UU Lent 2020 Part 1 – Before the Pandemic

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2-26–2020: I’m going to try to do #UULent this year. And I’m also going to be kind to myself if I get a week into it and decide to give up UU Lent for Lent.

4-11-2020: I did it!

Day 1 – Prayer

Image may contain: one or more peopleI honestly believe that our every action is a prayer. Every time we wake up and choose to face the day, it is a prayer for the strength and courage to handle it the best we can. Every time we feed our bodies, we are praying for another bout of energy to sustain our soul’s purpose here just a little longer. Every time we hold a child’s hand in a parking lot, we are praying for their safety not only in that moment, but in their future as they learn to practice caution by recalling our own.

Our ancestors’ prayers are still protecting us today. May ours do the same for generations to come. ❤️

Day 2 – Commitment

Image may contain: 1 person, sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and natureI have commitment issues. Changing my mind, changing directions, and changing plans are some of the things I do best. I’ve come to realize that for me, it makes sense to commit to the journey to my highest good, but not necessarily a specific route.

But some commitments do come naturally. Embracing magick and Unitarian Universalism felt like coming home. Having Henry was a no-brainer. Deciding to pursue ministry was as easy as breathing.

I guess when things are important parts of the greater good, even when they’re unexpected, they’re easier to commit to.

(And sometimes, when I can commit to waking up and getting out the door on time I get to see beautiful sunrises like this.)

Day 3 – Risk

Image may contain: foodI’ve never made gluten free cookies before, but there’s a first time for everything. I’m test running the cookie recipe we’ll be using in RE on Sunday. Cookie baking will directly follow my Time For All Ages about how we’re all a critical part of the Divine recipe.

Preparing the test batch this afternoon, I just wasn’t feeling chocolate chips, so I added some cinnamon and dried cranberries instead. The change was a risk, albeit a low-stakes one. I can’t say with certainty, but I do have a feeling they’re going to turn out just fine.

Maybe the most important risk we can take is trusting ourselves, and trusting that in the grand scheme of the Divine recipe, we are exactly where we are supposed to be, doing exactly what we are supposed to do, and everything will turn out just fine.

Day 4 – Passion

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I’m passionate about a lot of things, and I have a bit of a tendency to follow my passions to the point that I go too hard and burn out. Lately, I’ve been most passionate about protecting my energy and practicing radical self-care. I’ve been wearing black tourmaline and rose quartz the past several days. Their grounding, protecting, and loving energies complement each other in the most soothing way. 💖🖤

Day 5 – Sanctuary

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Until recently sanctuary has always, without question, meant the sanctuary at Westside, my home chruch. I’m fact, today I planned to write about the non-church sanctuaries I’ve found and created for myself since moving. However, as it so often does, the Universe had other plans.

This helped me pause and remember that my sanctuary isn’t only one physical place – it is the spiritual tradition that taught me unconditional love. The “Universalist” part of “Unitarian Universalist” comes from the idea of universal salvation. May the Divine knowledge of our own inherent worth and dignity be the universal sanctuary we carry with us always, even when we are far away from the places where it is easiest to recall.

Day 6 – Creativity

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I pride myself on my gift giving skills, but I’ve really outdone myself this time. Henry recently decided that almost every story we read is about them and one of my best friends, who they absolutely adore. So for my friend’s upcoming birthday, I wrote a story that actually is about them and Henry. Today’s creative project is assembling it into a photo book and ordering copies for both of them. 🥰

Day 7 – Dust

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I kicked up some dust today rearranging my workspace… again. Thankfully, my saint of an officemate just said, “I’m very entertained right now” when he saw my near-frantic organizing and purging. It’s coming along nicely. My favorite part is this little space where my many worlds collide. I guess the dust won’t settle the same, because nothing ever stays the same, but I am very glad for how things are coming together for now. 💛

Day 8 – Silence

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Most days, silence is a completely foreign concept in my home. But every now and then, like this past Sunday, this sweet no-longer-a-baby will crawl up into my lap and promptly fall asleep in my arms. Before Sunday, it had been a while, and I wondered if I’d unknowingly missed the last time. I took this photo somewhere in the quiet space between marveling at the absolute Divine perfection that is my child and at the gift of a moment to pause to thoroughly appreciate them.

Day 9 – Community

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Those three women are Miriam, Sue, and Mary. They’re three of the many, many incredible people in my church community that I’ve had the privilege of knowing and learning from for the last nine years. Mary died in January and I didn’t think I had a photo of her with Henry, so I was really glad to stumble upon this one the other day. ❤️

Day 10 – Imagination

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Helen Elise March 6, 2011 Just became an official member of Westside Unitarian Universalist Church.: 4 Comments Like Share Comment Share'Image may contain: text

Notice the dates on both of these posts. When I decided to become a member of Westside on this date in 2011, I never could have imagined I’d be bringing my three week old baby there five years later.

Even just one year ago, I never could have imagined that I would spend today setting up for my favorite service of the year, Flower Communion, at a church I’d never even heard of at the time. This wild journey has taken me beyond the farthest reaches of my imagination, and I couldn’t be more humbled and thankful. 💜

Day 11 – Play

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“Look Mommy, I made a chalice!”

Childhood is deeply spiritual work. ❤️

Day 12 – Inclusion

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In crystals and gemstones, an inclusion is a material encased in the larger stone.

In my job, it’s doing everything I can to make worship sensory-and-family-friendly.

In a friendship going 11+ years strong, it’s video conferencing for a whole church service so I could join worship while Henry rested on an unexpected sick day.

Thank you, Kayla, for including me today. It means the world to me. 💜

Day 13 – Dance

Image may contain: foodThe one and only time I tried tantric dance, it was during a Kundalini yoga class. I had an intense awakening experience that continues to have impacts a year later, so now I exclusively dance to Nahko and Medicine for the People in my kitchen while baking. ✌🏼

Day 14 – Water

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”The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”

I’m so beyond glad to be home with my chosen family tonight. 💙

Day 15 – Courage

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Day 16 – Wisdom

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'Light Watkins @LightWatkins My spiritual teachers in order of importance: 1) People who annoy the living shit out of me. 2) All other spiritual teachers. 646 likes hilarioushumanitarian RP: @lightwatkins'

I find it fascinating that even though I have oracle cards in my purse, crystals in every pocket and room of my home, and spiritual mentors a text message away, sometimes the wisdom I need most comes to me in meme form. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Read UU Lent 2020 Part 2 – During the Pandemic here

One response to “UU Lent 2020 Part 1 – Before the Pandemic”

  1. […] Read UU Lent 2020 Part 1 – Before the Pandemic Here […]


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