I’ve never participated in Lent before. I grew up in churches that never mentioned it. My naive, young self thought it was only something my friends that went to the Catholic church in town did. As I got older though, I learned more about it. I learned the history of it, the reasons behind it, yet still I chose not to participate. Giving something up for 40 days? Yeah. That wasn’t for me. Last year I had a strong conviction I should do something, but honestly for my own comfort I didn’t want to commit.
At the beginning of the New Year I read “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. Omgosh. That book! It has changed so much in me over the past 2 months. It’s basically a book about fasting in some respect from 7 areas we seem to waste the most time, energy and money in. It’s endearing, hilarious and life changing. I am slightly obsessed with Jen Hatmaker. The book made me face a lot of what my idols are in my life. What I cling to, waste time on, hold important (when they’re not) and worry over. It really convicted me and I finished it just in time to start thinking about Lent.
Lent isn’t suppose to be used as a second chance for resolutions. It’s giving up and fasting from something, but making sure you are replacing it with prayer, reading, or worship. I’ve really prayed over my motives and searched my heart this year. I want to be doing all of this for the purpose of growing closer to God. We’re at a turning point as a family. We’re starting a big journey and I want Jesus to be front and center. I’m really good at filling my time with everything but him. I am desperate to change that. I want to make room for Him and I don’t want worldy possessions to steer my heart. I want these next 40 days to be a way to reflect what the Easter season is all about. There’s nothing magical about all of this. It’s not like a switch is flipped and you come out perfect. I know I will fail at what I am fasting from, but in my imperfections I hope I can see just how perfect Jesus is and how badly I need him.
I highly recommend reading this blog post on Lent by Ann Voskamp.
I picked a theme for Lent… “Live Simple” Here is what my Lent season will look like:
1. Kev and I started Drea’s Mise En Place: A Thirty Day Cleanse today. We will continue working through it for the next 40 days. I love Drea and I love this e-guide. It has beautiful pictures, lots of great information, recipes, shopping lists, etc… I feel like it’s totally doable. It’s not juicing, but eating whole, vegan and simple. Something we should be doing more of anyways. We already eat loads of veggies in our house and I am a vegetarian who doesn’t like fake meat to begin with, so I am hoping it will be a sort of easy transition. I wanted to do this though because I have a major sweet tooth (CANDY!!). I just really hate the idea of being enslaved to the feeling of needing sugar. I don’t want to be enslaved to anything. I will continue to blog on this one throughout the 40 days. I really do recommend this e-guide to anyone- it’s perfect for anyone wanting to jump start a healthy lifestyle.
2. I will be giving up Twitter (on my phone) and Facebook (altogether). SO.MUCH.WASTED.TIME!! I will need to hop on twitter (from my laptop) from time to time in order to fulfill some obligations I have relating to blog work but I am deleting the apps from my phone until Easter. I want to be present. When I really think about how much time during the day I am scrolling through all those media outlets — Ouch! It’s embarrassing.
3. Kev is giving up TV, so in turn I am too. TV isn’t really an issue for me — I don’t really enjoy watching it to begin with but we do sometimes like to watch an episode of something before we go to bed. At the moment we LOVE Brooklyn 99. So funny. Without it though, I plan to go to bed earlier and have dedicated time at night reading, reflecting and journaling. I bought a Lent journal from Jessi. I am really looking forward to using it.
4. No excess clothes spending. Self explanatory. I love me some new clothes, shopping is therapeutic to me. I love looking at clothing websites (I used to love actual shopping but that doesn’t happen anymore with kids). With no money to spend — I wont need to spend time looking through the sale sections at my favorite places. Do I really need another pair of shoes just because they are on sale? We have TOO MUCH stuff in our lives that we do not need.
5. I would like to clean out our closets, bins, drawers, etc… and donate everything. I am very grateful for all that we have, but there are others that could use it more. I want our house to be simple, beautiful and full of love, more than “stuff”. I want to be filled with a giving spirit.
I am looking forward to having more family time, more time to read, more time to be creative, but more importantly I am looking forward to creating room for Jesus.
Are you participating in Lent this year? I would love to hear what you are fasting from.