This first picture is a Lenten rose. It's usually one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring! Have tried growing them myself, but wasn't successful. These are pictures from the local public gardens.
Please click here to check out my friend's 'Zine(art magazine) regarding lent.
I'm sitting here trying to write this post like I usually do when writing to friends..."Would that sound weird? Should I share that? How do I word that?", etc. All I know is that I gave up church for lent this year. Spring is my favorite time of the year, and that doesn't coincide well with the practice of self-reflection or deprivation or the addition of anything that I don't feel like doing. After surviving the long winter, I don't want to dwell on death and the cross right now.
In the back of my mind, I've had a recurring self-conflicting feeling about trying to get people to conform to my beliefs and telling them that "I have the life, you need to get it, too". I'm not saying the unconventional church I go to is like that, I'm actually wrestling with parts of the Bible. I've been feeling more like I want to keep my ever-changing beliefs personal lately. We don't talk to other people about our sex life, so why are we told we need to share this as well? If we doubt, can we accept some parts and not others?
Maybe the bottom line is that I don't feel like my faith helped me enough through the hardest year of my life (so far) last year and am dealing with the disappointment and wondering if it will help me in the future. Did I not believe or trust enough? Did I not pray enough? Is God mad at me? I don't think so. I do think God loves me even if I don't go to church. And yes, I miss my church friends. I don't want to pretend or try to sing words that I'm not comfortable singing right now.
So for now, I'm taking a break and trying to enjoy the sunny days and emerging daffodils. I'll contemplate the days when my faith did help me through rough times and ponder on what and why it has changed. It's okay if you might not understand this; I don't even understand it myself.
I'll close this with a quote my neighbor-friend Cody shared with me the other day. It's something to think about:
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine. - Henry S. Haskins
p.s. Maybe next post I'll talk about my sex life...or NOT!