Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Today is Ash Wednesday. We had our Paczkis yesterday to celebrate Fat Tuesday. I thought about being good and not having any, especially since I haven't been able to walk in over a week due to the bronchitis, but I just didn't have the willpower. Chocolate with custard. Yum. It was delightful. I went to chapel this morning and thought the Pastor did a nice job of explaining Ash Wednesday to the kids. Gretchen always comes and sits with me. I love that she still sits on my lap for chapel. Even Aislin and Taryn came to say hi to me today. It was a nice surprise. I was able to get to Curves and get a walk in, so I am back to a routine- except I didn't have Crossways because of the Ash Wednesday service. I like Ash Wednesday. I like having ashes on my forehead when I pick up the girls from school. It always starts great discussions. I love hearing what the girls are thinking about and how their minds are working as they get older. I also want them to know that my faith is important to me, and that my days are spent doing things with God, just like they do in Religion class. I don't want them to think that you ever get too old for God. I want them to see life as a journey with God, one that grows and grows over time, and that only ends in Heaven. I want to lead by example for my children. I don't want to have expectations for them that I don't have for myself. I think that I may like Ash Wednesday so much because it is a day that reminds us to repent. It is a day that reminds us that we fail each and every day to live the lives that we could. It is a day that reminds us that our Lord and Savior went to the cross out of love for us. It is a day that reminds us that no matter what we have done, are doing, or will do, our Savior loves us and forgives us each and every time we repent. Our family does "give up" something for Lent. We discuss it each year and let the girls decide if they want to participate. We use it as a tool for the girls to see how difficult it can be to sacrifice something they like. It is by no means any comparison to the sacrifice Christ made, but it does give them a glimpse into the depth of His love. He didn't have to go through with it. He chose to go to the tree. His love was that strong, that true. Ash Wednesday is the start of the build-up to Easter when we can sing Lift High the Cross and I Know My Redeemer Lives. It is a somber day, but it is also the start of the party. It is reverent, but I think I love it because I know how the story ends. I can feel the excitement building, and I want to share the story. I want everyone to know that it doesn't end with the ashes, it doesn't end with the "giving up", it doesn't even end at the cross. It ends at the empty tomb! It ends when My Redeemer Lives! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!!!!