It's okay to be human... the good news of Ash Wednesday!


Below is a sampling of today's first devotional which is helping to guide over a hundred people who are participating in the UnhurryUp! into Easter: A Lenten pilgrimage! There are a few ways to participate and there's still time to sign up and join the journey... for more details of how you can participate - click HERE>>>

Lean into God's love, centering your attention and focus toward Him.

Find a quiet, comfortable space.

Take a clear glass of water...

swirl it a few times, set it down and watch it settle. 

As you do, pray God would settle your own soul.

If any distractions (to-do's, people, etc) come, simply utter,

"Lord, settle my soul" and refocus.

Once you feel more settled, move on.


Evaluate honestly how you are as you come into His presence.


As you come to be with God in these moments, take heed of how you feel.
With what are you most preoccupied?

Quietly lift this preoccupation into His hands and pray:

"Help me to be open to what you want to reveal to me today 

about your real self and about my real self."


Notice what stirs your soul as you interact with the following:

"Remember," the priest said as he marked my forehead with ashes, "you are from dust, and to dust you will return." All my growing up years I liked the feel of the priest's thumb making the sign of a cross an inch below my hairline, but honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about....not until three decades later.


Out of curiosity (and perhaps desperation) and a sense that I really wanted and needed a renewed focus on God amidst the busy/crazy frenetic pace of my life, I attended an Ash Wednesday service a few years ago. It was during this service that I finally heard it: The priest shared a homily in which he said, "We put ashes on our forehead to remind us of our creatureliness - that we are limited and cannot do it all."

Unaware I had come into this church service with even physical stiffness from the stress of my current pace of life and ministry, upon hearing his words, I felt a literal lightening of my body, soul and spirit. "Oh thank goodness," I uttered silently. I felt the permission to feel okay being human - unable to please everyone and fulfill their expectations, unable to know everything, unable to finish everything I started, unable to "fix" myself or others! I don't think I have ever experienced such liberating freedom!

So this, of all days, Ash Wednesday, is a magnificent day to celebrate our humanness! 

Ash Wednesday is a time for us to remember that we are made from dust - from dirt fashioned into humanity - and apart from God breathing life into our nostrils, we are nothing (Acts 17:28). We are made from dust and to dust we shall return means that we need to learn to embrace our creatureliness. We reconcile with ourselves that we are finite, limited, and contrary to all the advertisements and sermons and societal pressures and demands, we cannot do it all, know it all, or be in two places at the same time. Indeed, we are not omniscient, omnipresent nor sovereign...though I admit that sometime I forget this little fact.

Ash Wednesday is the chance for us to remember that God is God - and we are not... 

(this ends the excerpt...)


Trust Him to open your heart toward fully receiving and living into His love.

How do you feel knowing that you are finite, limited, not created to do it all, have it all, be it all?

As you leave this space, ask God to help you be aware of your humanness... and in the midst of it, to stop, embrace your limitations, and trust His love that embraces you.

Amen.


If you'd still like to be a part of this Lenten pilgrimage - see the details below to pick your pilgrimage path!

DAILY EMAIL guide - This Lenten journey includes various forms of multimedia - links to youtube videos, video reflections from Paula as well as some original songs and guided reflections. For more info CLICK HERE>>>

DOWNLOADABLE PDF - 

Some people prefer to have less of the razzle dazzle and distractions of all that time on the computer! If that's you - consider the pdf version of the Lenten pilgrimage. If you download it to your tablet or iPad, you can open this in your reading app document of choice. If you own a e-book reader (e.g. kindle, nook, etc) then you can follow the instructions on how to transfer and/or email the document to your ebook. Or, if you want to print out 218 pages - you can dowload it to your computer and print it out. 

For more info CLICK HERE>>>