When it comes to sharing faith experiences with our kids, there are some practices from Christians going back through the centuries that can give added meaning to our today. Best selling author Tsh Oxenreider joins Julie Lyles Carr to unpack the meaning of the church season known as Lent and how to make Lent a simple yet lasting practice for you and your family. 


Julie Lyles Carr: You’re listening to the AllMomDoes podcast where you’ll find encouragement, information, and inspiration for the life you’re living, the kids you’re raising, the romance you’re loving, and the faith you’re growing. I’m your host, Julie Lyles Carr. Let’s jump into this week’s episode.

Here on the AllMomDoes podcast, I have Tsh Oxenreider with me. We’ve had the opportunity to meet a time or two before, and I am just so excited for you to hear her wisdom, her thoughtfulness, or contemplativeness, when it comes to thinking about some of the spiritual disciplines and practices that are available to us, that maybe we haven’t known about, or maybe there’s a fresh way, we can look at them.

So, Tsh, thanks so much for being with me today.

Tsh Oxenreider: Thank you for having me.

Julie Lyles Carr: I followed your career for a long time. I started out blogging as well, a million years ago, whenever that was. You were one of the people who figured out the power that it really was going to have. I was using it more like an online scrapbook for quite a while.

And you were one of those that I was looking to, thinking, oh, she seems to think there could be some like, business and writing opportunities with this thing. So, I long admired your work and your words and your acumen for thinking about how you could be using the platform. A lot of my listeners may be familiar with your work and your books, your best-selling books, but give us a little snapshot of what you do, where you’re at now in your online journey, where you’re at in your writing. And just so my listeners can get to know you a little bit.

Tsh Oxenreider: Yeah, well, currently I am mostly a writer, but I’m also a podcaster. I have been podcasting for over 10 years now. So, I jokingly say that I’ve been podcasting since the smoke signal days. And I lead trips annual summer pilgrimages, especially when there’s no plague. And I I’m also a teacher. I teach high school English part-time. I live with my family, three kids, and consider myself primarily a wife and mom and I live in the Georgetown area, which is not too far from where you are. That’s about 30 minutes north of Austin, but we have lived all over the world.

When I started blogging, we were overseas in Turkey. And even though it did look like I had my act together, I genuinely started it as a creative outlet. As a hobby. In fact, it was a therapist suggestion that I start blogging as a way to feel like a person living overseas, whenever you’re struggling with all sorts of issues that come with cross-cultural living. And so that’s initially how it got started. So if it looked like I knew what I was doing, it was like learning, for sure.

Julie Lyles Carr: So now how old are your kiddos? Because I know when I first encountered you in the blogosphere, you were, we were at similar stages with some of our kids. So how old are the kids now? Where are they at?

Tsh Oxenreider: The oldest is now almost 17. And then I’ve got a 14-year-old, and an 11 year old. So, I’m kind of in that middle stage of parenting.

Julie Lyles Carr: My youngest are now 14, the same way does your middle one, so, we we definitely have that in common in terms of still being in all things, teenage hood, even though we, you know, in our family have actually launched some and have some that have gotten married, but definitely we’ve still got, we still got lots and lots of math drills and all that kind of stuff going on after all these years.

Just one of things that always impressed me as I was reading your writing back in the day, to now, is you have this really beautiful paradox of an adventuresome spirit and yet this dedication to be in real chill in your life and keeping things simple. I’ve always found this very fascinating, because a lot of times when you find somebody who seems to be engaging in really high octane lifestyle choices, like living overseas, like the travel that you did back in 2014, 2015, where you took your kids and you guys went to, I don’t even know how many countries, and lived out of backpacks, (30), I kind of expect a certain level of caffeinated freneticism, and yet you have always repeated and repeated and repeated that you want to make sure that you’re paying attention to what’s important that you’re keeping life simple at a certain level. Everything from very practical organizational tips, all the way to spiritual disciplines for procuring that.

So how did you arrive at this place where you’re holding these two things that sometimes can seem almost opposite. Beautiful devotion to rhythm and organization and ritual, while at the same time being the person who started blogging in Turkey. Like how did, how do you keep those two things working together in your interpersonal world?

Tsh Oxenreider: I find that most of us actually do contain multitudes like that. Most people I have met both love, they love to things that seem to be contradictory to each other. But actually, life is largely full of paradoxes like that. And so, and I think part of that is because God uses two sides of the same coin really, while we live here, to teach us more about how the world works or how he created us. For example, I love travel only in as much as I love being home. And I almost feel like I can’t have one without, without the other. My love of travel makes my time at home much sweeter. My time at home cultivating where we live, oh, dovetails beautifully in tandem with us going out the front door and exploring new places. And so, the it’s almost like a marriage of two ideas that sound like they would be opposite of each other, but actually aren’t. So, and in fact, I think we’re hardwired to both know and be known, and so I think that’s sort of tugs at what all of us deep down are longing for. This desire to be known by the world around us and the people around us, so that’s sometimes why we crave simplicity, and crave, neighborliness. Knowing, you know, who we live among as well as knowing how it fits in the whole. World really. And so honestly, the way I quote do that is by, I mean, it sounds like a cop out answer, but just being a person and just paying attention and noticing that. I’ve longed for a sort of simplicity, probably most of my life. I’ve always been a bit of a contemplate of introvert, and so, but that, that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to, you know, stay home and never try new things. And so I think I just approached that staying home and trying new things a bit like a contemplative. Where I listened to the thing that’s really beneath the thing… I listened for it, you know? And that’s maybe just how I go about it.

It’s also through a lot of trial and error, honestly. Like, I learned through being out in the world, I am sensory, sensory sensitive. And so I can only do so much before I need to go back and take a break, which means my style of adventure looks different. It looks, it looks like laid back exploration where I need to come back to a quiet home and recharge, you know? So, it might mean slower, but better, or slower but deeper, travel. It might mean staying in smaller towns rather than bustling cities or at least longer. There’s lots of ways, you know, you kind of learn who you are and how that works well. But anyway, even when we’re home, that’s, that’s exactly how, how we’ve managed. As an example, moving back to central Texas, we only wanted to come back here if we lived in a small town. So, we chose Georgetown because of a million different reasons. And we will absolutely love it. We love where we live. But it’s because we knew ourselves well. And a lot of that just came from listening to our lives, as we went about things.

Julie Lyles Carr: I love that place of allowing for those, those areas in our hearts where we need to retreat and reenergize, but to not exclude the things that can be really fun and adventuresome. And the reason I say that I was talking with one of my daughters who identifies as an introvert, I identify more as an ambivert. I can kind of walk between both, but I definitely have a point at which I reached threshold, and listeners have heard me talk before about my husband, who is the most extroverted person I have ever met. And the dance we’ve had to dance, trying to figure out how to make sure that his need to be out there and adventuring is also balanced with my need to take a breath and have him home and just kind of chill. And one of my daughters said, you know, what’s really interesting. I see all the time articles about how to become more extroverted if you’re introverted. Ways that you can break out of that.

But I never see any articles on how to become more introverted if you’re extroverted. That’s really true. I was talking about this on a recent episode with a guest because we do seem to value the extroverted tendencies. Sometimes more than we seem to value the more introverted tendencies. I love this balance that you’ve achieved, that allows you to go and do, but honors that you’re going to need a time to come and retreat.

What are some of your favorite ways to get refilled after you’ve been through a season, as you say, this beautiful tandem of how it’s this thing and this thing at the same time, what are some of your favorite ways to come back, take a breath, refresh and be ready to go and try some other new stuff.

