Posts Tagged ‘Ash Wednesday’

Spiritual Journey framedHolly Mueller is the hostess of this beautiful blog journey.  Be sure to visit her site to read more inspirational posts.

We have been exploring different words chosen by our blogging community.  Greg’s one little word is Dive.

I am a wimp.  I don’t take risks easily.  Diving off the high diving board when I was a swimmer was the ultimate test of bravery, and I didn’t pass.   I think I have gotten braver, but I am still one who tests the waters with her big toe and slips in gradually.  Diving is very scary to me.

Blogging is entering into the publishing waters gradually.  I feel safe here in this space with only a few people reading my musings.  I guess you could say I dove in with Blessen, my first middle grade novel.  But it took me three years to write.  The diving came about when I decided to go the route of self-publishing.  Now I am about to finish the sequel (another 3 years in the making), and I want to dive in to the traditional publishing world.  This is so scary.

First I renewed my membership in SCBWI.  That was easy enough.  Then I registered for the Houston conference in April.  While registering, I signed up for a manuscript critique with an editor.  Hold on, what did you say?  I looked at the requirements for the submission.  I froze at the cover letter.  That’s when I opened up my safe Reflections on the Teche tab and started writing about the word Dive.  Am I ready to dive in?  What’s the worst that can happen, really?  I need to hold my nose and jump in.  I’m not sure what will be waiting in the water.  Was it Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Do one thing that scares you every day?”

That is why I need God.  I know that I am always loved, no matter what.  There is no failure in God’s eyes.  There is only courage and hope wrapped up in love.

I enter the church on Ash Wednesday, and I walk to the alter for ashes.  I hear the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  The smudge of dust is placed on my forehead.  I return to my work with a renewed heart, ready to dive, ready to pursue a dream, ready to be made new.


A Valentine's Day gift from a student.

A Valentine’s Day gift from a student.


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Ashes to Ashes

Ash Wednesday
Today is Ash Wednesday. I went to church and got an ashy-cross-smudge on my forehead and was told, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

This could be a creepy thing to think about, death, dust, sin. Oh, my! But today I read a few things, heard a few things, and thought about a few things that made me realize this is not creepy at all. It is ritual, a tradition in the Anglo-Catholic religion. I thought the purpose was to remind us that we are mortal and sinful and only God can save us from that. But today I got a different message.

The message was Grace. When I went to the altar to receive the ashes, I prayed that I would know what God wanted me to do. The voice that came to me said, “You are enough.”

Now God doesn’t make a habit of speaking to me, so when he does, I listen. I was reminded of my one little word, the word I chose to guide my year, rather than making a resolution that I could easily break. My one little word was Acceptance. Now I hear You are Enough!

Bishop Jake wrote on his blog post today, “‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth’ (Matthew 6:19) In other words, don’t approach the spiritual practices of Lent as a set of achievements that will win God’s approval. Instead, approach them as ways to make yourself available to God’s grace.”

So here I am, proclaiming to whomever wants to hear it, “I am an instrument of God’s grace. And that is enough!”

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