This Lent I have given up some things that I felt were distracting me from life– escapes if you will. Specifically I decided to give up all superfluous internet. I’m still checking email and writing on the blog. But I’m not reading other blogs, checking news sites or looking things up on Google unless I have too– ie I need directions,etc. Its been really good for my spirit and soul to take a break. I’ve also really enjoyed reading some novels, including mystery novels. Jack and I have been more regular about our weekly pilgrimage to the library. He picks out some books too. He LOVES the library almost as much as I do.
I’ve also taken on some disciplines. At my Pre-Lenten retreat I read some of Life Together by Bonhoffer. He was a German Christian theologian living around WWII who was violently opposed to Hitler. I’m sure there are better was to explain his life if you read the Wiki article. Life Together encouraged me to begin the practice of reading and praying aloud as a family. He talks about the importance of Christian groups embracing the simple discipline of reading the scriptures aloud morning and evening. I realized that we were a little group of Christians, a family. At Richmond Hill I bought a little book called the Moravian Daily Texts. It has a chapter of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms. I think you read through the whole bible in two years. During this season of infertility and failed cycles and struggling to be excited for pregnant friends it has been very comforting and humbling to read about God’s faithfulness over the millenia. We’ve rebuilt the temple with Ezra and the walls with Nehimiah. We’ve been shipwrecked and snake bitten with Paul. I have been reminded that God is at work. That he has been and will be accomplishing his work in the world. That he is concerned about my life. Every one of those men has written intense prayers to God, asking for his help. I am not alone in my need to ask God for provision and I am not without hope.
In another related encouragement, Monday night I was at Richmond Hill for services and we prayed about Richmond Hill’s financial needs (they have seen contributions decline as a result of the economic slowdown) We all prayed simple prayers, asking and believing God for provision. I received an email yesterday that they received a check for $10,000 in the mail yesterday. The check was already in the mail when we were praying.