It was a strange Ash Wednesday for me this year.
True, I did spend the usual quiet evening hour in stillness and intermittent soft singing... but I wasn't at church. I was in a dark bedroom, trying to lull my strong-willed son into the sleep he so desperately needed.
Instead of ashes across my forehead I got scratch marks across my cheek. He's a fighter, this one.
I haven't been thinking about what I'll give up for Lent. I've been wavering between self-pity over the sacrifices of my current season and pure wonder at the joy of it.
I think I'll allow myself the creature comforts this Lent - facebook and coffee and such. Lord knows I'll have enough built-in loneliness and exhaustion in these 40 days. The task, then, will be to turn to Jesus in all of it -- to let it be a joining in his loneliness, his aching bones, his fear and confusion and desperation. He walked those roads to lead me in them if I'll let him.