Do you practice any sort of Lenten fasting? This year I’ve given up one of my favorite things: reading blogs. (Er, obvs I’ve not given up posting on them.) I like Lent. I like the opportunity it gives me to reign things in, take stock of how I’m spending my time (or money or energy or calories, depending on what I’m fasting from any given year.)
And I really like blogs. They are like magazines you get to read for free, about any topic you’re interested in. They can be endlessly inspiring, but if I’m not careful, they can be an endless time suck, and a distraction from the nourishment and spiritual boost deeper reading can give me. So this year instead of reading blogs I’m reading the daily office each day, as well as reading through several books.
RHE’s _A Year of Biblical Womanhood_, in which she de-mythologizes (is that a word?) and challenges common assumptions about what it means to be a woman who follows God. Love RHE. I’m allowing myself to read her blog, because I consider it a form of nourishment.
Kathleen Norris’ _The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women’s Work_. This slim volume, really an elongated essay, is kicking my stay-at-home-mom ass, challenging me to consider all work, even laundry and dishes and diapers, as holy.
I’m re-reading (for the second or third time, can’t remember) Anne Lamott’s book of essays, _Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith_. It blessed me the first (and second?) time, and I was listening recently to a friend talking about how impactful it was in her faith experience, and thought I’d grab it off the shelf again.
These are the three I’m reading through so far, but I think I’ll likely be finished with all of them by this weekend. Anybody got any recommendations for more spiritually nourishing reading? I’m considering reading some CS Lewis I haven’t gotten to yet, maybe _The Great Divorce_.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Anne Lamott’s essay, “Ashes” about Ash Wednesday, which was a week ago today and is the beginning of Lent in the traditional Church calendar, and which sums up some of the reasons Lent is meaningful for me:
The ashes remind us of the finality of death. Like the theologian said, death is God’s no to all human presumption… [In awaiting redemption and resurrection] how can we cooperate with grace? How can we open ourselves up to it? How can we till the field? And so people mark themselves with ashes to show that they trust in the alchemy God can work with those ashes–jogging us awake, moving us toward greater attention and openness and love.”