My 40 Day Challenge

Yesterday marked the beginning of Lent, a tradition which honors the 40 days Christ spent in the wilderness before his crucifixion.  Traditionally, it is a time for fasting, repentance, denial or discipline. Although I was not reared Catholic and did not practice Lent growing up, I began doing so about 15 years ago. At first, it was just a good time to quit the occasional cigarette. Some years I’ve given up sugar or meat, honestly more out of a vain motivation than spiritual discipline. I’ve tried to give up worry or petty arguments. But this year, I want to focus more on a productivity, more on the discipline aspect.

I’ve been going through an awakening,  an emotional/spiritual cleansing of sorts. Some elements are still too raw to be shared cohesively. Some may never be expressed in this public of a forum. But some are likely to come out in one form or another over the next 40 days. I am challenging myself to write daily. Whether for 15 minutes or an hour, I will write. Whether it is about the latest struggle or a celebratory bottle, I will write  Whether the inspiration is “study” for my upcoming trip to the Willamette Valley, to process my questions, to share a funny or an inspirational story, I will write. Some will be on the blog, some I’ll spare you.

I took a break for a while, unsure of the point or whether there was an audience for which to write. In that time,  I freed myself from the expectation piece which, in turn, has created the space to check my motivation. Audience or not, expectations or none, I write because I like to write.

So think of this as a preface, as an opening and a disclaimer of sorts for what you may read over the next 40 days. Yes, this a wine blog. But if you have read for any time, you know that I will throw in an occasional piece that has nothing to do with wine. I write them as a way of processing, a way to record my thoughts. They may or may not be for an audience, but you probably  knew what you were getting in that way a long time ago. So, my apologies for any offenses. I’ll give you fair warning early on in the piece. And don’t worry. There will still be wine pieces. I have A LOT of research to do before heading out west this summer. Thanks for your patience.

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

15 thoughts on “My 40 Day Challenge

  1. You put in your entry everything I have been thinking. Even though I am writing not much is seeing public exposure at this point. Lent is a favorite season to sort out priorities and ensure I am sharing talents as well as prayer and compassion. It is much more rewarding to write and longer lasting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You captured how I’ve felt many times with your comment about being “unsure of the point or whether there was an audience for which to write”. I have often had those thoughts. While I can’t honestly say I’ve “freed myself from the expectation” I’ve continued because I enjoy it. Bravo for continuing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Though I no longer practice Catholicism (I am now practicing Methodism), and Lent is not Biblical by design, I cannnot remember a year of my life I did not practice lent. I used to give up chocolate or sugar or commit to daily exercise but those things were not spiritual disciplines meant to truly honor the sacrifice of Jesus. Since attending Perkins School of Theology at SMU my lent practices have evolved to daily meditations, daily Bible readings, commitments to be kinder, more gentle, things that are done to truly honor Christ rather than my own vanities. I applaud your commitment to honor a God-given gift each day. To hone it and nurture in the spirit it was intended is a spiritual discipline. I look forward to reading your daily commitment. BTW, did you know Lent is “technically” 46 days but because every Sunday is consider a “little Easter” Lenten rules and commitments do not apply on Sundays. When I was a kid my dad used to use that as a reason to eat dessert on Sundays, I was so mad when I found out he was w/in his Lenten rights. Catholics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not know that but it makes sense, as it is a day of rest. I’m also following Ann Voskamp’s Lenten prayers as well. Inspiration from the message and her gorgeous words.

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  4. Good for you! Write because you like to write, and keep at it – maybe even after the 40 days have passed. I think writing is therapeutic for many of us; it’s probably one of the reasons (besides wine) that we’ve all connected with each other in this forum. Enjoy your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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