Sunday, March 24, 2013

Great Expectations

 Lent.

I had really high expectations for myself during the forty day period leading up to Easter.  In all honesty (am I ever not completely honest?) I picked way too many balls to juggle during a season rife with birthday celebrations and other occasions.  I over commit.  I join.  I say yes.  I get overwhelmed.  I get behind.  I feel guilt.

It's not pretty.

I failed in complete and total abandon on everything I set out to accomplish and commit to during the season of Lent.  I was swimming in the guilt of that knowledge until last night.  We had experienced "one of those" days and it was by sheer force that we made ourselves attend church.  It was a night of classic going through the motions.  Oh, we went, we sang, we chatted and smiled but everything bounced off our hearts like they were made of Teflon, nothing seemed to apply or touch us, but we congratulated ourselves with "well at least we went..."

Ever done that?

As we drove home I realized that Holy Week was going to dawn in the morning and I also realized that I have never come face to face with so many of my personal failings and need for a Savior, as I have during this Lenten season.  The past nearly forty days have laid bare a lot of things in my heart as a wife, mother, daughter, friend and believer in Jesus.   Things I wish weren't there.  Things I wish weren't my natural reactions, natural thoughts, natural tendencies.  Failures that I have to continually course-correct on.  And that's when it hit me.  That's what it's all about.  Realizing how flawed I am and how perfect Jesus is.  How much I need Him.  How I can not make a day without His strength, peace and guidance.  Realizing how incredibly much I need a Savior.  I need His compassion, His grace, His forgiveness, and His love. 
As we begin this week, it will be filled with Passover dinner preparations, birthday preparations for Joe, a Good Friday service, volunteering at church and Easter service, a few meetings, and of course all the usual things that fill daily life.  We decided to let all that other "stuff" be for a minute, and we sat down to a pancake breakfast and took communion together.  It wasn't perfect.  It was picturesque or textbook.  It didn't last long.  But it was a moment of connection- of our hearts with His.  And no matter what we plan over the course of this coming week, that's the one that counts.

Lamentations 3:21-23 
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  

Be encouraged, take time to connect, let the other stuff go, and have a Happy Holy Week, my dear friends! 




15 comments:

  1. Oh Sasha, Thank you so much for your honesty. I have felt the same way this Lenten season, over committing and failing. I was so worried that I had disappointed Him, but now I realize that my failure isn't the end, it's the beginning. The beginning of realizing how much I truely need Him.
    Happy Holy Week, my friend.
    Warmly,
    Rachel

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  2. Love your heart. How true it is that all our efforts only force us to swallow deep of grace. Love your spot here and love watching your journey.

    p.s. You have such a darling little wrist! :)

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  3. Always encouraged here by your real you shining true:) Thanks for sharing your hearts struggles and making peace with my own...for a few moments at least:)

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  4. I, too, have failed this Lenten season. But can we really "fail" at a time when we should be reflecting? We went to church today--in that "at least we went" mood--and left totally uplifted, feeling that it was ok that I had failed in my attempts. That is what Jesus's Grace is for...and Jesus's Truth is what makes me realize that I failed. That I can and should (and WILL) do better tomorrow.

    So, Bless ya'll's hearts this Holy Week. Goodness knows I'll need mine blessed a LOT this week!

    Southern Love and hugs to you and yours!

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  5. I totally relate to feeling like a Lenten failure. And yet, in His compassion He reminds me it is finished. Jesus paid it all. Oh the joy this brings! Love you.

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  6. this reminds me of one of my favorite songs,

    In my weakness, He is strong,
    In my need, He leads me on,
    When I come to the end, of all I am
    And I place my trust in Him...
    That's where His strength begins.

    In my weakness.

    thanks for so beautifully reminding me of this.
    last week was not pretty at all. i failed so many times!
    blessings to you, friend.
    xoxo

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  7. oh, so thankful that He is enough.
    It is finished. He has made the way...the perfect sacrifice.

    I could list a million ways I'm failing...so, so thankful that we can rest in his strength and in his righteousness.

    love you friend.

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  8. Have you read Ann Voskamp's post on Lent? - she reposted it this year. In it she says one of my favourite things about Lent - and she explains how Lent is specifically designed to set us up for failure.

    "A failing lent? It is a good Lent because this Lenten Lament of my sin — it is preparing me for the Easter Joy of my Savior.

    Lent gives me this gift: the deeper I know the pit of my sin, the deeper I’ll drink from the draughts of joy.

    Grief is what cultivates the soil for the seeds of joy."

    The very fact that we all come to the end of our rope during Lent is a reintroduction to grace and it's life saving beauty! I love that! : )

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  9. I'll keep you in my prayers. The wonderful thing about Jesus is that no matter how many times we fail or fall down, he forgives and picks us back up. I gave up a list of things for Lent and so far so good but I know this final week will be harder than hard. It was a hard week for Jesus, too. If He went though what He went though, I can manage not snacking between meals and not eating sweets, etc. If you fall, get back up :)

    P.S. My feather dinner napkins came and are BEAUTIFUL! Thank you! I wish they were mine to keep but they are a gift and I know the person will LOVE them!

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  10. You write so honestly. Thank you for that. We have similar struggles (tweens, finances, faith) and your words always encourage me and give me hope :)

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  11. I dropped the ball on Lent this year myself. For me, all it took was a stressful day and Reese's Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. I'm thankful for my Savior's endless supply of grace..

    Wishing you a blessed Holy Week..

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  12. i feel like i'm hangin' on to life by the skin of my teeth lately...even ONE commitment for me is over-doing it. praying big time for peace today.

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  13. yes and amen..you know what? i see me in you. i see so many of us women doing this same thing to ourselves. but you know what came to my mind last night..in fact i told nikki
    ann v say s life is not an emergency and most days i act like it is as if one of these silly things on my list are emergencies...now yes i can do better at following through..not over committing and so on BUT
    God knows i am dust...He really does. and He picks us up each and every time if we reach out to Him. oh how He loves us and if we could just grasp some of that we would be undone on the floor. i am also learning that the more kindly i speak to myself and stop calling myself stupid etc. the kinder and gentler i am with my own kids and other people. THIS IS HARD and PURPOSEFUL i am NOT PERFECT i share this with you because you too understand this..you already know and you long to connect and be heard and seen...i hear you friend. i love your heart for God..and others. YOU SHINE!! i love ya...xo

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  14. Thank you, Sasha. I have felt the same way. It is so easy to major in the minors and let the mundane take over our thoughts. I am overwhelmed with the fact that I am forgiven and immensely loved by the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE!

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  15. love you so much i can't stand it.
    we are SO cut from the same cloth.
    every year i feel the same..just blogged about it today...
    how wonderful after i hit "publish" to come over and read that I was not alone in my feelings.

    we are not enough. we fail often and miserably. so thankful that HE is our "enough." he is our way out of feeling the pressure of having to be enough as wives, daughters, mothers, friends, etc...........

    so wish we lived closer.

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