Love of place (and a Lenten challenge)

Before I launch into today’s post, I want to thank those of you who responded to last week’s post, The obsession with our scales. I enjoyed the range of comments you emailed and wanted to encourage you to take the season of Lent (which starts today) to consider whether you need to shift the way you think about food and weight. Lent offers a time to repent of sins in preparation for Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, and it’s a season that Christians traditionally give something up as a way of focusing more on Christ.

Maybe it’s your scale (and the anxieties that accompany stepping on it) that you need to give up to God this Lent. Could you put it away in a closet and not look at it again until after Easter and spend the time you would normally stand pondering the number on the scale instead reading a Bible verse or saying a quick prayer? Or maybe you need to change some eating habits (too much sugar/alcohol/caffeine, not enough vegetables/fruit/water) so you’ll have the energy you need to get up five minutes early every morning to spend time with God. I’d love to know if you’re giving something up or adding something in this season of Lent, and if it’s extra challenging, I’d be honored to pray for your success in this area. Just let me know by emailing me or commenting below! And now for today’s post …

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Love of place
I spent this past weekend in the mountains, a place that is home away from home for my husband and me, a place that sometimes feels most like “home,” though we don’t live there permanently, a place so wrapped in natural beauty that I feel closer to God when I’m there.

We had been away for too long, and I was giddy at returning, proving that the adage “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” doesn’t apply only to people. This place has wound its way into my heart.

I took some time simply reacquainting myself with this place, walking its trails, skirting its places still icy with winter, sitting in a favorite restaurant filled with laughter and the unforgettable smell of a wood-fired oven, driving to catch the best moments of setting sun.

So on this eve of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to honor this place I love so dearly by sharing some photos of it with you.

Ducksandripples

Ducks and ripples in a part of the lake without ice

I discovered a few fallen friends along the trails I walked, victims of wind and winter.

I discovered a few fallen friends along the trails I walked, victims of wind and winter.

icedroplets

I saw these ice crystals and wondered if earlier versions had inspired the first chandelier makers.

frozenmidmelt

More chandelier inspiration; I love how many colors show up in this photograph, proving that winter isn’t all gray and brown

stillreflection

Time for reflection — both mine and nature’s

sunsetatMosesCone

A broad horizon at sunset

WonderlandSunset

Layers of blue ridgelines as the sun sets

Perhaps you understand? Maybe you, too, have a deep and abiding love of place? What place grips your heart this way? What about it feels like “home” to you? Why not send it a little Valentine in the comments below?

10 thoughts on “Love of place (and a Lenten challenge)

  1. My challenge is to let go of computer games to focus more on God. I love my solitaire games and facebook apps! But that said I do love my Lord much more. I actually started before Lent and have not missed playing them. My time is dedicated to prayer and to listening to where He will lead me. A few opportunities have been put before me, so I look forward to where He is going to lead me.

  2. Hi. I appreciated your comment on my blog, and also your lenten reflection, so I thought I would share what I am doing for my lenten practice this year. I am giving up Facebook. As an expat living in Italy for the last 2 years I use Facebook as a way to stay connected to friends back home, but it can also be a huge time drain. So for the next 40 days I sm replacing that time with prayer. I wrote a list of all my FB friends before signing off on Tuesday, and then made a schedule that will have me praying for each of them at least twice during lent (about 6 a day). To be honest, it is probably less time than I would have spent on facebook, but still really wonderful. It has helped me realize how infrequently I usually pray for my friends (other than family or thise going through acsoecific trial). I hope thus won’t be just a 40 day practice for me.

    • I love this idea! I so often hear of friends giving up Facebook for Lent, but I’ve never heard any of them say they’ll be praying for their Facebook friends during that time. Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope others will see your idea and adopt it as their own.

      I’m not planning to give up FB this year, but I like the idea of intentionally praying for friends I might not usually pray for. Thank you for inspiring/challenging me!

    • I’ll be praying prayers for your positivity! That reminds me of my fast one year from yelling at other drivers on the road (one of the places where I’ve found myself to be the most negative). You can tackle this!

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