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March 19th, 2014

BARBARA — DAY 15: Lenten Opposition

40 notes to 40 people in 40 days

 
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lenten-oppositionAt the two-week mark I’m facing the toughest “opposition” to my Lenten challenge of writing 40 notes to 40 people in 40 days. It’s me v. the clock. In other words, my opposition is time.

Work. Volunteering. Writing — three pages every day, I hope. Church. Social life. Pilates. Being a wife, daughter, sister, “aunt”/godparent, and friend. Housework — yes, that most thankless of tasks, but definitely takes up time. Cooking/meal prep — because it’s healthier if I make my own meals and skip take-out, right? Maybe a little more work or volunteering or church.

These things all take time. And there’s not a whole lot more time left when they are all done. So, you can see how sending handwritten notes might quickly (or in two weeks) turn from spiritual practice into “chore.”

I was hovering somewhere between those two after waking up Monday morning with some serious jet lag from travel to the West Coast. The chore mentality was creeping in.

Then, I began another spiritual practice to avoid the complete and total demise of what I want to be a meaningful Lenten discipline. I took a deep breath. I started breathing — really breathing and noticing my breath. You might go so far as to call it a form of prayer.

And that breath brought with it focus and inspiration for my next few notes.

While I was in Las Vegas and Los Angeles last week I was with some incredible people — coworkers, priests, Paulist seminarians. The moments of connection in formal meetings, meals, casual conversations, and walks along the Las Vegas Strip (yes, you read that right) were truly moments of encountering God in others.

So, my daily practice is renewed — redeemed actually. Last week, the connections I made with those on the journey — work, life, spiritual — gifted me with new perspective, new connection to others, and therefore to the divine. Thank God.

Today (and tomorrow’s) note are for my roommates on the trip.

Have you come up against any “Lenten opposition” at this point in your journey? How have you prevailed?

 
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The Author : Barbara Wheeler-Bride
Barbara Wheeler-Bride is editor-in-chief of Busted Halo.
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  • Kat Graham

    My husband & I gave up red meat & pop for Lent. That piece has been a breeze. The biggest issue I am facing so far is that there is so much reading I wanted to keep up on daily with all of the reflections, prayers & such–not enough hours in the day!! Between work, moving into a new house last weekend, baseball with the kiddo, yadda yadda yadda. Based on what I just read, you know exactly what I mean!! This is my first Lenten season in the Catholic faith so I guess I thought I needed to load up the brain & heart with as much of His word as possible. I’m finding that one reflection & a little prayer mixed in works just fine. Have a wonderful weekend!!!

    • barbara_wheeler

      Kat, I hope your move went smoothly — and that you’re finding those moments of reflection and prayer making a difference in your Lenten season. For me — there can be gifts in even taking 5 minutes to focus on writing a note to someone. That’s a good 5 minutes :) Thanks for reading!

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