1. It was a very cold morning as my husband and I drove through a drenching rain to exercise at Planet Fitness. We passed a 40 something man walking without even a jacket or hat, head down, along our route. After passing him I started to ponder how uncomfortable it must be to walk in those conditions. Then the thought struck me, Why don’t we turn around and at least offer him an umbrella, OR maybe a ride to his destination. But it seemed too late. What would you do?

2. I started to update my website with my latest Marriage Moment but it wouldn’t work. I fussed and fussed and spent too much time trying different fixes. Still no success. Eventually I started catastrophizing, wondering if this was the end of my life as a “would be influencer.” Maybe I’m just getting too old for modern technology. I went to bed but couldn’t sleep as I continued to fret about how I might fix the problem OR what kind of life I might be moving into without a website, blog, and weekly ECO-TIPS, Parenting Pointers, etc. What would you do?

3. After a 2+ year Covid break, I had just returned to weekly tutoring at a local, low-income, 99% black school. I was assigned to work with 3 third grade students on reading. I asked their names and tried to get to know them a little. I assumed that all 3 were were girls. They all had black braided hair of different lengths, non-gender specific uniforms, similar high pitched voices. After about 10 minutes I noticed that one student hung his head in despair. Eventually I figured out that “she” was a “he” and had a name that wasn’t obviously male or female. Aargh! I wondered if word would spread and I would be fired from this volunteer job? I felt distraught. What would you do?

As I reflect back on these disturbing Lenten experiences I wondered what good were my Lenten commitments of increased prayer, fasting, tutoring, and “The Plan” of pruning even more of my possessions, and decluttering my desk so I could work more efficiently? I felt humbled and remorseful. BUT, in hindsight, maybe my mistakes and fumbling were the more important Lenten lessons. Maybe I needed to let go of my well laid plans and learn from the experiences that were being given to me.

Here’s what I did:
1. The Rain Walker – I found an extra umbrella and put it in the car. More importantly, I refreshed my eyes and mind to notice people in possible need along the road side and be ready to assist if an opportunity arose again.

2. Computer glitch – Since I couldn’t sleep, I prayed. In the morning I rebooted my computer. Problem solved. How much of it was prayer, I’ll never know, but rebooting is often a good solution.

3. Tutoring fiasco – I apologized profusely to the child. Emailed the teacher in case word had spread about my ineptness as a tutor. So far, the feedback has been to “let it go.”

4.  Biggest Lesson – Lent is not just about prayer & fasting. Paying attention to the life around me can remind me to recognize Jesus in the people who come my way, to avoid taking undue pride in my work, and to receive lessons humbly.

After 5 days of Lenten procrastination, here’s the skinny on 2 weeks of Pruning a Room a Day and Desk Decluttering efforts:
To Give Away: 2 large mirrors, Skittles game, Bow & arrow, marionette, child’s dress, 200+ paper clips, musical recorder, several books, never used clamp-on lights, 200+ daffodils to housing project homes …
To Throw Away: dust, old calculator, broken alarm clock, unusable cosmetics, old medicines
Desk decluttering: Found homes for papers on floor. Dealt with some misc. desk reminder papers.