This Lent, we’re on a journey to carve out space between despair and hope. Space between the war in Ukraine and the peace for which we long. Space in our lives between what keeps us up at night and contentment.

Lent invites us to stop pretending that we have unlimited energy or endless time to do what is meaningful. Lent offers a clear-eyed look at reality so we can attend to the values we cherish most.

Think about the non-negotiables of your day. Pick one, pick two as a way to prioritize what matters to you. Here are some suggestions, adapted from author Kate Bowler, to help us think about our bare essentials:

Say “I love you” to your spouse or child or beloved pet. Get outside. Be creative. Slow down. Do that one boring thing you have been avoiding. Be frivolous. Call a friend. Play with a grandchild.

As we journey this path together, receive Bowler’s A Blessing for Slowing Down.

Blessed are we who thought we were self-made by the doing, by the accolades, by the accomplishments, and by the gold stars. We measured our worth by how tired we were every morning, how many special events we missed because of work, by how many times we answered “How are you?” with “Busy.” We thought: This is the good life.

But then we grew tired and lonely. We felt the strain on our relationships and our spiritual lives. And we became a bit miserable to be around.

So blessed are we who stop – okay, maybe not stop entirely, who are we kidding – but who slow down. We who discover rest and new life and renewal when we step off the treadmill (or at least turn it down). We who remember that the world keeps spinning without us.  And thank God for that. We who remember that we are loved, loved, loved. Not for what we do, but for who we are.


How has your understanding of ‘the good life’ been shifting?


-Written by Rev. Ann Palmerton

Enjoying the Broad Street Blog? Be sure to subscribe so you never miss another post!


  1. Alison Stuart March 23, 2022 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Great message! I must say that the only good side of the upheaval of covid has been our ability to work at home, together, at times joined by our kids, and have more time for naps and dog walks. We have pledged to keep these things even if covid ends. Praying for Ukraine and so many other people.

  2. Kellie Toole Field March 23, 2022 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Sitting on the driveway, in tattered bag chairs, with the neighbors, drinking a glass of wine, in the afternoon sun, watching our children run amuck – PURE BLISS – who knew?

  3. Betty Brown March 23, 2022 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Ann this message is needed! Thank you for sharing. I have been recognizing that I need to slow down and have backed off on certain activities and will see how I can let go even more. I have not slept very well over the last 2 weeks because I’ve been busy getting things done. The las two days I pared down my schedule and I was able to sleep so well last night. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed, and thought…’so this is what it feels like to wake up feeling rested’. I teach this to my clients, but get distracted and forget to live it. So thank you again for this great message. I am taking it to heart.

  4. Dan S. March 23, 2022 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the suggestion, permission, to slow down!
    We have also found ourselves using the Lenten theme of ‘Good Enough’ as a comforting touchstone in our day-to-day.

Leave A Comment