Friday, March 8, 2013

lent, half-way.

{photo by Michael Graydon}

We are smack dab in the middle of Lent, and for perhaps the first time, I miss the fact that our church doesn't honor these days together. It makes it doubly hard, I think, to try to muddle through these days alone, armed with devotionals and prayers, but missing community. 

I've tried to choose happiness these past few weeks, but right after we got home from Jordan's granddad's funeral, we had severe weather resulting in several leaks in our living room and a very wet couch. The rainy weather continued for days, which meant nothing could really be done, so we aired the couch out, called the landlord, and hoped for the best. Fast forward to earlier this week, when I began to put my living room back together, only to discover maggots -- maggots, you guys -- falling from my ceiling. There's a dead animal on my roof, and maggots are coming through my ceiling. 

Maggots. 

I confess this because all of this has made Lent difficult. This year, I chose to give up personal shopping for these 40 days: no sale emails, no miscellaneous Target trips, no mindlessly scanning Anthropologie's sale section. Of course, all of these things are relatively minuscule compared to the biggest sacrifice of them all: no book buying. Jordan half-jokingly suggested I give up reading for Lent, but I can't even go there. Reading? I'm not sure who I'd be at the end of 40 days with nary a book in my hand. No purchases, then, from my store, from Barnes & Noble, from tiny bookstores in tiny towns. 

It's been harder than I'd like to admit, mostly because when there are maggots invading your living room, all you really want is a new candle scent or a magazine to make you feel better. 

Truthfully, there have been days this month and last in which I forgot it was Lent at all. Jordan told me it's okay; we don't have to dwell on our failures and our brokenness 24/7. It still feels wrong, though, like I'm missing out on something bigger. I wish every Sunday I'd be reminded about why I'm doing this, why this season is different from the one before it and the one coming next. 

I guess, though, I'm learning I don't have to rely on shopping or Internet browsing or even the smell of a brand new book when times are a little tougher than normal. Maybe Lent is about recognizing your weakness and relying on the Savior instead of the world. If I really think about it, maybe that's what I've been doing, albeit badly, these past few weeks. And maybe, for now, that's enough. 

4 comments:

Heather Burris said...

Beautiful thoughts! I've never really observed lent, but I wish I had started this year.

Jessica said...

oh. my. word. i would die. i am so sorry. i really hope you have an amazing landlord. wow. but, on the bright side (hopefully), your landlord is having to foot the bill and deal with that. again, i am so sorry.

Angela said...

Lent this year seems a lot more difficult than usual. I gave up something bigger than usual too though so it only makes sense. Only a small sacrifice in comparison though of course.

I am so sorry about your situation!! I don't think I could handle that, honestly. I hope your landlord does something quick!!

Melanie Yarbrough said...

I'm a regular reader, but a not-so-regular commenter, but after reading this tonight, I couldn't help but share.

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