Tsh Oxenreider: Well, and ironically, according to what you said, I find that to be especially true in the U.S. So out of all our travels, the U S really values extroversion. It’s just our American culture. And so there’s other cultures out there that value introversion, and value, quiet living. And so, it’s just kind of interesting that we live in that particular culture. For me, I think, especially because of our specific geography, where we’re near a big city where the traffic can just be horrendous, and my stage of life, where I’ve got teens of wildly different personalities who have all sorts of needs. I mean, and I’m sure your listeners know exactly the experience I’m, you know, I’m in, if not that it’s the same with younger kids that you find what you can get in the midst of it all. And I used to be a bit of a perfectionist where I accidentally had this mindset of if I can’t create space for myself, exactly how I want it, there’s no point in doing it at all. So I learned this from actually the therapist that recommended I start blogging when we lived in Turkey, because I would like be craving time with a friend over coffee so badly, and yet I lived in the city of formerly in people relying on public transportation and in a culture that was different than mine.

And it would take me all day to just go across town, to meet up with a friend, you know, an hour or two of coffee and then come back and I would tell him it’s not worth it because you know, four or five hours of driving or, or, you know, public transportation. And what he taught me is no, it actually is worth it.

It is worth going that extra mile, literally in that case, to get some kind of need met, even imperfectly, because done is better than perfect. That process that was like 12 years ago now, really formed me into embracing a lot of what I call partial solutions, this idea of being okay with things just being partially good enough. And so what that looks like for me a lot is things like backyard gardening, even imperfectly, even though I’m not like the world’s best gardener. I enjoy getting my hands in the dirt. I need that quiet like analog digging, you know, as someone who does her work online and looks at a screen for a good chunk of my day, I need that offline balance.

It looks like embracing the things I have to do anyway and making them fun. So for example, I need to feed my family, and so I have learned to enjoy things like baking and cooking and trying new things. Keeping them simple, so that I kind of make my chore fun as best I can. That’s not to say there are days when I’m just like, I can’t be bothered.

But you know, as best I can making what I need to do anyway, fun. Same with just, you know, our home. We live in a, in an old fixer, upper, 1930s, where we’ve had to overhaul every square inch. And while it feels like something we literally need to do, you know, to keep the holes from, you know, bringing in the rain and stuff.

I’ve also tried to see that as my fun. And so, a lot of it is just the embracing the here and now. One thing I’m doing this year is making an effort to live as much of my life within a hundred mile radius. Meaning can I procure our foods? Can we enjoy restaurants and goods and services that only come from within the a hundred miles that you know where we are?

And that includes things like making sure I connect with a friend in person at least once a week so that I’m not just connecting with friends over social, or just via text text message, but actually in person. And so, things like that and just keeping it really simple. It’s those little small things that actually recharge me more than anything.

Julie Lyles Carr: I love this idea of imperfect solutions, because I do think you’re so right. We can get just stunted and stuck thinking. We’ve got to come up with the perfect way to handle something or the perfect way. If it meets all of these different check boxes, well, then that will meet the need. But you’re so right. Sometimes we can. We may not get the itch completely scratched, but we can at least get it a little, a little more taken care of than we might if we were just waiting for the exact right sequence of things and steps in situations to make it happen. That’s a really beautiful concept. It leads beautifully into the conversation I wanted to have with you today about something that is near and dear to my heart right now. And I think that your path has been a little bit similar. I was raised in a faith background where it was a very, stripped down version of a faith community. And what I mean by that, Tsh, is that we didn’t do a lot of extra stuff at all. Like holidays were not really practicing a certain way. All of it was very much for a focus of staying in the word of God and keeping things as simple as possible, which is a beautiful thing.

But I wasn’t raised with an understanding of the church calendar, of liturgy, of some of the traditions that had come from the past. That just wasn’t part of my vernacular. And as my husband and I moved into our faith walk into more of the contemporary Christian Church, I would occasionally hear flickers of these things, but they would be used in different ways.

I wrote a devotional for our listeners, or I actually did a podcast for our listeners, back over the Christmas holidays, where I was laughing about myself, walking through my first traditional advent on which you have written about before. Having to really kind of wrestle with the fact that, okay, Tsh is going to sound like really silly, but you know, those purple candles in that pink one, don’t like match my Christmas decor.

