Masthead header

Taking Time to Smell the Fresh Air

Today is Ash Wednesday, and it marks the beginning of Lent season.
It’s a season of repentance, reflection, and fasting… a spring cleaning of sorts
 …a cleaning that purifies the clutter that has accumulated in our souls.  
If you’d like to read a beautiful & detailed post about Lent, you can visit Edie here

Fasting is one of  the spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith.
It is the practice of self-denial.
One of the books that I read over and over again is Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge.  
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said to his disciples,
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Bob Sorge explains in the book that some people equate fasting with suffering,
but it is actually a beautiful invitation to intimacy with the Lord.
I loved Mr. Sorge’s explanation of the difference of self-denial and taking up the cross.
“Self-denial is different than taking up one’s cross.
To take up his cross is the process of crucifying the sinful passions of the flesh.
Self-denial is the deliberate curtailing of healthy passions and desires for the sake of pursuing Jesus harder.”

There is a clarity that comes when you sacrifice the things that you run to for comfort.
I’m amazed at the things that I run to that I don’t even realize I run to until I’m not running to them during Lent.
Since the very beginning of time we have all been wanderers.
We are the sheep and he is our shepherd.
Sheep are in constant need of being redirected to the right path, and we are just like them.
We can be walking right along, focused & determined not to stray, and then we find ourselves
distracted by some bright and shiny object off in the distance.
I LOVE in Edie’s post where she quotes,”The beginning of repentance is homesickness.”
Friends, I’m afraid that I’ve found myself homesick.
Nothing in this world can satisfy that need for feeling truly at home in your heart.
For me, “home” is when I’m nurturing my relationship with God above all else
and then my relationship with my husband and my family.
One of the “bright & shiny objects” that has become a distraction for me is my computer.
Blogging has been such a source of encouragement & inspiration for me over this past year.
With homeschooling, it’s been my window to the world.
But, it’s also served as an escape.
I find myself looking forward to finishing school work with kids or finishing the bedtime routine
just so I can escape to my time on the computer.
There’s not a thing in the world wrong with having a blog or looking at blogs or plugging into facebook,
but even the good things in life can take up too much of our time.
I used to start my day with coffee and the Lord.
Now, I start my day with coffee and blogging.
Is there anything wrong with that?
Absolutely not.
Does God love me any more or any less based on what I choose?
Absolutely not.
I just miss that early morning start with him.

I’ve decided to only blog & facebook on the weekends, if at all, during Lent.
I imagine myself this time next week going through major withdraws, but I know the break will be good.

This time will re-focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection to the Lord and to my family.

I hope your season of Lent is refreshing and renewing.
God couldn’t possibly be nearer to us than he already is, but I pray that our hearts are drawn nearer to him.
See you all on my weekend visits!

Elaine - Tara, I think you just echoed my heart. Blogging has become my priority. Writing poetry about God has become more important than my relationship with Him. I may just follow in your Lenten footsteps!

Farmgirl Paints - This is so true Tara. I know it can become too important very easily. Great idea to step back at this time of year and give that over. I think I need to give up the sweets I've let creep back in too.

Anne Marie... - Hi Tara…and peaceful blessings to you this Lent….you are listening to the Lord's path for you – and I'm so happy to hear you are – you are a wonderful example of what the meaning of Lent really means – sacrifice – and inner growth

Deborah - So heart felt and beautiful Tara…
He's drawing us closer and closer..nearer my God to Thee…
His gentle whispers calling,
Bless you dear friend…

In His love & friendship,
Deborah xoxo

Tiffini - my heart echoes yours as well..I am so moved by His words through you today. I am so glad I stopped in for a visit
and please…I will visit with you on weekends once a month whatever. We're friends and not just something to go comment know?
I support you in this and pray with you for this. I started today a 40 day prayer and fasting that one of my dear " local " friends started. I believe He is leading me to pray..not big prayers but very specific prayers over these next 40 days. Taking intentional time to talk with Him. Here is the link …I love her praying the Scriptures part.
as always

Ange (Love From My Kitchen) - Tara,
Thank you for your real and honest blogging. I too find myself running to the computer maybe a little too much or instead of_________. This post was God timed for me. Thank you!

hawkeyejlp - Thank you for this post. I hope this time will allow you to draw closer to Him and enjoy His blessings.

SueMac - Thank you for writing the words that are in my head so beautifully! I seriously have the same thoughts. Have a blessed Lenten season and enjoy all He has given you!

Katie - Praying for a refreshing and renewing Lent season for you!

