Confession of a once a week blogger: I had a post half written with clear direction to the finish then, due to technical difficulties, I lost it all! (In more ways than one?=} )

Considering the effort it took to get that far coupled with the thought of re-creating it in time for my regular deadline, you will instead get to contemplate some of my photos this week. Besides, by this time next week we will be in Lent, which was not my topic. So, try these winterscapes on for size.

Natural designs in the ice.

In all honestly, I chose these winterscapes with Lent in the back of my mind. Up where I live, Lent begins in winter and with rare exception it ends without snow in the spring. Like winter, Lent is a time to assess and re-evaluate. (This is possibly a great segue to my re-created post for next week.)

Black and white, light and dark together. A season of contrasts.

There is limited light in winter. Spiritually, Lent often feels dark as we voluntarily deny ourselves some pleasure for a season so we can draw closer to our Creator. Often for me, my self-denial, however small, can heighten my sense of the beauty of even the smallest things.

Snow gives the sense of cleanliness. Can you imagine the smell of the crisp air around this snow-covered tree?

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lordthough your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

I do not always give something up for Lent. For several years now I have prayed about if and what it might be. Sometimes it is nothing. I think I know what I “should” do this year, but since “me, myself and I” don’t really want to, we will discuss it between now and Wednesday with the only one who loves us all perfectly. If that is indeed the scenario, I already know the outcome. Obeying is always better in the long run, and more often than not, surprisingly fun in the short run.

I hope you will go back and contemplate the winterscapes. One or all may elicit totally different responses from each of us.

I pray you leave this posting with a combination of humility, awe and wonder. What does that look like for you? I love feedback=}

Andrea Van Boven (Madden): I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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