I have been considering breaking my fast for the past hour. My Lenten practice that I have chosen is to avoid eating a whole other meal after dinner. 9-10 pm is when the urge sets in. Tonight it has been especially strong.
Thinking about it has helped me to remember why this happens. Once again, I'm not really hungry. I'm tired. Baby woke up at 4:40. First meeting of the day at 6:30. My husband gave me the gift of a short nap by keeping the baby occupied. But then the rest of the day was all go. So now, my body is saying stop. I'm arguing, wanting to keep going but needing carb fuel to make that happen.
It's amazing how Lent can make you more intentional.
Before I would have had the meal without even realizing why. Now it will be a real choice. Even our minor temptations (like late night snacks) can reveal something about us. Major ones can too, if we pay attention. What gift can we give ourselves that might fill that need in a better way, leading toward more abundant life? For me, for tonight, that means sleep instead of a snack.
Shannon is one of our Wesley Club leaders at UC Merced. She's in the Class of 2014 and is settling on her major. Right now she's leaning towards Political Science for prelaw. She has been planning to join the Air Force as an officer and do aircraft maintenance. But, if that doesn't work out she may become a judge.
Why did you choose UCM?
Partly because it offered better financial aid. Also, I wanted to stay in California but not too far from home.
What's it like to be at such a new school?
I like that it's small and things are new. It has a lot of potential to grow. I'm excited to say I was one of the first people to go here.
Why are you part of Wesley Campus Ministries?
I live in the Wesley House so I was introduced to it and said, sure, why not.
How do you hope to be different between now and when you graduate?
When I talk to upperclassmen they have a broad knowledge in their major and seem really intelligent. I hope I can learn as much- and retain the information!
What is a blessing you have received from Wesley Foundation?
Friends when I didn't know anybody moving here.
What is your prayer for the Wesley Foundation?
That it will grow and for the leaders not to get discouraged when that growth process is slow.
What is your favorite place on campus?
I like the room with the fish tanks in the library. My favorite place to study is the bridge in the library. And I love it when the cherry blossoms are blooming.
Final words: Go Lady Bobcat Softball
I haven't written anything about the disasters in Japan yet. I still am trying to get my head around it. Having family there means that it's too personal to separate from.
I worry. I pray. I give. I took my family on campus last week for the benefit concert hosted by the Nikkei Student Union. We folded cranes, made donations, bought cool beadwork that says "I Love Japan." We were there. Sometimes that's all you can do.
Here is a link to an article by one of our United Methodist Bishops on the disaster. I hope his thoughts are helpful to you.
Faith in Times of Disaster
It's Lent. The traditional season for giving something up. Even people who have never been part of the church community have noticed friends or family giving up things in the weeks before Easter- chocolate, swearing, tv... Sometimes, this is just a way to test yourself, to see what kind of will power you have. While toning your Discipline muscle is a good thing, I like to describe the purpose of fasting during Lent as "making room". When you clear out something you make room for God and for the goodness God has placed around you. That nurtures the purpose God has for you, just like how Jesus was nurtured in his own 40 days in the wilderness.
My fast is food related. I have developed a habit of lazily eating a post-dinner meal late at night. You'd think I was a hobbit or something. I never really plan on eating again as I clear the table from dinner. It just happens. And usually meals that "just happen" around here are junk food.
So, during Lent I am fasting from that after dinner meal. It's not really a sacrifice, but it does make me take notice. It has made more time for late night conversation and our Bible reading. I go to bed earlier, too, usually. Or like tonight, I am spending time on music I love, the sound of the wind outside while I am cozy inside and catching up on some of my favorite blogs. These small joys have turned my fast into a feast.
Last week was our most successful event for students yet, judging by comments made by students who attended. We held a Relaxation and Prayer Room in the Bobcat Lair on Tuesday. Over 60 students were in attendance during the hour and a half time. Some came to receive massages and goodie bags. Many stayed to pray at the different prayer stations we had set up. Students were excited to be part of it and some stayed the whole time soaking in the God-filled room. Prayers were shared for different areas of the world, over the pictures of people known and unknown and in gratitude for the many blessings God has given. Our prayer cross of gratitude will be shared with those who gather with the Bishop at Merced UMC on March 26th. It began bare, but with the gratitude prayers added it is already turning into an Easter cross.
Great job to the students who did the shopping, assembling, inviting and hosting for the evening. And thank you to all the behind the scenes helper (cookie bakers). You were a blessing to many!