And so like, you know, wrestling that then worrying, I wasn’t getting it perfect, like allowing this very strange legalism to begin to surround advent for me. And I confessed to my listeners that, you know, for the longest time to me, as long as I have been in church environments, as long as I was part of a church staff, I still came to advent thinking it was really the countdown to Christmas, not the burgeoning awareness of the second coming of Christ. This was like big news to me in the last little while. For me, Lent is the same way. There is a flickering of understanding. There is a little bit of practice I’ve done in my adult life in certain ways, but certainly not predicated on how Christians for many, many years have practiced

Lent. So, as you and I have been talking about this place where we kind of hold in two hands, both wanting things to be simple and having an adventure, some life being both, both ambiverts are introverts, but also wanting to engage in things that, that push us a little bit, and are important for our emotional and mental and spiritual health, that place where we hold these things in town. Is just such a beautiful way of beginning to talk about your latest work called bitter and sweet, which is an exploration of Lent.

So, tell me what began to fascinate you about coming into this place of understanding more about things in the church history, obviously, we’re not saying that these are biblical requirements. We’re not trying to put any kind of legalism around it, but it then beautiful spiritual practices for a lot of Christians for centuries, and how you became fascinated with it. What you’re learning from it. Talk to me about how you came to that place, that this was something you wanted to unpack and write about and share with your readers.

Tsh Oxenreider: Well, I’m glad you started it with advent because that’s actually largely the birth of my interest of Lent really. Because it was about, I don’t know, 10 years ago when I was really searching for something that made advent more approachable for me as a young mom, I wanted, I was fascinated with the more ancient practice of church, just like you said. Having lived overseas and experiencing a lot more of the non-American church, and then also just my love of history, really exploring how new our American Christianity and our practices really are, or lack thereof. And so, interested in the concept. And I, you know, had known of advent calendars, but only thought of it just like you as a countdown to Christmas. So long story short, I you know, fast forward about 10 years after just kind of hobbling my way through advents, really with my family, I wanted to find something that met my need for advent, and I couldn’t find it.

So, I wrote it myself, which is a practice that was very theologically, rich and meaty, but also very accessible and not over the heads of our, of our kids, but also wasn’t so lightweight that it felt like we were just checking a box. You know, I didn’t want something that required prep. I’m not crafty, so I didn’t want to have to like to provide glitter sticks, things like that. I wanted something that was open and go that didn’t make me feel behind. Long story short, I ended up writing a book for my family for advent called, Shadow and Light, and we ended up publishing it with a publisher so that others could have access to it. Enough readers loved it to ask me if I would do the same for Lent. My initial thought was, oh my goodness, Lent feels so. Almost other worldly that I don’t feel like I have the authority to write any sort of book on Lent. However, I had had a similar relationship to Lynch because you know, really it, the, all these holidays we’re talking about are part of the liturgical calendar.

The liturgical calendar is this, is the church’s recognition of time and how we live in tandem with it. So, church calendar starts on advent. The first Sunday of advent is considered kind of the New Year’s Day, and we, yeah, we, so we go through advent into Christmas tide, which is 12 days. Some traditions recognize that even longer. Go into Epiphany, and then depending on what tradition, you’re in a short season of ordinary time. And then we come into Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. And so they all work in tandem. They’re not like these stand apart, just random, holidays decided by who knows what? And you know, interestingly Lent is very, very old.

We, I mean, we have older records of Christians practicing Lent before even the canonization of the Bible. So, we’re talking like, 150 AD or so. And so, this is a practice that. Christian communities used to prepare themselves for the feast of Easter tide, the seasonal feast of Easter tide. And so, this is not some kind of like invented practice just to sort of almost like better ourselves in the sense of like, remind us how sinful we are, and shouldn’t we be so grateful that Jesus died and rose again for our sins. It is, it is a communal practice of reminding ourselves of how great the gift of grace is through Christ resurrection, because of our finite bodies that we still live in on earth in the here and now. And so, in that way, it is a similar already, not yet sort of sense that advent is where we’re reminding ourselves that even though Christ already has risen from the dead, when we are practicing Lent in the present day. We’re, we’re not done.

