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I’m uncomfortable...an Ash Wednesday reflection

Every Ash Wednesday, without fail, I go into with a bit of a pious attitude and ready not to look like I’m fasting: Makeup, check. Nice outfit, check. Smile, check. Ashes, check.

I’m there, guys. I. Am. There. This is going to be the Ash Wednesday that’s actually holy and focussed. But the inevitable always happens. On Ash Wednesday, I end up getting distracted and drooling over that sub-par chocolate bar and my questionable leftovers from Mardi Gras. Why? Because I can’t have them. Isn’t that life, though? We always want what we can’t have. Believe it or not, my body isn’t actually craving expired carbohydrates. My mind is craving it. And it’s ALL I can think about. 

Or, how about my forehead not itching 364 days of the year, but on Ash Wednesday you would think the mosquitos down here in Louisiana had their way with me. For whatever reason, I get completely distracted by the ashes on my forehead that aren’t usually there. And it’s ALL I can think about. I’m uncomfortable being outside my comfy, typically day. Imagine that.

Maybe the beauty I need to focus on this Ash Wednesday and the rest of Lent, is knowing that the “uncomfortable” is part of life...and accepting it. If I didn’t feel uncomfortable, I think I’d actually be missing the point. I’m uncomfortable on Ash Wednesday, sure, but if I’m being honest, isn’t life kind of uncomfortable, in general? It’s uncomfortable down here because we aren’t made for here. We are made to be with Him. Earth is my temporary home. So this Ash Wednesday, when I want those Chick-fil-A waffle cut fries that I pass 4 times a day or when my forehead starts to incessantly “itch”, I’ll try to take that opportunity to praise God for the reminder that I am made for Him and Him alone.

2016...Choosing Faith Over Fear

2016...a new year and a newly released album, so it seems to be the time to finally get this new website up and running. For those of you who don't know, I released a new album on October 7, 2015 called "Will You Go", which explores the idea of overcoming fear (a long-time battle of mine), and choosing faith instead. In the current state of events with our world as it is, fear seems to sometimes be the appropriate response. We see poverty, violence, financial stress, emotional stress, and incredible unknown that lies in the future. All of these things would seem to necessitate some sort of fearful response; it's only human! But I have been convicted of late that if we say yes to fear, then we are indeed, saying no to faith. If we say yes to anxiety, then we are saying no to peace. And in this new year, I am not only excited to share this new music with you, but I'm excited to share faith. We are in a year of Mercy...perhaps this is the time when we should intentionally embrace faith, believing in our hearts that God has incredible things in store for us.

I will end this short "welcome" blog with a final thought:  a palliative nurse wrote a very telling article several years ago about her experience with dying patients. She said that overall, there were 2 things that they collectively would have done differently if they had the chance: They would have first, worried less. And second, they would have taken more risks in their life. Something to ponder. Here's to a wonderful, faith-filled 2016!