Lent & The Face of God

Lent & The Face of God

I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and we had a loose affiliation with church, so the idea of Lent was altogether foreign to me. I think I knew it was something that Catholics did, but I wasn’t Catholic so it didn’t really mean much. In high school I had friends who were Catholic and didn’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent. And that about concluded my education on the subject.

Fast forward many years and I married a man who grew up in the Catholic church. Attended an all boys, Catholic high school and everything. He wasn’t happy in the Catholic Church nor was I in my Baptist church so we met in the middle and starting attending a United Methodist Church. By then we were in North Carolina and had our daughter in preschool there, so it was an easy transition. We knew people there already and they knew us. Not to mention the fact that the minister was absolutely phenomenal! I learned more in the years that Dr. John Tyson pastored our little church in Swansboro than I ever had in 30 years of Sunday School.

It was there that I learned what Lent was all about. That Mardi Gras wasn’t just a parade in New Orleans, Fat Tuesday had a Biblical history, that the ashes on your forehead are made from palm leaves saved from the year before, I learned the difference between a tradition and a ritual. I even learned how to make Empty Tomb cookies.

This week I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned since I became a dyed in the wool Methodist, what I know about Lent, about Easter, and about what it means for me to be a Christian. I’ve often found that I end up right where I need to be for what my friend calls “a moment of clarity”. As I was thinking all of these deep thoughts yesterday (Fat Tuesday), I ended up at Starbucks, sitting next to man with an interesting story to tell.

Artie plopped down at the table next to mine and asked me if I was homeschooling my son. I told him I was. To be fair, it was probably pretty obvious since we had school books scattered everywhere. But it was just the opening he needed to tell me about his mission in life. It turns out that 1. he wasn’t crazy & 2 he is an amazing human being. Artie’s mission in life is to “Pay it forward”. He spent yesterday morning at a local high school, paying off lunch debt for seniors so they can graduate this spring. He made plans at a local elementary school to do the same for them. He also told me about how he sometimes pays for groceries for single moms at the grocery store.

Artie is an Army veteran with a Purple Heart and he’s out in the world just doing some good. Meeting him just solidified what was calling to me going into Lent. It brought into focus what I had been trying so hard to see clearly. It was the idea that I should focus on what I think Jesus calls us to do. To look at every person as if they had the face of God. What if we all walked out in the world with that view? How would it change the way I spoke to people? How would it change the way I felt about people? How will it change me?

Last Sunday my current associate pastor, Josh, talked about 1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.…

So this Lent I’m giving up negativity. I’m giving up preconceived notions. I’m giving up my own insecurities. For the next 40 days I want to look at every person I meet as if they had the face of God. I’m not sure where that will lead me but that’s where I’m going.

Where is Lent leading you this year?

2019 Color Trends

2019 Color Trends

At an Open House the other day, someone asked me what the best colors are for painting this year. I did a little research and here are the top 8 colors for 2019. Luckily, they all play well together. But even more beautifully, these are truly “my” colors. They are all sophisticated and chic without being stuffy. When combined they have an upscale, southwestern, dessert feel. If you’ve ever flipped through a Sundance Catalog, you know what I mean.

Since it’s time for me to update the paint around my own home, this list is going to come in handy! I’m leaning toward the forest green for my bedroom, mushroom for the dining room, and a dark charcoal blue for the bathroom. What colors will you be using this year?

Fredericksburg Field Guide: Hot Spot of the Week – FORT pure play

Fredericksburg Field Guide: Hot Spot of the Week – FORT pure play

Mamas, if you’re looking for an AMAZING 🦄 place to take your kids to play in this frigid weather, FORT Pure Play is for you!! Their motto is “Pure play is our work, and they mean it!

FORT is the place where kids can let their imaginations run wild and leave relaxed, calm, and content. Walking in, a FORT friend will ask you if you want coffee, or tea, or water and the atmosphere is positively enchanted. It’s like taking a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and resetting your whole day. I know that it’s supposed to be a play place for the kiddos, but seriously I would go by myself to just sit and take in the wonder and quiet. The FORT friends also PLAY with your kids ✨. That is worth a million times more than the cost of the monthly pass!

Even the actual space itself is amazing. It looks like a cottage that jumped out of the pages of a Norwegian HGTV magazine. Every detail was so well thought out, from the kid-height farmhouse sink, the elegant display shelves in the kitchen, the comfy leather sling chairs, the river rock bathroom floor, the actual tree upstairs, right down to the lavender scented towels and cold water on the way out. (Sorry mamas, the towels and water are for the kids, although you could probably sweet talk them into giving you one too. 😉)

I thought that my 8-year old would be too grown up but that is happily not the case! When it’s warmer he loves to play in the fort out back, shoot some hoops, or just chill on the FORT lawn. Inside he builds houses, sets up stores, and makes racetracks for cars. Seriously, you HAVE to check it out!

FORT is located at 202 Herndon Street, in downtown Fredericksburg, 22401. For more information or to sign up, check out there website: Fortpureplay.com. See you there!

Fredericksburg Field Guide: Trivia Night

Hooray for Friday!! I have recently discovered that Trivia Nights are kind of a big deal around here. My favorite game is Scrabble but Trivia is a pretty close second. Here is a list of Trivia Nights at local Fredericksburg haunts. Need someone on your team who knows plenty of useless, random facts? I’m your girl. Need someone who can actually answer trivia questions? Maybe not so much . . . unless they’re asking about real estate! 😆 What is your favorite trivia question or category?

Monday:
J. Brian’s Tap Room
Downtown Fredericksburg
200 Hanover Street

Tuesday:
Red Dragon Brewery
Downtown Fredericksburg
1419 Princess Anne Street

Wednesday:
Sunken Well Tavern
Downtown Fredericksburg
720 Littlepage Street

Capital Ale House
Downtown Fredericksburg
917 Caroline Street

Thursday:
Spencer Devon Brewery
Downtown Fredericksburg
106 George Street

Adventure Brewing Company
Bowman Center
33 Perchwood Drive

Sunday:
Colonial Tavern
Downtown Fredericksburg (near the VRE station)
406 Lafayette Street