You know, we’re still, we’re still living in frail bodies. We’re still struggling with certain sins and proclivities. And we always will until we meet Christ face to face again. And so, Lent is just a daily reminder of that, and it’s not at all, some kind of like challenge that God’s given us to prove our metal or a checklist of any sort, it is an invitation. It’s a gift that we could embark on this journey in tandem with our ancestors, in a million of brothers and sisters that have gone before us and, and, you know, into the future of practicing certain finite, tangible practices, in order to remind ourselves of how much we need Christ.

Julie Lyles Carr: You, you tap into something that is interesting, that I realized that I’ve carried with me as a sense of what I thought maybe Lent was, or how it was practiced. More of a sense of, oh, Lent is a time of deprivation. Lent is a time of beating oneself up a little bit. And so, you’re bringing up some things that I think are very interesting for, for me, for listeners to understand, that there may be some elements and understandably that those things could be interpreted in that way, but that’s not exactly the heart of it. The heart of it being more, this focus, just like I learned with advent, being the focus on the return of Christ second coming, that Lent really is more of this focus on grace. Why do you think sometimes in these practices we tend to slide toward things that were not really the point.

Tsh Oxenreider: Yeah, we get there. Yeah. Well, it, you know, it’s an audacious. Easter is audacious. It, it is not only a celebration of something truly miraculous, you know, God coming to earth, cloaked in humanity and then conquered death on our behalf. We, it’s uncomfortable for us to sit with that. Like, oh, so there, there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn your good graces.

And even though we can fully accept that in our heads, I think sometimes we struggle with that in our bodies, because we’re so aware of how we fall short. And so, I think sometimes we want to take things on with good intentions. You know, we want to, we want it. It’s kind of like what Paul talks about. Like I’m doing what I don’t want to do and I’m not doing what I do want to do.

Yeah. And so we, we look at how we want to be. We want to be right with God. And we are just so very aware of how we’re not. And so Lent feels like a good space to practice getting rid of those things that we do or don’t want to do that we are doing or not doing. And, and yet, we forget sometimes like historically Lent is three pillars. I kind of think of it as a three-legged stool where Easter sits on top, and when you have all three in tandem, it makes the feast of Easter so much more enjoyable. And fasting is just one of those pillars. The other two are prayer, and traditionally, alms giving. So, you know, some form of giving or participation in, in the life of the world, around us in giving back. And so, when you do those things together collectively it becomes a process really of moving from, yes, a fast, but actually a form of a feasting. Even while we wait for the feast day of Easter. It’s sort of a feasting on kind of the awareness and the goodness of how we don’t have to earn anything here.

And so, we can continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but in the, the confidence of knowing that ultimately it’s not about earning any sort of medal from God at all. This is just about us. This is about us knowing God through Christ so much more deeply while we wait here on earth.

Julie Lyles Carr: Beautiful. Talk to me about this idea that when we make following the church calendar, part of our practice, part of our, I almost hate to call it a discipline, Tsh, because I get so worried that we’re going to, at least for myself, be distracted by what could become a legalism for things. Like, oh no, I didn’t practice this in this certain way on these certain days and now I’m like off kilter. And I, I want to be so careful in that regard at the same time. I, for many years was long involved in different church community efforts because we, it was almost like we were the first generation of the church. We were figuring out all these amazing, innovative things. We were going to bring so much enlightenment and truth and revelation in fresh ways. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be innovative and thoughtful about the culture in which you’re living and, and how to communicate the gospel in that way, but often it felt like there wasn’t either an awareness or a knowledge of church history, and how it informs when you talk to your culture and what you understand about your faith.

And there’s certainly for me, for a long time was not, I didn’t feel I was linking arms with the saints who had come before. I didn’t, I, well, I could appreciate their history and I certainly was interested in scripture and archeological digs and all kinds of things. In some ways it felt disconnected. Like these people who lived so long ago and, and we’re believing the same thing, but how could they possibly understand the challenges and the mores and the, all of the shadows of today. And of course, how silly, because of course they experienced all the same stuff. Yeah. Maybe just not with the internet, but they still have their own ways that they were dealing with things.

