Five Days into Lent & Needing to Release the Small Stuff
Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
I woke up this morning about 3am because there was so much bumping around in my head: I needed to call the bank about a question on my deposit, needed to edit a friend's book, follow up with my team who had joined me on the cruise, address some of my books for mailing; request a refund from Hewlett-Packard, revise my website; all while Being Mimi—caring for my grandbaby, Ryan. These tasks are the "small stuff" that keep my to-do list full, my mind jumping all over the place, and my spirit worn down because the list never ends. My list constantly renews itself. It's made up of "must-do" tasks that bring little joy and have no transcendent meaning; except for caring for Ryan, which is sacred and pure joy. This is only a few of the small things I need to get done and release; there are more. But you get my point. In order to flourish; to be well—some things have got to go.
I woke up thinking about all of this and realized all of this "small stuff" was limiting my ability to fully engage Lent's spiritual tasks. I take Lent seriously. It is my time for reflection and repentance. Every year I read a book and write my thoughts in my journal. At the end of the 40 days, I feel renewed. This year I am reading Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life by Irwin Kula and sharing the experience with a good friend and beloved pastor. We allow ourselves to enter into the "messiness" that makes life what it is, but we also take time to enjoy the richness of our friendship. Our conversations help me to have a spiritually meaningful Lenten Season, but, this year, I am allowing this small stuff to push out the value of keeping myself spiritually healthy and well. When my spirit is calm and feels safe, then I eat better, sleep better, and am more likely to exercise.
Still awake after 4am, I decided the only way to get through Lent (and to get back to sleep) is to take seriously what keeps me well and to work on those spiritual actions. I need to think through, write about, and dig deeply into how I'm living my purpose, explore what brings me joy, connect more with people I love, and use the courage that is the result of having faith that I am on the path that God intends. I intend over the remaining days of Lent (about 30—Sundays are not included) to create a Wellness Plan that focuses on more joy, purpose, love, and faith so I will stop waking up in the middle of the night "sweating the small stuff". The small tasks won't be where I place my energy, I'll just do them and release them. Then I will have headspace for new practices that move me forward. My plan will help me stay in touch with all that keeps me well and to release that small stuff that snatches me from sleep and steals my joy.