You get the idea.
I decided I would use a video in the evening to help quiet my wandering mind and heart. If something like this is helpful to you, here it is an offering for this evening... An Evening Prayer
1. How open or aware was I to the presence of God in my day?2. What kind of nourishment did I receive? What kind of nourishment did I give?3. Does anything need to be emptied out in order for me to be at peace tonight?4. For what do I thank God as I prepare to enter into sleep?I shared that part of our Ash Wednesday service last night was to spend a few moments reflecting on what we wanted to fast during the season of Lent and on what did we want to feast. We wrote our thoughts on the back of paper plate masks which were collected and put into a trash bag to be burned. This morning, a young mother told me that she guessed I had not yet burned the masks, because she had already slipped into one of the things she desired to fast from.
Later, I did take the bag out, a long with a bucket of water, just in case the wind got a hold of our fasting and feasting thoughts. I didn't want to open the bag so I had to add a few pages from yesterday's paper. The ground and air were both really damp this morning and the fire was slow to begin. Still feeling the effects of several long days I gloomily watched and thought, "Great, I don't think God is interested..."
...But then, like a breath of hot air, the fire seemed to explode inside the plastic bag. Mesmerized, I watched as the white plastic melted, exposing the thoughts of our hearts to the entire world. Burning.... I shared last night that the mixture of water and ashes burns the skin. I think of the water of our baptism...the sign of the cross signifying new life. I think of the ashes I used to make another sign of the cross last night...a reminder of our mortality.
From the ashes of The Cross and the water of our baptism, the Holy Spirit ignites in our souls...Yes! Catching us on fire!
I watched as our "plans" for Lent evaporated into ash and I felt the peace of God surrounding me...and I knew whatever happened with my so called "plans" for Lent, I am a beloved child of God.
I did receive nourishment today from many sources. Before a meeting at the presbytery office today, we read 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5. Then we were asked what stood out for us. I expressed some of my frustrations within my ministry. As we closed the meeting, the others took turns praying for me.
To be prayed for is humbling.
This evening I received an email message from the wife of a friend... She chatted about a recent message I had sent Jim and then she closed by asking, "Has he mentioned to you that I pray daily for you,by the way? sometimes for your family, sometimes your healing, sometimes your congregation. (doesn't pay to get too bossy} - thought on a down day at the end of a long winter it might help to know."
What a blessing. And yes, Marcia, it has been a long winter.
You know, Jesus called us into community. He always sent the disciples out two/two. Over and over again, Paul instructs the churches to support and encourage one another, to lift one another up in prayer...to NOURISH one another.
Some times we sense the presence of God within the quiet...while watching flames bounce and swirl around paper masks....in the spoken prayers and hugs of fellow journeyers....in a short closing to a chatty email.... I pray you have sensed the presence of God some time during this day.
Most Holy and Loving God...I place my hand over my heart...I feel it beating deep in my chest....Which is a good thing!...I am reminded that it isn't just "me" that is sitting here, living this moment...The beating of my heart reminds me I am not alone. Jesus, you never did send your disciples out alone and when you did finally leave them, you sent the Holy Comforter... Thank you.
Many Blessings ~ Sandi