Unplug to Plug In

unplug

My sewing machine pedal sits unplugged on the floor underneath the machine’s cabinet. Something about the plug resting there in disuse is appealing…could I unplug? Completely? Probably not. Nor would I really want to. Partially? Yes, that might work. But what would it look like? There are so many ways one could unplug from life – Go to Spain and walk the Camino de Santiago, stay off social media for a while, reduce a day’s activities to only what is necessary for basic living, stay away from chocolate, caffeine and sugar as the necessary electrifying juices to keep going through the day, etc.

When I think of unplugging in any of these ways as a means of moving through Lent, I also think of what I might plug into in place of the unplugging. Certainly contemplation, prayer and meditation are good to insert in one’s life, if they have been missing from a daily practice. But tracing the lines of this old sewing machine pedal, coupled with a book I’ve just finished reading, has me thinking of a specific focus for my upcoming pilgrimage through Lent.

In Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren poses the questionΒ -“What if all these boring (ordinary) parts matter to God? What if days passed in ways that feel small and insignificant to us are weighty with meaning and part of the abundant life that God has for us?” pg. 22 (parenthesis mine)

This is what I’d like to sink deeper into for the 40 days of Lent. To seek out, to dive into, to discover more fully what the boring, ordinary things of my life have to offer me. Though I’ve spent years drawing this ordinary stuff in a sketchbook, there are still so many places yet to be drawn…this sewing machine pedal is an example. I don’t recall ever drawing it before.

This will be my Lenten Pilgrimage this year. I will still walk in my neighborhood as I do year-round. But instead of drawing from that half-hour morning walk, I will draw from the plain, simple ordinary activities of life and places of insignificance in my home and neighborhood. I know there are treasures awaiting me in these humble places.

I invite you, once again, to join me in this drawn Lenten pilgrimage. You might purchase and read Warren’s book asΒ inspiration for seeing the ordinary from a fresh perspective. If you’d like to draw with me, you can follow the prompts I have set for myself each day through Lent, including Sundays (which are actually Feast Days) and Easter.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate. I’m aiming to make simple, ordinary sketches of simple, ordinary things. I’ll be posting the daily drawings on Instagram using the hashtag #drawtheordinary. Once a week I’ll write my reflections here and post all the sketches from that week.

I may very well unplug from those electrifying juices, or at least some of them. But I will, in their stead,Β plug into the ordinary places in my life in order to see, to listen and to be transformed.

40 Drawing Prompts for Lent

I hope you’ll join me! Feel free to download/printΒ this PDF of drawing prompts for the 40 days of Lent. Use them however you’d like – draw them from 1 to 40 in order, or switch them up, or make up your own! Maybe designate a small sketchbook just for this pilgrimage. If you are wanting inspiration for how to draw your life in a sketchbook, I have a brand new ebook & video course to teach and inspire you on your journey!

I’ll be back in a week, on the eve of Ash Wednesday, the starting day for our drawing pilgrimage through Lent. I’m so excited to be going on pilgrimage again! And I do love having companions for the voyage ahead.

Buen Camino!

CaminoShell

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7 thoughts on “Unplug to Plug In

    • Hi Teresa! Ummm…I don’t really understand this comment. I hope you are doing well. I don’t know what I am supposed to have seen. Nor do I know what is amusing. πŸ™‚ Please do clear up my confusion, for I am sure it is my own foggy head that just can’t make sense of it. Love to you! -Jennifer

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  1. I enjoyed and was inspired by your thoughts on ykur Lenten walk last year and was wondering if you were doing it again this year. I am thrilled that you are and thankful for the invitation to join you. I bought Liturgy of the Ordinary as soon as I read about it on your blogg – slowly and contemplatively. It is eye-opening and inspiring. I’ll be joining you on your “pilgrim’s draw” and using your prompts to enhance my own practice of ordinary daily things and domestic places I started last year. I’m excited to do it every day along with you

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    • I am so delighted!!! Yay! It will be grand to have fellow “peregrinos” on our walk through Lent! I’m glad you are enjoying Warren’s book. I just finished it and have now begun to read it again and to highlight everything in a hard-copy book as the first time I read it was on my kindle. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your camaraderie in drawing and walking through Life, Cheryl! Have an Artful Day! -Jennifer

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    • Haha! That IS amusing…especially since I was the one who recommended the book to her!! :))) I hope you are doing well Theresa! I need a day with you two…sometime soon! I’ll get back to you! Love, love!

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