Every year is the same for me: about a week or so before Ash Wednesday, I wonder what I will "give up" for Lent, or what sacrifice I am going to make. One year it was Cokes/soft drinks, one (horrible) year I gave up chocolate (what WAS I thinking?!), but I've never had the courage to give up desserts entirely. Now that I am expecting my second child, the cravings monster has successfully convinced me that this year is not the year for that! What does that leave me? What vice can I sacrifice?
That's when it hit me. What if my sacrifice shouldn't be giving something up, but taking something on? My New Year's resolution was to start a prayer journal. I've been pretty good about keeping up with it; I write in it at least once a week. I noticed an immediate difference in my prayer life as soon as I started it, and have been amazed at seeing how God is truly involved in my life. I decided that I will faithfully keep it up daily, and making sure that I do a daily devotion...and Nouwen's book is perfect to do just that.
On page 14, he says, "Give me strength and the courage to live this season faithfully, so that, when Easter comes, I will be able to taste with joy the new life that you have prepared for me." My new life is going to be one filled with meaningful prayer. I do need the strength to live Lent faithfully, as it is so easy to be consumed with raising a toddler (Lily is 19-months old now) and being pregnant on top of it, I'm tired all the time. I must carve the time out for communing with God, because I expect so much of Him. A prayer-filled life will by my new life, which undoubtably will be a better life. I look forward to growing toward the cross with you!