l e n t :: day1_gather

My birthday/Christmas present this year was a lens upgrade and I’ve been wanting to pick up my camera a bit more—not to join the leagues of professional photographers but to be able to capture memories of my family and natural beauty along the journey.  I’ve also been meaning to write quite a bit more but you can just check my blog to see how often that’s happened (hint :: not).  So, as a part of my Lenten rhythms, I am doing rethinkchurch.com’s Lenten Photo A Day Practice.



It would be easy to snap a photo of the seven people chowing down on our meatless dinner meal.  Or grab a quick shot walking into St. John’s gym this afternoon for the ecumenical ashes service.  Don’t even get me started on the IF : Gathering last weekend and pictures I could take of my domino from this year, or my rock from last year, or the bracelet I wear daily that says nothing but “IF” on it, or the email I received from a woman who shared that she went to church for this first time in years because of her experience at IF.  But today I tidied up my sewing space in my Grandma’s basement and all I could think about when pondering the word “gather” was in reference to sewing.  To gather fabric is to stitch two threads onto a piece of fabric and then pull one tight, causing the fabric to bunch together.  Said fabric is generally a longer piece gathered to attach to a short piece.  Skirts, dresses, shoes, curtains, upholstery—fabric is I’m sure gathered all over your home.  We gather fabric to make it fuller.  Comparatively, we gather people close to us to make our life more full.  One of the first things you learn is a big no-no when it comes to gathering fabric is that you better not have too short a thread.  If your thread is too short, you can’t tie a knot on one end or have enough thread on the other to pull.  Or, if you don’t knot one end well, you’ll just pull the thread right out of its stitches.  Long thread.  Much thread on one side of the gather.  Much thread on the other side of the gather.  So as I enter into this season of Lent, begun by gathering with my church community to remember our journey from dust, I am reminded that I can’t have too short or too loose a thread.  And how do I grow my thread, tighten my attachment to the whole, have myself cared for and prepared to play my role in my community, in my gather?  Contemplation.  Spiritual Direction appointments.  Date nights.  Family game nights.  Discipline.  Reading.  Laughter.  Worship and prayer.  Smart food choices.  Even smarter technology choices.

So, friends, how will you grow and tighten your thread this Lenten season?


Published by Magdalene A.R. Mastin

Magdalene is a pursuer of all things beautiful, inviting others into a life with steady integration of all they say, think, act, eat, love, and enjoy--hopeful for a more centered, peaceful existence, both inside and out. Today, she offers spiritual direction, movement and yoga classes, and women’s retreats, incorporating contemplative Christian spiritual practices, contemporary and authentic movement, and the ancient way of yoga (with a fun side job of lifestyle and commercial photography). Past students and directees have joked that there are few others in the world as dedicated to boundaries, intentionality, rest, and weird voices as Maggie. Magdalene grew up on a small organic sustainable farm in central Indiana, raised in a family of avid readers, generous doers, truth seekers, and good food lovers. Those early experiences laid a great foundation for further mind-body-soul integrative training at Hope College (BA in English and Arts Ministry), Fall Creek Abbey (Certified Spiritual Director), and BodyWorks Studio (200hr YTT). If she’s doing exactly what she wants, you will probably find her on a porch, patio, or beach, drink in hand, dancing away or chatting about life and love and happiness with all her people, especially her partner Jeff and their three kiddos.

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