Lent 1 ~ Build a Better World


Believe in yourself, learn and never stop wanting to build a better world.   

Mary McLeod Bethune, from Distilled Genius by Susan Branch

          I believe that we may not always be able to receive from others but we can certainly always give. For that, I am thankful because from a young age, I found greater joy in giving than in receiving. Of course, there were times too when the giving was a mistake or seemed like a mistake at that time. These were times when people took advantage of me. Times also when my giving opened the door to bullying and abuse. In those seasons of pain, I often wished I had not been so willing to reach out and care.

          However, once those tempests receded, as tempests always will, what has always remained is peace in my heart. Even if I could now see how my giving had sometimes resulted in a hard time for me, it made me wiser, yet never regretful of what I had given from the heart.

          Today, as I write this, I understand why.

          There were lessons I needed to learn about human ways and the only way to learn them was to go out into the deep, sometimes entering bitter waters that swirled unseen. To give even there, without counting the cost – but to give in a human way. And then, to receive pain as God allows it – in order to learn how to give as God gives.

          Today, I am at peace with all I’ve given. I have also learned from it. And with these lessons tucked into my heart, I step out once more, as heaven bids me, to do my bit to make this world a better place.



  1. The lessons we learn in childhood serve us all of our days! There are certainly many lessons to learn on love and caring for others. That being said, as we ‘give ourselves away’, we must sometimes withdraw as Jesus did from the crowds. He withdrew so that He would be able to keep giving; time spent with His Heavenly Father gave Him strength and peace. The world can make us weary at times. As we begin our Lenten walk, we must remember to hold fast to our peace. It is a gift from God, and it allows us to be faithful servants. We must make room in our lives for time ‘set apart’, a quiet place where we talk to God and listen from the deepest center of our hearts. It is there that we learn the language of love…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This was a beautiful note from the heart – and how true! Some of the times when I’ve been so drained and exhausted might also have been the times when I’ve put off withdrawing into Jesus till I was “free”. Certainly something to work on this Lent!


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