After 40 days of Lent, six feast days, and a glorious Easter which began with getting on the scale and being pleased with the number I saw…
(NO, I’m not going to post a picture of THAT) 😉
Then lighting all the candles on the wreath…
Continued with celebration at church…
And ended with a feast to end all feasts à Chez Maddalena which included this beautiful lamb, roasting on a HAND-CRANKED spit over an open fire for about ten hours (many people took turns with the cranking)…
And homemade grilled flatbread, and many side dishes and more desserts than I could count, including a platter of “my” infamous Kosher Crack (which truly does require a support group for its addictive qualities), and my friend Debbie Cunningham’s amazing piece of edible art (chocolate-covered pretzels and lemon curd macarons)…
I collapsed in a pile of exhilarated exhaustion yesterday, and allowed myself one more day of indulgence. I went with a friend to lunch at Umami Burger. Their truffle cheese fries, tempura onion rings, ketchup made in-house (less sweet and sooo good!) and outrageous burgers (in flavor, not size) were worth the effort it took to get out of my comfy chair.
We ordered Thai delivery for dinner and had the most unusual and delicious crepes that were more like large Thai tacos, stuffed with ground chicken, shrimp, shredded coconut, ground roasted peanut, sweet radish, bean sprouts, and cilantro. If Easter was the feast epic proportions, yesterday was the feast of epic flavors.
Now it’s Tuesday, and both the feasting and fasting are over. I’m wondering what my “new normal” is going to look like.
If the Lenten journey in solidarity with the poor taught me anything, it’s that I must make changes in my life in order to serve the hungry. I’m leaving tomorrow for 10 days in Ohio, most of which will be at the third of four retreats for my Spiritual Director Certification. Soon after I get back, I’ll be going to the volunteer orientation at the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland. I’m excited to start acting locally while I continue to pray globally. (I had hoped to volunteer at the food bank that’s within walking distance of our home, but the only positions open required too much heavy lifting. Mope.)
While I’m away, I will be praying about what kinds of dietary changes to make and what organizations to support. Glenn and I are both feeling especially moved to somehow support efforts to bring clean water to villages around the world. There is much to ponder.
I’m so delighted that this blog now has some followers whom I’ve never met — Hi y’all!! I want to reiterate a challenge I made toward the beginning of the journey in case my new friends didn’t go back that far in their reading:
Let’s all figure out a way to DO SOMETHING…whatever we can…to help the poor and hungry and thirsty on our planet. I listed some ideas HERE. Most of us probably don’t have lives that will allow us to travel the world doing international service projects, but there are so many ways we can help out in our own backyards as well as offering monetary assistance to organizations and people who CAN bring aid where it’s needed in other countries. We can all work together and EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.
Aside from volunteering at the food bank, I want to fast regularly (not sure what that will look like yet; maybe one day a week, or multiple meals a month, or…?) in order to support hunger projects, and to commit to only drinking free water when I eat out so I can donate the money I save to clean water projects. Of course, I probably won’t be eating out as much either; much remains to be seen. This “new normal” is most definitely a work in progress and will probably change along the way.
Would love to hear from any of you who decide to make some changes along the way and how it’s going, how it’s changing you, and how I can be praying for you.
This blog will not solely be about these issues, of course. It began as a “broken hallelujah” and will remain so. There is so much I’m learning as I travel toward a more contemplative life, and I’m excited to share whatever God bubbles up in my heart, soul, and spirit along the way.
Thanks to all of you who made the trek through Lent with me, whether it was for one day, or for the entire journey, or something in between.
HE IS RISEN INDEED!
Now…let’s be His hands and feet!!!