading through the shallow water!!!

And that’s when it clicked! The first time.

Don’t get me wrong. It hasn’t been all bad.

There have been several beautiful moments for me, scattered & strung out together, throughout the lenten season.

I’ve just had to look a little more closely for them and


sort through the clutter to find the beauty.

This lenten season; however, has felt extremely awkward. Unusually abnormal. A spit-sputter start & stop motion. Just a downright gam!

Admittedly, I am a neat and orderly sort of person. So it is no wonder that my lenten experiences normally consist of detailed committed prayer, sacrifice and alms. I hold on to these commitments with a keen awareness, as an offering of gratitude for all my Savior sacrificed for my own salvation.

Does this happen perfectly??

Absolutely not!

But, imperfect though they may be, the commitments I make remain nonetheless -as I trudge on.

This year was different.

It was wishy-washy.

It was unkept.

It was truly a scary-mess!

“Clawing” my way through lent…get it??
Giggles.

That is until I began taking my frustration to prayer!

Primarily scolding myself for not making a clear commitment, exasperated with each passing day that I wasn’t offering a “good” lent, and vowing once again to “begin a proper lent” tomorrow – it was during this lamenting over my “terribleness” that God whispered to my heart:

“Remember the lessons I’ve been teaching you, my beloved. Most especially regarding indifference. Remember, St. Ignatius, who said: “We must make ourselves indifferent to all creation, to the extent that we do not desire health more than sickness, riches more than poverty, honor more than dishonor, a long life more than a short life, or anything at all in and of itself. We should desire and choose only what helps us attain the end for which we were created.” Remain indifferent, my dear one, even to your lenten expectations. I am with you child, and I gladly adjust your attitude. Be indifferent to circumstance, but attend to your friendship with me.”

And that’s when it clicked! The second time.

That’s when the mess ceased being scary.

Because I no longer desired beauty over the mess!

Instead, I recognized for the first time – that it was precisely because of the mess – that I was spending more time with God in prayer. I was running to Him daily, if only because of my lamentations. And that He & I were in a daily relationship with one another, which went far beyond my normal lenten sacrifices.

And isn’t that what He is always asking for from us? A committed daily relationship!

So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

Acts 17:27

I’m pretty certain I’ve never read in Scripture He yearns for us to give up chocolate for His sake!

Yet, He does continuously seek-out a relationship with us because He loves us.

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

And that’s when it clicked! The third and final time.

Lent is all about love.

As we begin to take the first steps in to the Easter Triduum, no matter how beautiful or how scary-messy our lent may have been, may we remember that Jesus sacrificed His life to redeem us – because He loves us. And He didn’t just use 40 days to remind us. He uses every day – and it’s waiting there for us to receive – each day we chose to be WITH Him!

hugs n’ blessings for all the life lessons that will “click” for you this Easter Season! Alleluia!




(unplanned)april fools

*featured image Unsplash by Jakob Owens

it’s the monday giggles….

Photo from Pinterest.

NEWS ALERT!!!

Actress Alyssa Milano and 49 other celebrities will reportedly fund a Right to Life Full-Term Center for any women with a crisis pregnancy who desires help! The star called on the film and TV industry to join her in the State of Georgia, where she plans to build the first Center of its type.

In a letter she sent to both Georgia Governor Brian Kemp as well as Georgia House Speaker David Ralston she wrote, “As actors, our work often brings us to Georgia. We’ve always found your state to be populated with friendly and caring people,” the letter begins. ”We’ve been glad to bring millions of dollars in revenue to support Georgia’s schools, parks and communities. And it is because of the continued gracious hospitality we have always been shown that we find no better State than Georgia to build our first projected Center- especially in part to the new “heartbeat bill” the Georgian Senate passed earlier this month . We consider sharing the grotesque amount of personal wealth we have acquired a privilege; and find no effort more noble than to champion toward truly supporting and helping women in crisis, in this life-giving manner. ”

Among the 50 celebrities who have also signed on in committing their own personal wealth toward building the Right to Life Full-Term Center in Georgia are: Alec Baldwin, Colin Hanks, Debra Messing, Patton Oswalt, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, Amy Schumer, Michael Sheen, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, Amber Tamblyn and Wil Wheaton. And in a letter, signed by all 50, Abby Johnson, former Director of Planned Parenthood and whose real-life story was depicted in the newly released movie Unplanned, has been invited to attend the ground-breaking ceremony.

As a result of Hollywood’s support, all major news outlets have shown their own commitment to the project by offering unlimited advertising for the Center. Several other media outlets such as The Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, HGTV and media properties owned by the Discovery conglomerate are also among the organizations supporting these advertisements. In an UNPRECEDENTED manner Fox News Channel is NOT the only mainstream media outlet to have accepted its advertisements.

Twitter has also offered its social media support by driving more traffic to the already #trending site #unplanned.

But the most powerful message Milano and her Hollywood cohorts have had to offer came today in a heartfelt announcement where they declared – April fools!

Photo from Pinterest.

TRUTH ALERT!

*The previously written news alert is NOT factual – click here and here and here to read the true report!

Photo from Pinterest.

Sorry.

I wish, with all my heart, that the above “story” was true. And I will never give up hope that one day it will be. That, perhaps, we will move toward real solutions for women in crisis which do not victimize them more; but instead assist them in making the best choice for the children who dwell within them.

#babieslivesmatter

But for today it is just a terrible April fools joke…

I’ve read Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned. And this weekend Cuppycake and I went to see the movie. I have four simple words to offer:

#MustReadMustSee

I believe this movie will one day (soon) fall in the same category of great biographical movies considered to have enlightened one’s perspective – such as Schindler’s List, Lawrence of Arabia, The Pianist, 12 Years a Slave, and All the President’s Men.

And THAT is no joke…

hugs n’ blessings to all the fearless men & women lending their hearts and their hands to protect the unborn and the women who courageouslessly carry them to term.

an extra hug & blessing to abby johnson – for telling your uninhibited story –

and the brave film makers, actors, & actresses involved with unplanned the movie – hollywood may try to silence you, but god will always remember what you’ve all fought hard to proclaim.

Wonderfully made!

Image taken from Pinterest.

A special friend pinned the above image and now I lovingly pin-it off to you!

 

Continue reading “Wonderfully made!”