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Posts Tagged ‘ashes’

Today is Ash Wednesday, and it has been snowing!  There are already piles of snow outside of my door and I have been homebound since Sunday.  It was slick this morning and my husband got the 4×4 stuck long enough to miss a couple hours of work.  We usually go to Wednesday Evening Fellowship for Children’s Choir, dinner and a service, but everything is cancelled.  I am sad about missing today’s service, because it is Ash Wednesday and I felt the need to have a more reverent experience with our community.  However, it gave us opportunity to bring that reverence into our experience at home.

When we gathered for the morning at the table I smudged the children’s foreheads with white sage ash, because that is all we had on hand.  Early on I began weaving a little bracelet of purple hemp cotton to remind us of what we wish to achieve.

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In the weeks leading up to Lent Creator began to whisper to me what things our family needed to grow.  On my homeschool path there are exercises for each day of the week to help guide us to walk in a good way.  They are called Steiner exercises, by Rudolph Steiner.  Here is the exercise I chose to acknowledge and have us work through as a family, specifically for Lent.

 

Right-Word
(usually for Monday)

Only serious, meaningful speech must leave the lips of those who strive for higher development.

All talk for the sake of talking – to pass time, for example – is harmful.

Avoid the usual sort of conversation that involves jumbled, simultaneous cross-talk.

This does not mean you should cut yourself off from interacting with others.

Especially in such interactions with others, your speech should gradually become increasingly meaningful.

 

We aren’t giving something up this lent so much as hoping to gain higher development.  To help us there are several exercises we will utilize, because we humans need a lot of help, without shame.  We have a special candle that was gifted to us made of beeswax.  The exercise is called Silent Candle.  When we light this particular candle, we become Silent, several times each day.  The exercise is intuitive, and important to practice because during the time of preparation I hope to quiet myself.  It is hard to ((hear)) Creator speak when we are noisy inside and out.

Silent Candle

To signify our movement toward a quieter 40 days I had my oldest boy write ALLELUJAH in cursive on a piece of purple construction paper and decorate it, then tie it with twine in a scroll.  We placed it on our Seasonal table to sit till Easter when we can unroll it and proclaim ALLELUJAH, HE HAS RISEN!

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We added a purple silk to signify the liturgical season, along with our Icon post card of Jesus and Mother Mary, and our recent Saint Brigid cross and doll.  We have a few rocks and stones, as well as a robin’s egg and two real quail eggs gifted to me. I cooked the yolks, but emptied them by making a pin hole and blowing them out. The egg being a symbol for Easter and what is to come.

This season is important to me as a year-round home schooling mama, because it is a time to prepare for our new beginnings.  Just as we Remember Jesus and the 12 stations of the cross, we also walk our own path.  We prepare to be reborn, and begin a new year.  In my time of quieting down I am deep into reading my curriculum and meditating on my children and what they need for this upcoming year of learning. Winter is a time for Planning and Dreaming.  It just seems right, so it is lovely to coincide with my school planning.

We are always in a fluctuating state of giving and receiving around here.  We take time to rest and receive and we take time to give to others.  During this time we will be doing little things to uplift each other.  Our homeschool consultant calls chores “home blessings,” which I like because when we do for our family, it is good for the whole.  A blessing indeed.  We will take time to choose from a small bowl of laminted blessing cards a couple times a day to bless our family and practice giving.  Lent is not so much about being “religious” to me as it is a time to practice developing ourselves and seeking to walk this earth in a good way.  There is no better way than giving, which is an outward of expression of the fullness we feel inside, because G-d has filled our cup.

Here’s my Pinterest Lent board if you need inspiration.  If you would like all the Steiner exercises of the week, then see my Pinterest board, Planning, Cleaning and Organizing.

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I am a fan of preparation.  There is ritual in preparation and that is ceremonial to me.  Life is Ceremony.  Many people speak about praying and I believe in Walking in Prayer.  To do this one must not believe that the Spirit world is separate from the Physical world.  This is much like saying The Kingdom of Heaven is Near.  It is. Jesus was right.  And from what I have learned across cultures, time and space, many people are saying the same things.  When the Holy Spirit descends upon a person they take into them the ability to understand the many languages of the world.  At one point in time that was taken away, because of the actions of mankind.  We have to come full circle.  To come full circle means to descend from G-d and to return to G-d.  Are you home?

We are born, and descend, just like we come out usually head first from our mother’s wombs and return as Elder’s again leaving from our toes to our head back to Creator, dropping our robe.  I have spent time working as a volunteer with Hospice, 11th Hour patients.  One day I was called to a nursing home in a nearby town. When I arrived family was there with the Elder woman.  I could tell she was ready to leave this world, but her family loved her so much they anchored her down earthside.  As it became dinner time, the family decided to leave and eat.  I began my work as Creator has guided me in helping the woman to relax.  She was unconscious, but very much aware.  I felt her leave from her toes to her head.  Her Spirit drew up out of her body and left.  It was one of the most peaceful deaths I have Witnessed.  I am not particularly good at letting people go.  Actually I am quite selfish in these regards.  But, I have a gift, and Creator needed me.  It’s not always easy.  Professionally I can do this, personally I have much to learn.  It really has to do with my higher and lower selves.

Preparation.  It is almost that time.  I feel myself drawing inward.  I feel Creator asking me to quiet myself.  This is hard because a majority of my homeschool community (read: support) is online, but I feel the need to quiet there too.  I am beginning preparation now for many things.  I am preparing to teach two grades again.  I am preparing to evolve my writing and blog.

Today begins Baptism class for my oldest son.  The church makes a good point that these children and people are preparing themselves to be cleansed with Holy Water.  Washed new.  We as the congregation must prepare alongside.  I am exicted and curious at the Mysteries G-d has for us this season.

Ash Wednesday is in a few days.  I envision the palm leaves burnt and marking my forehead.  I am already marked.  I envision myself walking in my human robe quietly awaiting.  I await G-d.  Listening.  G-d is here.

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