May 3, 2017 | JOHN RAY
The message popped up on my phone as soon as I got home from our meeting last Sunday. A dear friend was asking us to pray for her son who was missing. As I got the details, the memory of monumental grief started to crawl into my joints. The heaviness of loss quickly gathered and began pressing down.
While I triaged the situation as best I could from halfway across country, my mind and my body began reliving so much of our own trauma. This flood of memories reminded me once again that I could not have survived without our church. Not any church, not even “the” Church (although it definitely helped), but our church—the one we had invested in, and that had invested in us. They paid our bills, fed us, washed our clothes, stepping in when we couldn’t even take on these routine tasks. More than that, they grieved with us. And they surrounded us to hold space while we grieved, each according to our own timing.
As we discussed Sunday, members of our group are feeling the need for a place to really connect for events like Holy Week and Easter, a place where no one feels like a “visitor.” Pay attention to these feelings. Ask yourself why this matters. Is it important for events other than the ones that are coming up? What about when really difficult things happen? We will discuss this, as well as the consensus for how to celebrate Easter, next Sunday.
Our fifth Lenten practice is decluttering. Take these directions from Felley Lawson: Decluttering might seem a little too HGTV for a deeply worshipful discipline, but in reality, clutter—whether it’s physical or spiritual—is poison to intimacy with Christ. It prevents us from clearly seeing what’s really important because it distracts us, saps our energy and often distorts our priorities. Want some help? You might find it here, here or here. And if you think decluttering is just a girl thing, read this.
With the Kids:
Kids’ rooms are the final frontier of decluttering. If your children are attached to their stuff, decluttering their space—much less getting them involved in the process—can be like putting your head through a brick wall over and over, only not as comfortable or fun.
But if you can figure out how to teach them when they’re young the value of living with less, think what a gift that will be to them as they grow up.
And Lent is a great time to start.
One way you can ease into decluttering with your kids is to make a game of it; find some pointers here.
It’s worth your time to check out this blog post just to get to see this video.
(If your kids want to make a decluttering video of their own, do it and post it to the Chavurah Facebook page.)