Thursday, March 7, 2019

Ash Wednesday Journaling

I am tired, tired, tired today.  It's been a week of phone calls about home repairs, a week of planning a student event at work, a week of strategizing the writing of accreditation documents, a week of covering a class for an adjunct who got a full-time job, a week of 2 evenings at church, a week of feeling ever-more-behind with my online classes.

Let me focus on the joys.  Let me remember the students who were so thrilled that we grilled burgers (both meat and veggie) for them.  Let me remember the people who commented on the positive energy of the event.  Let me also remember Ash Wednesday, before it gets away from me.

I arrived at church last night with the makings of a dinner:  chili that my spouse made on Monday, brie cheese, 3 kinds of bread, and salad.  I was meeting with a journaling group that I'm leading for Lent.  I wasn't sure what to expect.

I was surprised by the turnout, although some of those may have been there as something to do before church.  We didn't have as much time last night as we will for other Wednesdays in Lent.

We ate our meal, while we talked about the logistics of the coming weeks.  We decided that we didn't want a meal to be part of our meeting.  We talked about the best time to meet.  We talked about whether or not we wanted to share (for the most part, we said no).  I asked about whether or not we wanted prompts in between the Wednesdays that we will meet (yes) and the best delivery method (e-mail, not Facebook or blog).  And then I passed out the markers and launched our first session.

I invited people to make marks with the markers and to see how the colors blend.  I also reminded them that the back of the paper might give them interesting insight.

For the actual journaling, I reminded people that they could work in markers or pen or pencil.  I invited them to use words, shapes, and/or colors.  I explained the principle of free writing:  just keep going, and if you have nothing more to say, write that until you have something more to say, until insight bubbles up.

I asked question #1:  What do you hope that the weeks of Lent will bring you?

Four minutes later, I asked question #2, which could be a variation of question #2:  During the season of Lent, what do you hope for when you think about your relationship with God?

And then it was time for our first meeting to come to a close.  I didn't have time to journal with the group, but later, in church, I made this sketch:

No comments: