Lent 2018 begins Wednesday February 14th. Valentines day. Valentines day, we celebrate the heart more often the romantic rather than the filial and everyday relational love. This day seemingly disregards our relationship with God and yet taking time to nurture our relationships with others does nurture our relationship with God. Nurturing that relationship strengthens our ability to love our self, and our neighbor, both of which are pretty difficult sometimes.
This Valentines Day I will, with so many others attend Mass, and receive the sign of the cross on my forehead in ashes, a reminder of our humanity, that we will die, our bodies will decay returning to the earth. Life is fleeting. We have a finite amount of time to learn how to love, and be loved. That’s pretty much it. Love God. Love our Self, and Love our Neighbor.
The Ten Commandments and The Great Commandment are the foundation of this love, exemplified in our creation as human beings, and in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-39
So, Valentines day and Ash Wednesday are a good fit for one another. Lent, a time of fasting, prayer, offering up, giving up, taking on something new. it’s a moment to remove things from, fast from things that stand in the way of loving. A few years ago I started adding some kind of spiritual reading rather than “giving up” something. It’s been very fruitful. Part of Lent 2018 will be adding, continuing some spiritual reading. The Story of a Soul, Cravings, and another book are all queued up.
I’m adding some quiet to the day. Quiet is difficult enough now because the thoughts that run through my head, oh they need wine, and chocolate. That said instead of silencing them it’s time to unpack the “why” these thoughts run through and work towards a better relationship with myself and with God. This better relationship translates to better relationships with people.
As a quilter sometimes it’s good to take time and reflect on where you are, what’s working, what isn’t, making necessary changes. It’s more than fabric, thread, and notions, it’s style, it’s recognizing that piecing isn’t my favorite thing, and focusing on the free motion stitching. Lately as I’ve watched a friends vids I’ve wanted to do some ruler work, though this will need to wait as I don’t have the ruler foot, and gave away the rulers I did have.
The time is now to dig deeper into faith, and into quilt design and motifs. To employ this gift of quilting in a new way that honors God. To listen to the whispers of the heart seeking God, a renewal of faith, a sip of water from the well of God’s Love.
How are you practicing Lent? May your quilting lead you closer to Jesus!