Tessa - As is often the case when I stop by here, you've again struck a cord. I dare not count the minutes each day that I jump on the computer. Recently my son had to complete a project in school about himself and his family, when it came time to talk about his mother and list my hobbies he said blogging and the computer. Really? So I decided to no longer blog or email or even look at the computer when my kids are up. I banished the laptop to my desk upstairs. It's better, but I think I still go online too much. I need to find a way to better balance it, b/c it becomes a bit addictive the more you blog, the more blogs you discover, and keeping up with it all becomes time consumming. All this to say I hear you, I get where you are coming from and I applaud you!

Julie Harward - Wonderful thoughts…good for all of us! ;D

Transparent Mama - That quote about homesickness is right on. I get it. HE is home.

LLH Designs - Sweet Tara, I'll be pondering this post in my heart all week. It could've come from my own heart in some ways. God has me thinking lots aboutmy online time lately. I always have my iPhone, iPad or computer near by for a "quick check." And you know how that goes. Obedience always brings blessing. I want the blessing, but don't always want to yield. Proud of you. And thank you for the inspiration today!


Kelly - Said so well. I, too, have grieved the place my computer has taken in my heart, for those times I used to spend in Bible study.

I LOVE the same book by Bob Sorger, and have never encountered anyone else who read it. My copy is dog eared and highlighted so that almost everything is noted. What a great book:-)

Kristy - wonderful post.

LuLu - Lent is such a special time in our home as well…. wonderful post and stepping back away from electronics is healthy…. lately i've just had so much creative energy to put into my home that i let my blog go farther between posts and i've felt really productive because of it…. i guess it's a reminder about balance and living with whats right in front of us!
Wishing you a wonderful, prayerful lent season,

kerrie of sea cottage - Bob Sorge's book is one of my favorites. I can relate to the blogging…a good thing taking too much time away from the more important parts of our daily living. My laundry definetly piles up more now that I blog. I'd much rather hop on the blog(s) than fold clothes!!! I will be seeking my Beloved more fervorantly during this season of Lent. I already had a moment with Him this afternoon while driving down the country road singing out loud "I give You my heart…".

GLENDA CHILDERS - Adorable picture of the aprons. . . made it easy to think about fresh air.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Lent. This is my first time to participate and it is all new to me.


Petie - What a beautiful post. I will miss you during the week, but will look forward to your posts on the weekends. Love, love, love the apron picture. PS I gave up desserts this year, but not chocolate LOL. Also, I am going to early morning mass 2X a week.

michelle - Beautiful post and I understand what you are saying. Blogging has given me so much and has blessed me with so many wonderful kindreds. But it does take time away sometimes and I hope that we all can reflect during this time and always on what is important to us.
Blessings to you.

hometown girl - i too feel that way. my time online is my escape and i know i could better spend some of my time. i may reconsider the time i am spending online. thank you for your beautiful reminder we all need them. susan

Lissa - oh girl! I'm so proud of you! I respect your decision so much!

Cha Cha - I love you more!

Cha Cha

Patti Bee - I once heard Lent described as a time of bright sorrow…a time of refection, and repentance. Not just dwelling on the here and now but looking forward to the promise of the cross. We all have things that distract us from spending time with the Lord. We just need to lay them at the feet of Jesus and listen for His direction. Blessings!

Cathy M~(checkitoff) - I have had to cut back on my blogging, but have been spending more time on prayer and reflection. I am still looking to achieve a good balance. You will be missed but we know that you will be spending time in important ways! hugs, Cathy

Megan - Hi sweet Tara,

First let me say that your picture made me laugh, as I have my laundry on the line right now. Here in Mauritius, that's how we roll. Yesterday, it rained three times and I cried the third time I had to take down my clothes and hang them up again. Then my devotional was about being able to laugh at ourselves and not take things so seriously… :)

Your posts are always something for me. Since coming here, I have been so disconnected, literally. At first, I was homesick. But now three days will pass and I won't have thought once about getting online. And I am drinking my coffee again with my devotional and Bible. So I will pray for you that God changes the desires of your heart and that you get your focus back. It is a good feeling, to be on fire for Him and not other things. Since being here, I go to Him first in the morning, rather than other things, because I know that is the only way I'm going to make it.

I have to tell you thank you for the email or comment a few posts ago when I was curled up in a ball, crying. Your note was so real and your words crawled through my sad heart and lifted me. Thank you for taking the time and the energy to really say something that I needed so badly. I still have it in my inbox.

I miss you and 'talking' with you on a regular basis. Hopefully next week we will have internet and I will be checking in more regularly!

Take care and lots of love!

Vanessa - Good for you. . .about choosing to have time with the Lord in the morning and not blogging. I am reminded of the verse in Matthew, "Seek FIRST His kingdom. . ." The Lord should always have the first place in our lives. Thank you for the reminder.

Lisa - Tara, I've missed your posts but admire you giving up blogging during the week for lent!

Restoration House - Beautiful post Tara.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *