Lenten Photo Devotional Challenge Day 3 – Test

NOTE My blog has traditionally been all business, but for at least a little while it is going to become intensely personal.  During Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, I am participating in a photo challenge.  The way it works is that the organizers have given us a list of words, and every day we are supposed to take and share a picture based upon that word.  Because I hardly ever do things the easy way, I am also attempting to write a devotional that goes with these pictures.  I will probably take the weekends off and will also quite likely miss a few days.  Hopefully not too many.   Last year I participated in a similar challenge.  This link will take you to my 2013 Lenten challenge. This years challenge is entirely blog-based.  This year the challenge is sponsored by Catholic Sistas. 

Please pray for me and/ or bear with me, and if this isn’t your cup of tea, just keep on checking for portrait posts in between these challenges — or check back in after Easter.


Testing my willpower today…..   There’s a box of Girl Scout Cookies sitting on my desk right now, and chances are slim that it will still be unopened at the end of the day. I know better than to even have them in here because once I pull  on that strip that says “OPEN HERE,” all bets are off.

These are the  best-selling classic thin mints — Yummmm-O, but HEAVEN HELP US if I had a box of those chewy chocolaty coconutty morsels of palatal bliss called Caramel Delights.  Then, all bets would be off!

This morning I did my time at the gym.   Do I really want to throw that sweating and lifting out the window for a COOKIE (or five or more)? I know how yummy they will taste, but I’d rather not wear them as Bingo Wings when sleeveless weather gets here in a few weeks.

The advertising writer who came up with the phrase, “Betcha can’t eat just one,”  was a GENIUS. Once I rip open the box to nibble on just one cookie, we might as well write off the entire sleeve. That’s just how I roll.  I know it up front.

Fortunately, one box of cookies alone will not throw me or anyone over into another level on the obesity charts, but it could be a start in that direction. In any case, it is not a wise decision.

We as humans face countless tests every day.  From whether or not to cut someone off in traffic or run a yellow-pink-was-that-really-red light to how we handle a financial situation or deal with a difficult co-worker or ex-spouse.  (Yep… believers have those too.)  Can we stay calm and patient when a toddler is pitching a temper tantrum in the grocery cart? Do we offer help to the homeless man begging on the street corner, or do we pretend not to see him? Do we walk back into the store when we realize that the checker gave us too much change?  Do we offer kind and uplifting words when someone needs encouragement, and then turn around remark to another friend how “needy” that person was (bless her heart) in the first place?

Each of these little tests in and of themselves may not establish our overall character.  We’re all sinners who deserve every punishment hell can throw at us.  Thankfully though, as a redeemed sinner I want to make the right choices allowing the joy of My Salvation to shine through me into the darkness so that everyone  can see why I treasure my faith. But every time I fail one of these little tests, it’s like another layer of dust building up on the window of my soul.

Create in me a CLEAN HEART on God, and renew a right spirit within me.—Psalm 51:10


By the way, I’m lying through my crumb-covered lips about the cookies.  The box was open before I had finished typing the first line.

Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Mark 14:38


Sweet Heavenly Jesus, please blind me to the short-term pleasure that comes with all of the big and little temptations around me.  Fix my eyes on the true  and everlasting prize of knowing and responding to every good and perfect gift  that comes from you.  AMEN.

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