The love devotional comes

Craig and I began blogging about the same time in the fall of 2010. We both read Ann Voskamp and named our years last year at Ann’s suggestion. He named his 2011 “Connect” and I named mine “Now”. Both of us had many experiences as we changed our patterns of being which came about by changing our focus. I memorized the book of Colossians. He memorized Philippians. I am married with 3 muttlies. He is single with one love kitty. A month ago Craig said he had 80 devotionals in his closet and he would send one to anyone who wanted one. It was a booklet on love.

I just got my Love devotional yesterday. It arrived in perfect time as an introduction to Lent. This year Ash Wednesday is February 22. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and we here in the Blanchard household will be ready to begin, having read 3 weeks of the Love devotional ahead of time. On February 22 we will place Caleb Voskamp’s wooden carving of Christ carrying the cross beside the Cradle to Cross extension to begin our journey to Easter. Thank you, Craig! Thank you, Caleb! Thank you, Jesus!

There are 40 holes in my cradle to cross wreath and there are 47 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, so…won’t Jesus get to Easter too soon? The archives page of my own denomination, the United Methodist Church, answered my question.

Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection.  In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism.  Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or volunteering and giving of themselves for others.  The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

So then, I will be celebrating 6 mini-Easters before the big Easter celebration. I must think about this and see what I want to do for each wonderful mini-Easter. To get warmed up I went to Hungary to watch (probably for the 40th time) their Great Resurrection Day celebration 2010. Amazing!

Preparing for His coming,



11 comments on “The love devotional comes

  1. Dawn, how wonderful to see you so excited to celebrate the Resurrected Lord! And the video finished it off perfectly! Such a joy to know God’s people from around the world have the Spirit bear witness with their spirits that they are the children of God! And to come together like this is life indeed! and Worship~
    What a treat to come by here today!

  2. Love the video, Dawn . . . I saw it quite some time ago but well worth watching again. Observance of Lent is not something I grew up with and have only really heard the term in the last year or two. Well, I have, of course, heard the term in novels that I have read but not in the Christian circles that I have been associated with. I think I will be acquainting myself with this practice . . . quite a few bloggers write about it and the blessing they receive.

    • Dear Andrea Dawn,

      I think one of the deficits of a low context culture is the lack of traditional days. I try to keep them in my calendar as much as I can. Since America is such a young nation, we don’t have much depth as a people, not like the Chinese or many native tribes. They barely have to speak for they know each others patterns so well. Traditions fill in the spaces for those of us with low context, I think. I love celebrating the same things my ancestors would have celebrated. I know you know what I mean…

      Let’s do Lent,

      The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, my ancestors (German) ate donuts (called fausnaughts). Eat a donut for me Feb 21?

      • Yesterday I got to go to church for the first time since my surgery. But it wasn’t my church. My niece’s family goes to St. Mark’s Anglican and they were having their two youngest christened. My sister and her husband picked me up as I am not released to drive yet. It was really delightful . . . processional, choir, organ, lots of scripture readying, message, stained glass, the christening, holy communion, recessional and fellowship in the meeting hall afterwards. The choir wore pale blue robes and the celebrants wore white vestments. Very traditional but fresh and lively as well. I have never seen someone radiate the joy and the love of Christ like the head priest (not sure of the exact term). Just a beautiful service and very friendly community.
        We’ll see about the donut . . . it’s best if I avoid wheat, but I don’t entirely abstain. Looking forward to learning something new.

  3. I love the mini-Easter thought. That challenges me as a mom to prepare my children’s hearts for Easter. I don’t want my boys looking forward to “holidays.” I yearn for them to look forward to Christ.

    Always a challenge here!

  4. Dear Craig,

    You needed a boost, O Suffering One. You also need to read the book Cora and A recommended to you earlier “Dark of Night” by St. John of the Cross. I think, in a very real way, it is what you are going through right now AND, because of your love of the early church fathers you will feel right at home with the language. Perhaps you will even be able to read it in the original (Spanish?). Anyway, do not dismiss what I am telling you here, Craig. This one is for you.

    Blessings in the Lord,

  5. Dawn, the picture of you with the booklet is such a good one! I am going to reread this post tonight, and go slowly….I have been rereading or newly reading some books from about five centuries ago…laden with food for thought. They are my primary deep oasis right now. Your post ties in in certain ways and so I will go do unpacking and setting the house in some measure of order as I think about and ponder some things.

    I am glad you write. Praying freshly for you, as soon as I hit ‘post comment’.

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