So, when you talk about Lent being an opportunity, The church calendar being an opportunity to walk in tandem with those who’ve come before us, I mean, that sounds super quantum. So, so walk us through that, how that plays out in your mind, this way that we can engage in practices that have been engaged for a long time, and really gain the benefit from them without potentially getting linked to something that feels a little more legalistic. Or we, we stopped seeing the beauty of it because it becomes just so rote. How do you make all that work in your faith practice?

Tsh Oxenreider: I think sometimes we get so overly concerned about being legalistic that we swing far too, the other side, to where we’re, we actually don’t really in good faith, touch legalism, even though we’re nervous that we will. Because so much of our faith really, and truly, while we live here on earth, is worked out. You know, the, the New Testament writers talk all the time about being doers and about working out our salvation. So, it’s kind of an interesting American evangelical proclivity to be nervous about that when really, and truly we’re, we’re not touching that even remotely. And so I have found, you know, when you, if you think of Hebrews 11 and talking about the great cloud of witnesses among us, that, that the church and heaven is more alive than we.

You know, they are more fully human than we are. That we are participating with them here on earth, what they are already doing in their fullness, face-to-face with Christ. And so, when we get to participate in the life of just good practices that draws near. Such as reading, prayer, fasting these, these spiritual disciplines that have been just the, the hallmark of being a Christian since those days. Since, even before you know, when Christ, you know, Practiced his faith as a Jewish man in, in that time period. And so, all these feast days, they were very well familiar with it that this does not feel like any sort of form of like added extra. This was a display of what had already taken place in the fullness of Christ through his resurrection outwardly for others. So, with that in mind it’s helpful for me, you know, just a regular person in our modern era who has a full plate, and a crazy family, to really approach something like Lent with a lot of grace and a lot of, almost like, I don’t want to say good humor, but knowing going in that I’m going to quote, mess up because, because we’re not actually really doing Lent. It’s not like a thing that we check off our list. We’re as an invitation, we’re being invited to embody just these simple practices and seeing how God uses them to speak to us.

So, for example, if we, if we take on a Lenten fast, You know what food is really common, so it’s easy to talk about. Like, if we, if we take on it the fast of sugar or chocolate or a particular meal of the day or whatever it is, whenever we sense our bodies have drawing, drawing to them, you know, when you get a sugar craving, or when you’re hungry and you’ve chosen to skip that meal, we’re invited to remember that we are still the church on earth, but one day we will be joined with our brothers and sisters

in heaven with them, fully redeemed and we will not hunger. We will not face these trials that we feel on earth. And so, it’s that already not yet. Like, we will be able to enjoy a feast soon enough. In the here and now, we can use things like hunger or some form of, you know, whatever it is that comes with the fasting to ask God, to remind us that he provides all we need. And that even when we physically lack something that does not mean something is wrong, or something is missing. That here on earth we live in a broken world. Right. And it’s also a really great way, you know, especially if you tie in the prayer and the Thanksgiving or the almsgiving, with a reminder of the, our fellow brothers and sisters here on earth that we live among are going through similar and usually much harder situations. So, I find that it works well to tie in, especially if you have younger kids. So, like, if you are fasting from sugar, for example, to, as a family, support a ministry that perhaps gives back, regarding food insecurity. Or to certain parts of the world, helping them raise their families well with needed resources like farm animals, or, or, you know, water or whatever it is, you know? So that you tie the dots or connect the dots with our fast being, not just for the sake of fasting. That it’s actually to remind that we are among a community of believers in that way. So things like that to me, help me quote, do Lent or go farther and, and make it because Lent also really long, and so, especially compared to advent, and so it helps to take it small. In those ways, just to remember that this is not about checking the boxes. It’s about letting God speak to me during that time.

