Friday, March 28, 2014

3/28 by Nancy Minkler

When Lee asked me to write for the Lenten Blog, I panicked a little bit. Okay. A LOT. All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind, causing me to question whether or not I was the right gal for the gig. I’ll spare you the details, other than to mention that’s the little voice that cheers me on when I stand in my own way. It belongs to Saboteur. Fortunately, there is another, much louder voice in my head, always enthusiastically pointing out the benefits of a given situation or adventure with the curiosity and wonder of a child. That one belongs to Sage. Oh, and before you go thinking I’m unique, or worse, insane…everybody has a saboteur and a sage side to their brain (go ahead, Google it)! Of course, the choice is yours which one to follow, and how far to go. Much the same way you go about following Jesus. You have to go broke or go home.  

Although I was raised in a Christian home, according to the teachings of the Bible, we didn’t attend church on a regular basis, and I can’t quote scripture from memory, nor use it to aid me when trying to explain what it means to follow Jesus. With this in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I realized I would need to use the lectionary texts for today to help prompt my thoughts. Talk about panic! I got over it though, and decided to dive right in to the texts, and see which one really resonated with me. It ended up being this morning’s Psalm 22, because it reminded me of a time, four years ago, when my family was facing a plethora of seemingly impossible hurdles. I’d always heard the saying, “Just give it up to God, and it will be okay.” One day, crumbling under a cloud of defeat, I found myself sobbing, frustrated, angry and shamefully, asking “Why me?” Never one to admit being overwhelmed, I somehow managed to muster the courage to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever done: I raised my hands up, looked at the sky and said, “Okay, I’m done. You can have it. Can’t handle this on my own… I need your help. Wherever you lead me, I’ll go.” Instantly, I felt relieved. 

Shortly thereafter, we lost our house. Yes. It really happened.  

Of course, that meant we needed to find a new one, in an area with good public schools, which is the challenge of many people when pondering where to settle in Los Angeles if you have children. At the time, our girls were in private school, but things…they were a-changin’! Oh, and it needed to be within a reasonable distance to Hollywood, as that’s where most of Chris’s work was based. So upon the suggestion of my best friend (and fellow LCPC member) we began looking in a little community called La Crescenta.

And here I am. 
He led, and I followed. 

Now that you know how I got here, I have a confession. This is actually the first Lenten Season in which I have ever participated. Considering I wasn’t raised Presbyterian, that’s not terribly shocking. Since I’m a bit of a rebel, instead of giving up something, I took something on instead. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal since Ash Wednesday. Each morning, I write down one thing I am grateful for, and if I follow through…by Easter I’ll have 40 entries. In the spirit of full disclosure, I thought it appropriate to share what I am grateful for today. 

Last Sunday, my soul sister and I stood together at the 9am service, hugging, singing and eventually crying, thankful for the gift of being able to follow Jesus together. So today, I am grateful for her, as she was clearly following God’s will by suggesting we look for a house in her neighborhood, then urging us to attend services at LCPC once we moved, because she loves it so much. Now, so do I. 

Have a blessed day! 

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