^^a painting I made ooooh sooo many years ago.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It starts the 46 days before Easter Sunday, representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. I had never participated in fasting from something for Lent until last year. I don’t think I really understood it until I looked into it more. Always thinking it was too ritualistic for me, I realized last year that with the right motives it can be a powerful way to spend focused time on Christ. You can read about my decisions and thoughts from last year HERE, HERE and HERE.
This year sort of snuck up on me though. I felt like last year it was really clear to me what I should “give up” for Lent. This year I’ve been struggling. I think if I am honest with myself, at this moment of life I feel sort of numb in my faith. I don’t doubt anything I believe, I just sort of feel distant to my relationship with God. It’s my own doing. He never leaves… I just become busy. I started praying about Lent last week and I feel like I’ve had some peace over the idea of fasting from a state of mind more so than something tangible. That’s where I’m at. I need a change in attitude. I read this on the She Reads Truth app the other day and I was like “yep, that’s me”. It read “As I approach this season of Lent, I’m in need of a big, bright Gospel post-it note. My mind and body are tired, my heart in numb and I just feel… forgetful. Disconnected. Distracted. Remind me what we’re doing here again, Lord? Remind me of who you are. Remind me of what You’ve done.”
Man. That is me.
So for this Lent season, I decided I would work through the She Reads Truth devotion. And I don’t mean read with my eyes barely being able to stay open because it’s so late at night. I mean really work through it. Read. Reread. Journal. Pray. Repent. I also want to use this verse “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2” as my guide for areas of my life that I know make me feel that numb, distracted, distant feeling. I almost feel like a fast of my negative thoughts and attitude will be more challenging that giving up say, social media or something like that. But I am following after what God has laid on my heart. I want these 46 days to bring me closer to Him. To humble myself before him, to be open to what sins need to be confessed and what truths need to be heard. Easter is such a beautifully heartbreaking yet joyous time to celebrate. Praying I can quiet myself this year to understand the full glory of the cross.
Love this – your thoughts, intentions, and that painting! I agree that Lent really snuck up on us this year. It’s so easy to feel numb and distracted, too. Intentional devotion time sounds amazing…I hope you share your journey here!
I was struck by that same couple of lines from the SRT devotion, and I know exactly what you mean when you say that there’s nothing specific you feel lead to give up for lent this year- ditto! (Last year was only the second time I participated in Lent and I gave up all random internet/blog browsing). Anyway, praying that both of us are given the grace and diligence to draw closer to Christ this Lent season. Thank you for your honesty and openness! There are so many of us in the exact same spot, ever in need of more of our Savior.
-Sarah / http://www.sarahkeller.com
I can’t believe we are that close to Easter (Well because we are buried in snow right now)…
Thank you for reminding us of how important this time is and that we should ALWAYS focus on things that are ABOVE and not be so materialistic.
P.S. Also, I don’t want to intrude and just wanted to ask, what denomination Christian are you? I couldn’t decipher based on your post. It’s ok if you are not comfortable answering
Thanks for this. It really resonates with my current season as well.
totally feeling that!
It’s so hard to be authentic when you’re tired. I’ve been feeling so numb lately but just got back on my exercise bandwagon listening to worship music as I run and bam! There was the passion again.
I think those little routines make it all work even though it’s so nice to be spontaneous.
God bless you in it all. I hope he helps you to grow heaps this season. xx
Lent snuck up on me this year, too. And honestly, Lent is hard because it takes place right as the world is starting to get brighter and warmer again. I want to celebrate, not meditate. But I’m with you that what I really want is to carve out some space for prayer and meditation.
thank you for sharing this. I’ve never given up anything for lent either but really do love the idea of replacing something that consumes you with focused time with the Lord. I too have felt like you, and attended a local IF conference to weekends which totally shock me up and gave me this desire to draw nearer to the Lord. Hoping the next month or so I can do just as you wrote too!
Oh man, jen… this is exactly my same feelings. I don’t doubt my faith at all, and nothing about Him has changed.. its all me. I so agree. I feel distracted, foggy almost. So if you don’t mind, I am going to pray the same things. I am going to beg god to wake me up. Thanks girl, for this honest post.
Thanks for sharing this, Jen! I have been looking for some kind of devotional to do and I love the idea of doing one leading up to lent. Lent has never been a huge part of the churches I’ve gone to but I’m interested to learn more and use this time to refocus my heart leading up to Easter. I think it’s so wonderful in addition to all the other (impressive) ways you work on improving your life (I still can’t believe you train for a marathon pushing 2 kids in a jogging stroller, seriously), you are also devoting your time and heart to spiritual growth. I find that to be so low on my to do list, sadly. I’d like to work on that.
Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog yesterday but had a chance to look through a little more today.This post speaks very directly to what I’ve been feeling so much lately (and for the last year if I’m honest). These ideas kind of keep coming up in front of me—is being a mom to young kids (3 & 6) a normal time to feel this way? Putting all of that in the context of Lent has got me thinking now. Thanks 🙂