Shrove Tuesday with a Twist

Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a time for us Episcopalians to come together to eat pancakes and burn chrism and palms.  It comes from the tradition of feasting on the contents of your cupboards in preparation for the fasting of Lent, which begins the following day.  For our household, Shrove Tuesday took on new meaning.
I was working from home and got a message from my husband’s aunt.  For the last three years, we have been living in one of her homes, paying the mortgage, and arguing about whether or not to buy the place.  She insisted we treat the place as our own, because she knew I wanted to buy the place, and she had no interest in moving back in.
Things change…
Her circumstances have changed radically in the last three years.  Our intentions have changed radically.  We have spent the last two months stressing out about getting the house ready to sell and making sure we take care of her.  She has spent the last two month living in an apartment while we live in one house and another house remains on the market.  Between a crappy economy and unforeseen family circumstances, she needs her house back.  She contacted us feeling guilty, but we were relieved.  Panicked, but relieved.
Talk must now become action…
CrossofashesOur dream building about downsizing into a travel trailer while we build our dream home is no longer talk.  It is our reality.  I’ve spent the last month trying to discern God’s will and soul-searching for just the right thing to do or to give up for Lent.  God called.  He wants me to give up my stuff.  :p
I joke, but it’s true.  I asked.  God answered.  I know someone who needs to sell her travel trailer.  I know someone who needs our house.  I know two people who are facing an empty, too big nest with too much stuff.  This is a win-win-win for everyone.
I’m scared…
I won’t lie.  My husband and I are terrified about how this is all going to come together.  We’re terrified that we’re going to be stuck in a travel trailer together with 3 dogs and a cat and be completely miserable.  What if we fight?  What if the dogs fight?  What if we can’t get everything done in time?  What if his aunt is upset about something we did to the house?  What if the truck breaks down?  We have a million fears and questions.
But we also have faith…
FortyDaysFortyItemsWe know God provides.  We’ve both seen it.  God has plans for us, and those plans are GOOD.   God has called, and we will answer, knowing that God will be there for us and that this journey is another positive step toward a stronger marriage and a more fulfilling life.
So as Ash Wednesday arrived, I committed to spending Lent parting with many of my material possessions.  When Easter Sunday arrives, we will be living a new life in a new place.  We will be manifesting our new intentions to devote our lives to being a positive force of transformation in the world.  The next 40 days will be full of temptations, but I am sure that with God’s help, we will come out the other side renewed and restored.
What are you committing to this Lent in preparation for the Lord’s death and resurrection?  What fears do you carry with you?  How will you overcome?