Celebrating Lent Through The Book of Matthew

Reading through the Gospel of Matthew is an excellent way to prepare your heart for Easter, and this visual bible from Alabaster Co. can help you do just that.

Welcome to Lenten season friends! Regardless of whether or not you celebrate it, the 40 days before Easter, immediately following Mardi Gras is here. We’ve danced, we’ve partied, and now it’s time for us to prepare our hearts for the somewhat solemn, yet redeeming and victorious act of God.

My experience with Lent has varied over the years. I grew up celebrating it, and continue to do it until this day. In the past few years, though, I have changed my thinking about these 40 days to be more about giving something up with the intent of becoming closer and closer to God. 

And for the record, one of the most controversial conversations I have had in Christians circles about Lent go a little something like this:

“Toni, what is Lent?” It’s the season of preparation, fasting, and consecration of our hearts and minds during the 40 days preceding Easter. 

“I didn’t know you were Catholic.” I’m not, more than Catholics celebrate Lent.

“Like who?” Like Methodists. I was Methodist for about 15 years before I joined the church I’m at now. Lent is a thing in the Methodist Church.

“I don’t think you’re right, Toni. Only Catholics celebrate Lent.” I can also tell you that I grew up in a non-denominational church like the one I attend now. We celebrated Lent.

“No. You didn’t” Ummmm….okay. But I learned about it from somewhere and I think it was from my Mama.”

Did I mention this was the conversation in Christian circles?
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Easter in 10

What a weekend! Our holiday was filled with all of the usual joy and merriment that Easter brings.  It’s been a while since I did a photo essay, so I thought there’s no better time like the present! Here’s our Easter weekend in 10 photos. All were taken with my iPhone 6 Plus, with little or no editing.

My outfit of the day. I've developed an affinity for the color gray with a pop of color in recent months.

My outfit of the day. I’ve developed an affinity for the color gray with a pop of color in recent months.

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How Was Your Easter?

Happy Easter Monday friends!

Another holiday has come and gone and we have about three weeks to get ready for the next family-fun day…Mother’s Day!

This year, I am trying to acknowledge all of the special days, the birthdays, and just because days in my family because we’ve had so much stuff happen in the past year. I don’t want any regrets or to wonder if so-and-so knew how important they are to the kids and me. So I sent some cards, sent some flowers, and made some extra phone calls last week. The plan is to sit down and intentionally decide on Sunday who I’m going to reach out to that week, and address cards notes, etc. so I can drop them in the mail on Monday. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how this all goes.

Maybe I will make a podcast about it.

Hmmm….we’ll see. And speaking of the podcast, this week’s episode will be about homeschooling. How I do it, why I do, how much it costs, etc. I get asked a lot of questions about it, especially since I work outside the home full-time, so I think we will chat about it.

The weekend was good and relaxing for us. Friday I was off work so the boy I just hung out. We actually spring cleaned. I didn’t do it during spring break because the weather was still crazy and it just didn’t feel like spring. But I decided that since it was Easter weekend, spring was coming and would be here to stay, so we needed to prepare for it.

I don’t think that’s how the boy thought our day off should go. And we actually cleaned so much that both of our allergies we acting crazy. By the time the girls got home from school we were tired and over it.

It was nice having that extra day in my weekend, though.

Saturday, we stayed home all day. I am having car issues again, even after my wonderful girl power post on women and cars last week, and I tried to troubleshoot those issues as best I could. And let me tell you, while I do understand that empowering women with their cars is important, I also understand that professional mechanics exist for a reason. So I called Junior. He’s my mechanic guy, really nice, and he respects my limited knowledge of cars. He’s also a mobile mechanic, so he comes wherever I am. Except it was Easter weekend and he has small kids and he’s booked today, so tomorrow we will see each other…and he can teach me more things about my car that seems to be having more and more problems these days.

Sunday was Easter and for some reason I woke up at 7 a.m. I took advantage of the time and had extra quiet time and just enjoyed reflecting on the true meaning of the day. It was beautiful. Once I finished and starting cooking breakfast, the boy awoke with an asthma attack which means the possibility of seizure triggers, but it also meant he was tired and needed a lot of rest. Which meant a chill and quiet day, which for me was lovely.

I streamed church over the internet and cooked and had a great time. I had the incredible idea to make a cake shaped like an Easter egg and decorate the plate to look like garden. However, when I got ready to ice the cake, I realized that someone had eaten all of icing out of the can and placed it back in the refrigerator — empty! So the egg sans frosting was in the garden.

My friend Andrew, who is a professional chef, says that you never put non-edible items near or on a cake. I told him I would be ready for the next holiday. Which is Jada’s birthday…and I think I’m going to try the Barbie cake….but Andrew has agreed to talk me through it this time.

That was basically it. I probably thanked God no less that 532 times for the sacrifice of His son for my sins, and I cooked and watched movies. A great day indeed.

How was your Easter?