Monday, March 27, 2023


 Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me,
O Lord, O God of truth.
Psalm 31:5

The day grays, and I acknowledge that I did not go for a walk earlier as I had planned when the sun was shining. I could go now. It is not rainy and remains warm enough that a light coat would suffice. But I am comfortable in my chair and my warm sweatshirt with a throw on my lap. I don’t want to move.

While I love to be out in nature, lately I have more often chosen the comfort of feeling snug. Perhaps I am still craving security after all the upheaval and grief of the past three years.

I do know that my safety lies with God. And I have experienced God’s saving presence many, many times--on this Lenten path and on the journey of these past disruptive years. It seems just at the moment when I think I am bereft and none can help, holy hope makes itself known.

So, I will appreciate my comfort this gray afternoon and not scold myself. I will place myself in in the hands of the one who has already redeemed me, and I will soak up the solace that replenishes my soul.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Water stations

Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Whoever is wise will ponder these things,
and consider well the mercies of the Lord.
Psalm 107:43

Partway through the rainy afternoon, I pause to center myself again. The day’s tasks have proved themselves wily, distracting, and inscrutable. I lost an early skirmish with FB. I once again proved to myself (and anyone else who cares) that multi-tasking is only doing several tasks poorly. And I’m pretty sure I had two peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch without noticing.

Past experience tells me it is about that time. This is always the point along the Lenten trail when I find myself pummeled by shoulds and frustrations and resentments. Tools of the enemy to lure me off the path.

Which means it is time to reach for gratitude and mercy, God’s balm which is to be found all along the way, like water stations of living grace. I pause, I ponder, I consider. I cradle my soul in my arms and offer it to the holy one for safe-keeping.

Thursday, March 23, 2023


Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

O God, you know my foolishness,
and my faults are not hidden from you.
Psalm 69:6

Even though the weather has warmed, I pull my sweater close around my shoulders to ward off the spring chill. The day’s drizzle brings welcome moisture even as its dullness dampens spirits.

The surface of my desk has become a bumpy road, strewn with sticky notes, open books, bulletin drafts, and two cups of coffee one of which may still be warm. As the clamor of unsettled details threatens to upend any sense of calm I might possess, I pause. And in the lull I try to find myself.

In the midst of worship planning, website updating, and calendar wrangling I have lost my way. I can tell. Because I feel flustered, and I try to work too quickly, and I keep thinking I can accomplish just one more thing…and one more…and just one more….

As if I can manage these last laps of Lent into submission. 

Instead, I let the lull lengthen. Until the noise in my brain subsides. Until I can hear the patter of the gentle rain, dripping one soul-nourishing drop of living water after another into the well-trodden earth. Until I let go of my foolishness once again. Until I surrender to the place where I am. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

God's day

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Steady my footsteps in your word;
let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 119:133

It is the bird song that I notice now in the mornings, as if God’s creatures are singing to me personally about the coming of spring. The petite daffodils splash their yellow brightness across the bottom of the yard, and I know the afternoon sun will warm away the day’s early chill. Indoors, my peace lily preens on a sunlit windowsill, its three blooms leaning toward to light.

Creation carries God’s word to me, surrounding my path with cheerfulness, mercy, and reassurance. My heart, my ways, my life belong to God. As long as I remember this, the enemy cannot mess with my day.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Still time

Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent
Remember, God, how short life is,
how frail you have made all flesh.
Psalm 89:47

How has my Lent gone so far? This is honestly the question I wake with. I wonder. Part of my Lenten practice is these devolutions, taking time each day to mediate on God’s presence and my own sense of journey. Rather than giving up something, I take on this daily discipline of writing, of self-examination, of soul baring.
Even so, I can lose track of the amendment of life this season calls for. As the weather warms and bulbs begin to bloom, I want to shed thoughts of sin and repentance like I shed winter coats.
The forty days calls me back. God knows my resolve can be flimsy and my love of comfort robust. Yet grace and tradition give me more time, wider space, greater leeway. There is room for missteps and time to recover, recommit, rededicate. Time yet to remain open to where this path takes me.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Mercy soak

Saturday in the Third Week of Lent

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for God’s mercy endures forever.
Psalm 136:26

Before I sit down in my comfy chair, I refill my large water glass. I have been consciously drinking water all day, perhaps because I neglected to keep up with my intake this past week.

Sometimes I hardly think of the water I drink. Other times, I experience pleasure at the refreshment it provides, and can almost feel it hydrating my cells as I swallow each mouthful. A cup of cool water is a blessing, a kindness, a relief. A mercy.

God’s mercy surrounds us. Sometimes I hardly think about it. Other times, I experience it lifting me out of troubled waters, or providing relief from soul numbing shame, or gently reminding me that I am loved.

Perhaps the rest of my journey will be improved if I also consciously soak up God’s mercy, as if it were a cup of cool water.

Friday, March 17, 2023


Friday in the Third Week of Lent

God’s angels shall bear you in their hands,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Psalm 91:13

Some days the calm and content settle into my lap without any effort on my part to seek them out or make them be. Pure gift.

On days like these I am aware of joy welling up in my soul as if from a deep spring. I feel close to God, as if we are taking a walk together, enjoying one another’s conversation and company.

Midway through the Lenten wilderness, I drink deeply from this oasis, resting in the hands of holy angels, astonished that this is the place I find myself.