I could make all sorts of excuses.
…The church we attend doesn’t observe Lent (or any of the liturgical calendar, for that matter). 
…I kept forgetting to take my anti-depressant and vitamins, which left me exhausted most of the last few months.
…The time I had set aside for reading and prayer ended up being needed for sleep or to discuss pressing issues with my husband.

These aren’t made-up excuses, they were very real challenges which I failed to overcome. I never got past the second section of the book I chose to read for Lent this year. I never read the crucifixion accounts. The Book of Common Prayer remained unopened on my dining table, the prayers un-prayed, the readings unread. I arrived at Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday caught up in the stresses of life, grieving the pain and angry at the failures and sins and brokenness, instead of quieted and overcome by the good news of Easter.

I failed at Lent.

Life keeps going, and we keep falling short, failing, reaching the limits of our selves and our self-discipline.

I wonder if that’s the point. We have limits. We are unable to do what we set out to do without help. That’s why we need Jesus, a God incarnate.

***

Life: unmasked buttonOn Wednesdays, I host a link-up for anyone willing to step away from the pretense that all is well, take off their mask, and write naked. We have tremendous capacity to encourage one another in our weaknesses by sharing our lives from the trenches, acknowledging how hard it can be, and telling each other, “You’re not alone, I’ve been there (or I’m there now), and together we can get through it.”

If you’ve written anything unmasked, link up below! Please link back to this post so your readers can find others willing to bare it all, and then make sure to visit at least two others and leave them encouraging comments.