Today, we celebrate a moment of joy with our contributor and dear friend Margaret Rose Realy: the launch of her gorgeous new book Cultivating God's Garden through Lent.

Along with loving her writing here on our website and at her blog "Morning Rose Prayer Gardens" at Patheos, I have the added blessing of being "in real life" friends with Margaret. This means that I'm aware of all of the hard work she put into this project, and also of some of the added crosses she had to bear during the book's publication process. I can't think of Margaret without smiling -- she's been a true source of inspiration and a role model for me in my own writing, so to see her have any difficulty at all hurts my heart. (You'll hear her make a bit of a reference to this in her interview tomorrow with Sarah Reinhard).

Cultivating God's Garden through Lent Cultivating God's Garden through Lent

The truth is, however, that the end product of Cultivating God's Garden through Lent to me seems worth whatever hardship she had to endure in the process. While I wouldn't wish crosses on any of my friends, Margaret handled this one with grace, and her patience and generosity of spirit was a testimonial to her writer friends about placing our work into God's hands and letting his will be done. I hesitate to think how I might have responded under similar circumstances and feel so graced to have Margaret as a mentor.

Now let's get to the book! Here's what I had to say in my endorsement of Cultivating God's Garden through Lent:

Typically, the words "I can't wait for Lent this year" do not form themselves in my heart. A sometimes reluctant penitent, I prefer the rhythm of Ordinary Time and the anticipation of Advent. But this year, I'm actually joyfully looking forward to Lent as I will be praying through the season with the aid of Margaret Rose Realy's beautiful new devotional, Cultivating God's Garden through Lent. Gorgeously written and accessible regardless of your prior experience with Lent, this is a book to be savored and shared.

Now that I'm holding my own copy of Cultivating God's Garden through Lent in my hands, I'm more excited than ever to spend a bit of time each day with this book of reflections. For each day of the season, Margaret's voice shines through in her entries, which tell stories, vignettes and experiences that illuminate, but which also ring true for anyone (even plant killers like me!) Each daily entry concludes with a prayer, verse of scripture, or inspirational quotation to fuel you for the day ahead or to put the one you've just journeyed through into more complete perspective.

As we approach Ash Wednesday, I hope you'll join me in make Cultivating God's Garden through Lent a part of your spiritual life this Lenten season.

Order Cultivating God's Garden through Lent and support with your purchase.

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2013 Lisa M. Hendey