FROZEN Friday Five

Deb writes:

When it gets to the end of February, even people who LOVE winter are ready for a new season. Like this mom, sick of snow days and hearing the soundtrack of a specific movie, you might be going a little stir-crazy. With the lyrics of that  movie to inspire, tell us:

1. For The First Time in Forever: Tell us about a magical first snow day – for a child, a transplanted southerner, or maybe you have a great story from the first snowfall in your area this season

My first snow day wasn’t so much magical as me refusing to go out into it because it was so damned cold. I was a toddler who had spent my short life in 70 degree winters in Phoenix, AS GOD INTENDED. My first trip to see our family in Oklahoma for Christmas introduced me to snow. They opened the door and I turned and ran. The snow was unexpected and we hadn’t brought any gear so my mother put all my socks on me and then shod my feet in bread bags and secured them with rubber bands. Necessity, mother of invention, etc.

2. In Summer: Tell us what you look forward to when it’s warmer again.

It’s in the 70s. I’m good. When it’s summer it’s 115. I like this.

3. Reindeers are Better than people: We are in the business of loving people. But sometimes… Well, it’s a bit of a stretch to love. Do you have a tip, a mantra, or a perspective that helps?

I pass them along to someone who’s better at loving than I.

4. Fixer Upper: Since we are in the season of Lent, what are you doing in the area of self-improvement?

I’ve started a daily meditation practice at work, actually, and it’s making me less stressed and more energized and creative.

5. Let. It. Go. What would Elsa do? Are you de-cluttering? Moving on? Accepting a hard reality? Finding freedom?

I’ve been de-cluttering, donating, re-decorating and digging in. It’s a good season.

Bonus: Frozen, thawing out or thawed, share a picture from your winter this year!

I don’t think you want that. But here’s our 10 day forecast: IMG_3860

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Friday Five: Lent

janintx writes:

This is the beginning of the season of Lent. What are your thoughts, hopes, and prayers?

For today’s Friday Five, share five things about Lent.

If you’d like some guidance, here are a few suggestions:

1. books

Small Surrenders by Emilie Griffin
An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

2. new ideas

I’m preaching at my church on March 1st and I’m talking about meditation, but how it should lead us to service. The inward discipline manifesting in an outward discipline, if you will. Because of that, I’m interested in doing an inner practice during Lent, but then taking on the discipline of outer practices for the 50 days between Easter & Pentecost, the idea being that Easter matters and changes how we interact with the world.

3. websites

40 Acts – Do Lent Generously
One Moment Meditation

4. poems, hymns

Beauty for Ashes by Shane & Shane
The Answer by Shane & Shane
Miserere Mei Deus
Brahams’ Requiem

5. to do

Be present. That’s all.

Oh, Right. Lent.

Ok, so it’s Lent already and since I’m taking a bit of a break from formal churching, it sort of snuck up on me. I’ve seen a couple of resources around the interwebs and while some years I’ve given things up, I generally prefer to engage with the world differently instead of withdrawing. One thing I always need work on is general mindfulness – being present rather than being mentally elsewhere. I acknowledge that my brain works in future planning mode much of the time, and I’m grateful for it. I also acknowledge that I need to encourage my brain to present in the moment as well. Not judging, just encouraging brain development.

I’ve signed up for this. I have no idea what it is, but the facebook told me to do it, so I am. It’s in England, so I don’t even know if I’m allowed. Day 1 is create a journal and “remember the awesome bits.” Tomorrow is day 1 in this country, so I’ll take note of my awesome bits then.

I also really like the House for All Sinners & Saints list of 40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent. I’m going to do some of these too:

Day 1: Pray for your enemies

Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike or bus it.

Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio

Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choosing

(Sunday)

Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon

Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before

Day 7: Give 5 items of clothing to Goodwill

Day 8: No bitching day

Day 9: Do someone else’s chore

Day 10: Buy a few $5 fast food gift cards to give to homeless people you encounter

(Sunday)

Day 11: Call an old friend

Day 12: Pray the Paper (pray for people and situations in today’s news)

Day 13: Read Psalm 139 http://bible.oremus.org

Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments

Day 15: Bring your own mug

Day 16: Educate yourself about human trafficking www.praxus.org

(Sunday)

Day 17: Forgive someone

Day 18: Internet diet

Day 19: Change one light in your house to a compact florescent

Day 20: Check out morning and evening prayer at http://dailyoffice.wordpress.com

Day 21: Ask for help

Day 22: Tell someone what you are grateful for

(Sunday)

Day 23: Introduce yourself to a neighbor

Day 24: Read Psalm 121 http://bible.oremus.org

Day 25: Bake a cake

Day 26: No shopping day

Day 27: Light a virtual candle http://rejesus.co.uk/spirituality/post_prayer/

Day 28: Light an actual candle

(Sunday)

Day 29: Write a thank you note to your favorite teacher

Day 30: Invest in canvas shopping bags

Day 31: Use Freecycle www.freecycle.org

Day 32: Donate art supplies to your local elementary school

Day 33: Read John 8:1-11 http://bible.oremus.org

Day 34: Worship at a friend’s mosque, synogogue or church and look for the beauty

(Sunday)

Day 35: Confess a secret

Day 36: No sugar day – where else is there sweetness in your life?

Day 37: Give $20 to a local non-profit

Day 38: Educate yourself about a saint www.catholic.org/saints

Day 39: Pray for peace

Day 40: Pray for your enemies (you probably have new ones by now) then decide which of these exercises you’ll keep for good