Julie Lyles Carr: For that mom, who’s listening out there and is saying, okay, I’m kind of compelled. I want to find out more about the historic Lent. I want to begin to introduce this to my family, or I want to renew this as a practice in my family, equip us with a very simple explanation of what Lent is, that we can communicate to our kids, and maybe even help ourselves understand what this period of time is. The bitter and the sweet the 40 days. So, give us that simple.

Tsh Oxenreider: Lent is the six weeks or almost seven weeks from Ash Wednesday to Easter. And it helps to recognize both Ash Wednesday and Easter to understand the in between days of, of Lent. So, on Ash Wednesday, it usually, if you go to a service that recognizes that day, usually the ashes smudge on your forehead, come from the previous year’s Palm Sundays. From Palm fronds that they then burned down and use, so that we’re reminded of the circular or circular nature of the church calendar. And the priest will smudge across on your forehead, or sprinkle on your head, and he will say to dust, you came into dust shall return. In other words,

You’re going to die. Life is short. And it seems like a quiet somber way to begin what is a penitential season. And so, if you start there, it’s so interesting that the other bookend is Easter, where we actually are reminded we’re not going to die. So, first, the first day is you are going to die. The second, the other side is, but you’re not going to die. So, in between Lent is a slow walk of being reminded that even though these bodies that we live in are going to die, this is not all there is, and we will be resurrected again. And so, that’s why Whenever you think of these little days where people take on fasts and they combine them with other, you know, certain practices that they take on, it’s not so much as a way of being worthy of Easter. It’s just a reminder of what Ash Wednesday feels and looks like and is embodied, compared to Easter. And even one of the great graces, I think historically of Lent is that even though it’s technically 46 days, we practice it for 40 days. And the reason is because every Sunday within that, is sort of a mini-Easter. It’s a little bitty, tiny feast that’s kind of a break from this fast. And so, every six days we’re getting this reminder of like, oh yeah, this really isn’t what life is about. Life really is, I’m going to be fulfilled whenever. We are redeemed with Christ fully. I’m in the here and now we’re still working it out here on earth. And so, then we go back to it the next day and continue to work on it slowly and slowly. And the beautiful thing for those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere is that it’s also a walk from like the dead of winter, in many places where it’s quite cold and quite bare, to spring. And so, we get to see the debt or the, the sort of fallowness of a hidden life, all the way to a blooming life, through gardens, through trees, through wildflowers in between.

And so, to me, that’s a lovely gift of Lent as well for those of us who live, where that tends to happen.

Julie Lyles Carr: Right. And the ability to point that out to our kids, to help them see that it’s happening as well, just helps reinforce that message about what this season of the year is. Well, Tsh, I just love the way that you unpack history for us. You make us think about things. You give us a practical, practical steps for taking on some spiritual experience and discipline. I just love it. Tsh, where can people find out more about your new book on Lent, Bitter and Sweet?

Tsh Oxenreider: The easiest place, honestly, is just tshoxenreider.com, because everything is linked there. So, if people just go to that website, they will see where to order the book, and where you can find all my other things. The only thing to know is that. Spelled weird, right?

Julie Lyles Carr: Yeah. We will get that in the show notes because Tsh is right. That’s one of the things that I think actually really caught my attention a million years ago, back in blogging world, was T S H that’s how your name is spelled. And I know that probably has its issues and its challenges, but it also is a remarkable name for a remarkable woman. So, thanks so much for being with me today. We’ll make sure and get that in the show notes. Check them out. Rebecca does them each and every week. And while you’re there, wherever you get your podcast, be sure and give us a five-star rating and review, and we might just read your review on the air, one of these times on the podcast. Tsh Oxenreider, you’re the best. Thanks so much for being with me today.

Tsh Oxenreider: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great.

Julie Lyles Carr: Check out the show notes for all the links, info and other goodness from this week’s episode, with a big thank you to our content coordinator, Rebecca. I’ve got a request, please go like, and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts, it really does make a difference in helping other people find the show. And I’ll see you next week here at the AllMomDoes podcast.