Tuesday, February 21, 2012


(The pieced back of my Sawtooth Star quilt.
Pictures of finished quilt soon, I hope--as soon as I finish it!)

When you're a nice, middle-aged lady such as myself, your sins tend not to be too flashy. No murder or adultery here, my dears. I mean, really, who has the time or the energy? Or a knife sharp enough to do the trick?

I do covet, it's true, and I can be quite envious at times, especially of people who are naturally slim. But my big sin has to be self-centeredness. While having children does cause me to be somewhat attentive to the needs of others on a regular basis, mostly when I plan my day, after I get past the have-to-do's, I go right to the what-I-want-to-do's. Sadly, caring for my neighbors is not always high on my list.

I've decided that this year for Lent I'm going to write a card or a letter every day, as a way of making space for people I'm not obligated by family ties to make space for. I know that it's more traditional to give up something for Lent, but I did some research, and all sorts of spiritual disciplines may practiced during the Lenten season, not just fasting. In fact, an emphasis on hospitality is one of those disciplines, so writing a card or a letter every day will be my practice of hospitality.

It will be interesting to see how this discipline feels, especially on those nights when I forget all about it until I'm just about to go to bed. I bet it will feel pretty irritating at times, and like a burden at others. But I hope it will change something inside me--or to put it as it's put in my mother's favorite grace, that it will make me more mindful of the ways and needs of others. We shall see.


Speaking of letters, are you familiar with the Letters of Note site? If not, you should definitely check it out, especially the letter I've linked to, which is one of the most remarkable letters I've ever read in my life.

And if you'd like me to send you a letter or a postcard this Lent, just let me know. I'll do it!


debbie bailey said...

I'd love to hear from you. What ever happened to our postcard exchange anyway? I've been thinking about Lent. I suffer from the same malady as you. Instead of giving something up, I think I'll try to think more of others by doing special things for them. In a roundabout way, that would be giving up something; time that I would have been doing something for myself!

Thanks for the good suggestion. Let's pray for each other's success.

debbie bailey said...

I guess if I want you to write, I'll have to give you my address. 445 Pat Mock Road, Statesboro, GA 30458.
Now you're obligated!

Gumbo Lily said...

I love pieced backs on quilts. Looking forward to when you've finished.

I like your idea of writing to others during Lent. I know that my correspondence has been lacking. I have something I've been meaning to send you. I shall.....soon.

Blessed Lent to you.

Tracy said...

Miss Mischief would love to hear from you. She mailed off a letter to you as part of a school project last year and I now wonder if Australia Post snaffled it off before it could get to you. They do that kind of thing.

I think the idea of Lenten letters is a great antidote for self-centredness - I'm looking forward to hearing how you go with it.

Our church is at the tail end of a three week church-wide fast. My fast of no sugar, wheat, rice or pasta has been a tought gig. Just this week I've started to fantasise about the chocolate I was given at the end of the first week. Monday is coming!

GretchenJoanna said...

I quickly started enjoying the Letters of Note site -- thanks for the tip! A blessed Lent to you. I will write you a letter first. :-)

Pom Pom said...

I liked the post card I got from wonderful you, Frances. What a nice idea. Have you read The Gift of a Letter? It's a bit flowery but inspirational all the same.
Yes, I want another missive, please.

Angela said...

Now THAT is a good idea for Lent. I have at least 2 people to whom I should be writing- and I shall begin with them, and then make a list of all the others.

Lenten Blessings x

ps quilt looking good!

Fat Dormouse said...

I hope you don't mind, but I've
(a) linked to your blog from mine (dormouse.wibsite.com)
(b) quoted you on my blog and
(c) stolen your idea of the Lenten discipline of writing letters to people.

If there's a problem with any of this, please let me know and I'll remove the link/quote ASAP. But I'm still stealing your idea!
God bless

victoria said...

Awww the quilt back is like a field!
I always enjoy reading about your lent challenges each year.xxoo

The dB family said...

Your quilts always amaze me! I have a LOT to learn about quilting! That letter is very incredible. We've always lived in a crazy world, haven't we? I do hope Jourdan never went back.