March, winter’s final grip on the world, has come at last, with its shamrocks and bright-burning candles. We’ll need those candles in the days ahead—the gloom of Lent may just swallow us whole if we forget the glorious Light we’re barreling forward to behold, the best Sunday of them all. But for now, we feast and fast and hold our breath.
Some March gifts to point you toward
Beginning Lent Well: Burying the Alleluias by Jen Bradbury
Intentionally suppressing an expression of joy for forty days? Growing up Southern Baptist, I’d never encountered such a concept before. This post opened my eyes to a new pattern of thinking and being that I find emotionally compelling. Why not lean into the brokenness over the next few weeks so my praise can be all the sweeter at the empty grave? I’ve spent too much of my life avoiding pain; Jesus drenched Himself in this object of my fear to set me free. So I shall bury my alleluias too.
Dying Well: His Truest Truths by Keirsten Lyons
Warning: you’ll probably want a Kleenex with this one. (More realistically, I double-dog dare you to not shed a tear by the end.) To pique your interest, here’s the opening statement: “It was just last spring we sat across the table, sharing life in layers of light and lovely, the in-depth way friends can, no matter the age or seasons between them.” Now get your sweet self over to the post and watch beauty unfold in a way that makes Jesus look so good. (Side note: this is who I want to be when I grow up.)
Comforting Well: What Not to Say (When You Gotta Say Something) by Liz Curtis Higgs
Ah, funerals. Do they make anybody else allergic to silence? It’s like death comes hand-in-hand with an obligation to say words. It’s fine to say words, but there are definitely statements to keep off your tongue. In the fabulous verbiage of Liz Higgs, “The good news? I’ve made a complete idiot of myself, so you won’t have to… Trust me, you’ll thank me for this.” Let’s gather around this spunky lady’s wisdom and learn what (and what not) to say when we have to say something.
Listening Well: The Lent Playlist by Sacred Ordinary Days
The flow of this soundtrack is a beautiful echo of the season—gentle rhythms and hymns of repentance mixed in with monks lifting their voices in deep melancholy. To make your morning commute or housecleaning a thoughtful space of meditating on the weighty work of Jesus, let these melodies thread themselves through your heart. The Church has always used music to shepherd souls, and what better time to do so than in the middle of anticipation?
Participating Well: Spiritually Hungry’s Lent Challenge
They had me at “This challenge isn’t about doing; it’s about being.” With Scripture chunks to digest and a different spiritual practice to incorporate each week (I’m weirdly excited about the “silence” one), this printable offers an immersive approach to the season of Lent. Plus, there’s an entrance worksheet to help you get in the right headspace and an exit worksheet to assist the processing many hearts need. In full disclosure, I’ve just discovered this resource and am eager to get started. (New things are always more fun with friends, right?)