are you ready?

Why do we frequently ask people, in December:  Are you ready for Christmas?

Yes, obviously, we ask for a few reasons.

We genuinely want to know.
We’re making conversation.

Yet I’m curious why we don’t ask the same questions in regard to Easter.  Are you ready for Easter?  I realize we don’t put the same effort in at Easter time.  There aren’t the gifts to buy, parties to attend, cards to mail.  We don’t decorate in the same manner.  Sure, if we have small kids we might buy them a new outfit.  We might decorate eggs.  We might plan a nice meal and we’re more likely to attend church on Easter Sunday than any other day [at least I think we are….].

The last few years, I’ve put in an honest effort in preparing for Easter.  The Catholics and the more liturgical Protestant types call this season Lent.  People give up something, or try to focus on the sacrifice of Jesus and what the death.burial.resurrection really means.  I find this to be a good practice.

This year, I’ve decided to concentrate.  I want to practice the discipline of meditation, specifically focusing on gratitude.  Why gratitude?  Well, for a number of reasons.  Mainly though, because I’ve heard in the past from people I’m close to, that I’m not a very grateful person [ouch].  And because I want my kids to learn to show gratitude in a more deliberate way.  So I suppose they could use an example.  Also, I’ve recently been reading about gratitude and have learned studies show those who are grateful are healthier, happier and live longer than those who are not.

Meditation will not come easy to me.  I have a wandering mind.  My concentration is not the best.  I am rarely alone.  But, I pledge to give it a shot.  And I also pledge to not hold myself accountable to another’s standards.  If I decide to meditate while walking around the neighborhood, so be it.  It might not be the text book example of meditation, but it will be mine.  And who knows, maybe I’ll come up with a whole new theological.philosophical methodology and become a guru of sorts.  Doubtful.

I am also making myself listen to more worshipful music.  Truth be told, I had all but abandoned this genre personally.  Mainly because what’s popular today seems to have a lot of personal commands [ie “lift it up, Church” and “shout it out” and “raise your hands” and on.and.on]  Too much yelling, or at least what I deem as pseudo yelling.  So I researched and now make myself listen to a few groups.  I am particularly liking The Brilliance [they’re related to Gungor, literally and figuratively] and All Sons and Daughters.  And my newest musical find is Rend Collective Experiment.  RCE is from Northern Ireland.  I like their style, again no yelling.  I’m also a big fan of good musicianship, as in musicians who are actually quite talented instrumentally.

My husband Chip is giving up a great deal of his social media outlets.  He is no longer utilizing Facebook.  While I’m not giving it up, I have decided to not connect my Tweets with FB.  While that might not seem a drastic measure to you, dear reader, I have grown tired of the constant Facebook looks throughout the day.  I don’t need to keep up to date with a person I barely knew in high school or some guy who might or might not have had a crush on me in 1985 or even relatives that don’t really care to truly keep in touch.  So, I will continue to check in on some close college friends and local people and the bakery down the road.  But I must stop updating and checking to see who’s responded and looking at endless pictures of children I do not know.  I also cannot allow myself to waste thought energy getting annoyed at the purity author/specialist who insists I do not read Fifty Shades of Grey, but constantly has typos in her statuses.  So if you care, and I doubt you do all that much, follow me on Twitter.  I will continue to post my blog updates on FB for my compadres who do not tweet.

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.  I considered becoming a vegan for Lent, but I like my other plans better.  Besides, I’m already a vegetarian.  Now for 40 days I’ll be a meditating vegetarian.  My workmates already call me a hippie.  Now they have even more reason to.  Except I wear cardigans from Ann Taylor Loft and own a J Crew denim jacket, which I don’t think are typical hippie apparel.   Although they were either given to me or I purchased them at a thrift store.  Yes, my mind wanders………

Happy Lent!  I hope it’s a unique and uplifting season for you.  And me.  And I hope when Easter comes, we’re ready.

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