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Why is Ash Wednesday so packed?

Church is always filled to the brim on Ash Wednesday, with people standing in the back, kids fidgeting in the pews, and people making time to start the Lenten season. But why? 

You can make the simple argument that people come because they get something, an outward sign of ashes, but I think it may be more than that. 

Why is Ash Wednesday so packed?

The world often implies that what is right in front of us is all there is. We live like what matters to us most is a promotion or success, a feeling of happiness, acceptance or ease, money, or momentary needs or wants.  So much of our days are consumed with getting these things. Ash Wednesday reminds us that all of the things we are working for, no matter how noble, will fade away. You will die, your world will turn to ash. 

We crave this truth of mortality, sometimes subconsciously, that is why Ash Wednesday service is so full. In the simple act of ashes being placed on our head, we can choose to strip away everything that is temporary and dwell, even if for a second, on what is eternal. 

When we have ashes placed on our heads, we are not merely talking about the idea of immorality, but truly feeling with our sense of touch the ashes to which our bodies will become. 

Why is Ash Wednesday so packed?

Source: Elgin.af.mil


We crave the reset, the second chance, that Lent provides. The ashes on our heads and the words spoken to us feel like a baptism of sorts. An outward sign of an internal reality. A breath from the constant message that we need more of what is temporary. A solemn look into our destiny, a grave. 

We can, in that moment, choose to offer the ashes of our life to God, joining them to the life and sacrifice of Christ. 

Memento mori, Latin for “remember that you have to die”

Pope Benedict XVI at the VMAs

Did you watch the VMAs last month? I bet you didn’t know that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was in attendance at this year’s MTV awards’ show. Well maybe that’s a stretch, he was not physically in attendance, but one of his lessons made an appearance. Hang in there with me, I will explain.

The VMAs never disappointments in delivering out of this world and buzz worthy performances. This year the most intriguing and emotional exhibition came from Vision’s performance of 1-800-273-8255 ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid. See it here… Read More →

The Bridegroom’s Love

At weddings, when the bride walks in for her big entrance, some heads turn to focus on the groom, to catch his reaction of seeing his bride.

Every man takes this moment differently and each expression is unique to the man and the relationship, none better than another. The best thing about this moment is, that in a relationship founded on love, the groom’s joy, excitement, and thankfulness stream out of his eyes. Check it out here…

[via Dallas Wilson Wedding Films / Facebook]

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Lessons from Mrs. Kim: My Gilmore’d Life

Y’all. I am going to say it. I am a Gilmore Girls expert. No humility, no shame. I watched the show as it came out and have been constantly cycling through each season for the last 7 years, with a steady 2-4 episodes a week. Needless to say, I can quote every episode and have lots of opinions, but I don’t watch because its perfect, or because I agree with all the decisions all the characters make. I watch because I feel like a citizen in the whimsical world that is Stars Hollow.

The Salt Stories: My Gilmore'd Life Read More →

Ditching the Snooze Button: Prayers for your heroic minute

Your laying in your cozy bed when the alarm suddenly goes off. Whether you realize it or not, this is your first battle of the day. What are your first thoughts? How do you respond? I have to be real, I have snoozed it hard lately. When my alarm goes off, my first thought is how do I turn it off and how much longer can I stay in bed.

If the alarm clock and I were in a battle, I would be losing. To be fair, I don’t actually push snooze, but I do set 5 alarms, and when the first one goes off, I reason to myself that 5 more minutes of sleep won’t hurt anything, and then I continue to rationalize this same thought until I have slept right through the time I set aside for prayer, and a shower, and to eat breakfast and so on.

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Learning my limits is making me holy

Some people are naturally conservative about how they use their time, body, and heart. Others of us are known for carrying in too many groceries at once, volunteering to help with everything, and staying up late to get unnecessary, but awesome, things done.

By now you probably know I am the latter. But, the process of learning my limits is making me holy.

“How do you learn your limits?” you ask. Well let me tell you, it is not a fun process. It often means hitting walls over and over again until you’re willing to make some changes.

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Roo Trippin Vol 7: A Grand Petrified Albuquerque 

It was time to leave the big city and head back toward Texas, but what else could we possibly see with a squirmy two-year old on our way back through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas? Well, a whole lot, and the Roo is here to tell you all about it.

After the mountains, caverns, and sand dunes of our first leg, and the Saguaro and Joshua Forests of our second, it was now time for something truly grand. We woke up Sunday morning for an early church service with our sweet California hosts, the Tierney’s, before offering hugs and thanks and hitting the road again. Read More →

Roo Trippin Vol 6: The One with All the Peculiar Plants

The Great American West is full of some rather peculiar plants, I can’t wait to tell you about it. Anna Roo back again for a part two recap of our great western road trip. When we last left off we were still marching west and had just arrived in Tuscan, Arizona

Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band

Saguaro National Park and Tucson

We woke up in Tucson ready for some new adventures. We headed a few miles south of town to Mission San Xavier del Bac. This is one of the oldest churches in the Americas, completed in 1797. The Baroque architecture, clay mortar and Spanish artwork made for a unique experience. We walked through the church and museum before trying our hand at a docent guided tour. We made it 10 minutes into the tour before I bumped my head and proceeded with a slight meltdown. At this point we bowed out gracefully and attempted to calm down.

The Salt Stories: Roo Trippin Vol 6: Mission San Xavier de Bac Read More →

Roo Trippin Vol 5: Headed West

Annaroo here, back with another installment of Roo Trippin. This is likely the last road trip before our new baby arrives. Last year, we headed east for a tour of the south and a few months a go we took a quick adventure north to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Now, it is time to head west for cactus, friends, and hopefully some ocean.

After watching daddy jigsaw all the luggage in the car we loaded up for the adventure ahead.

The Salt Stories: Roo Trippin Vol 5: Headed West  Endless Texas Road

Being the expert roadtripper that I am, I immediately asked for food and entertainment. We settled on animal crackers and Peter and the Wolf music. I ask for the ‘wolf song’ as often as I think of it, mom likes this version, on Spotify, narrated by David Bowie. Read More →

How she does NOT do it all.

You may have seen posts trumpeting titles like “how she does it all” or “how to have it all”. Articles that, despite their good intentions, seem to celebrate packed schedules and women who successfully juggle 30 balls in the air at once. This is not one of those posts.

I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t read these articles before or been tempted by the click bait. These articles are often trying to provide their readers with a tool or insight about how to handle a busy life. What I am finding is that I don’t need more tools, I need better discernment. I am the type of person who is energized and consistently motivated to do every great idea I hear or think up, but I am learning to love that I can’t do everything.

This ‘yes-girl’ wants to embrace and relish opportunities to confidently say no and live life more fully, but a little less full. I recognize that as life continues more commitments will fill our days, and my perspective may change, but here is a plan for today.

So here I am before you, work outside the home mom, thriving young adult, amateur blogger, and loved wife, and this is how I do NOT do it all.

The Salt Stories: How she does NOT do it all

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