Monday, February 20, 2012

Longing for Lent

Lent is not typically a season people approach with glee, but I am very, very excited about this season of repentance and preparation. Much of my excitement comes from the fact that my dissertation defense will be on Ash Wednesday; I have been joking that I intend to fast from my dissertation during Lent.  More seriously, I believe that Lent will be a beautiful time for me to repent of the past year's worries, and to cleanse and re-order the rooms of my soul. 

I have a number of ideas about what to relinquish for Lent this year, but one very important one involves this blog. Between my dissertation and my job applications, this past year has been very much about my words, my work, my anxieties, my achievements.  I have learned more than I can say--more than I realize, no doubt--from these processes, but as Lent approaches, I am ready for a fast from my own words and stories.  Professionally, I cannot take forty days off from writing about my own ideas, but in this more personal endeavor, I can afford to rest from posts that are almost entirely  self-reflective. 

This fast will take two forms. First, I will literally relinquish most of my words by offering pictures that capture an aspect of "home" in its many forms.  Next, while my regular posts come almost exclusively from my own experiences, I want to feature the words of others. This is where you, dear reader, become a crucial collaborator. I have made a form (below) for you to submit your own thoughts on what makes a place, season, church, or person "home." Inspired in part by my friends' project (which I first described here), I encourage you to complete the sentence, "Home is......"  You can tackle this question in a literal sense (Home is Texas. Home is where my books are. Home is where I go for supper.) or a more spiritual or abstract sense (Home is where I am known. Home is where my sister is.).  Write as much or as little as you like.  I would also be delighted if you sent me pictures of your homes and harbors.  You can submit pictures to my email (bethanyjoybear [at] gmail [dot] com), and I will be sure to give you credit.

I am eager to explore the rich silences and sweet disciplines of Lent, and I hope you will help me.


  1. Home is a place of comfort, safety, and full acceptance.

  2. Aw, am I going to have to be the one to quote George MacDonald here?

    Home is a place you can go both in and out of.

    I don't think I can improve on that.

    -Steve S.