Tag Archives: Lent

Considering Those Who Accompany Me on the Journey: Lenten Thanks

     During Lent, which I’ve decided this year will be a season of thanksgiving, I’m reminded repeatedly of the thankfulness I have for people whose lives have in the past, do in the present, and will in the future intersect mine.

     For over 40 years, I’ve been doing life with this guy. The first characteristic attracting me to Ron was his mellow baritone speaking voice. Even though many miles have separated us at times during our marriage, there have been fewer than a dozen days when I’ve not been able to hear my husband’s voice—a sound which always speaks safety and stability.

     As I write those words, I’m reminded that’s how I feel when I hear the ‘still, small voice’ of God’s Spirit speaking to my soul—a voice which scripture promises will never leave me and will never let me down.

     If my husband—with all the limitations that come from being just-a-guy—manages to convey love and acceptance to this very flawed lady, how much greater is the unconditional love and extravagant grace a perfect, all-knowing God shows me.

     One of the best parts of this segment of our marriage is the ability to travel to new places together. Now, honestly, my husband isn’t crazy about travel. He’d just as soon stay close to home. He’s willing to travel to places like Vermont (photo above taken during our trip to New England in October 2019) because he knows the experience brings me deep pleasure. He never begrudges accompanying his wife who’s filled with wanderlust, and he always ends up finding joy in the journey behind the lens of his beloved camera.

     I know from comments I’ve received that Ron’s photos—especially scenes from nature—have blessed you. Partnering with my husband in doing the Listening on the Journey… blog has been a wonderful answer to one of those “Surprise me, God” prayers I love to pray.

For the foreseeable future, I will continue to craft words, and my husband will continue to snap photos. Hopefully, both will continue to point you in the direction of a never-changing God in our always-changing worlds.

Prayer:
God of Perfect Relationship,
Thank you for allowing us to journey through our days with others.
Thank you for the gift of rich, life-giving relationships with others and especially You.
Help me never take for granted your never-ending grace and love.

Amen

Sue Reeve

The Gift of Each New Day: Lenten Thanks

Sunrise over the Atlantic, Virginia Beach, VA

     I love to stroll through cemeteries, imagining the story each one of those graves holds. One of my favorite things about our vacation to New England last autumn was discovering old graveyards right in the middle of a town. Walking through an old cemetery in Stowe, Vermont, we discovered this headstone, in memory of a mother and daughter.

     The mother, Mrs. Thankful Kingsley, lived 98 years from 1757 to 1855. Her daughter, Mrs. Aghsah Allen lived 102 years! Quite an accomplishment when the life expectancy at that time was around 40 years of age.

     I couldn’t help but wonder what impact being a woman whose name was “Thankful” had on not only her but on those “Thankful” loved.

     Research during the past few years has shown people who are thankful benefit emotionally, spiritually and even physically. Practicing gratitude reduces stress levels, results in better sleep, promotes self-care, and even leads to less inflammation, a common problem for all types of diseases.

     This second Listening on the Journey… blog post during the season of Lent, I am thankful for the gift of life—no matter how many my years may be.

Prayer:

Giver of Life,

Thank you for each new day you give me to walk upon this earth. Please remind me every present moment is a gift from you.

Amen

Sue Reeve

Lent Begins with Thanks to the Most High God…

Japanese Gardens at Manito Park, Spokane, WA

     A few weeks ago, I was thinking about Lent, the season on the Christian liturgical calendar from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday—this year from February 26 through April 11.

     For me personally this Lenten season is looking to be a very busy time. It will include a trip to Springfield, Illinois, for an intensive Spiritual Direction retreat, part of my two-year Spiritual Direction certification program. Also, my husband and I are planning an extended weekend getaway to beautiful Victoria, British Columbia before Easter. In addition, I have been working with a web designer, and our goal is to launch an all-new Listening on the Journey… website the Monday following Easter.

     As I was thinking about how I could incorporate meaningful spiritual practices into my packed schedule, I read a Facebook post in which a woman said her church was planning to do a thankfulness emphasis during Lent. That plan resonated, and I’ve decided to make that my emphasis as well.

     Each day during Lent, I will journal at least one thing for which I am thankful. Two of those will grow into my Monday and Thursday blog posts. Listening on the Journey… readers are invited to send me your expressions of gratitude.

     As my first expression of gratitude this most holy season of Lent, I want to begin by giving thanks to the Most High God!

Prayer:

Eternal God, Most High,

During these next few weeks as I prepare my heart to recall the greatest story ever told, awaken within me new awareness of and appreciation for your greatness, goodness, and gift of redemption.

Amen

Sue Reeve