Beginning Lent

The first time I recall really noticing Ash Wednesday was several years ago when my husband had played for a service at a local church and came home with a smudge on his forehead. I still didn’t really understand it, I just knew it had something to do with the Lenten and Easter season and it involved repentance and sacrifice.

I was not raised in a church that observed Ash Wednesday or Lent, so I never really took the time to understand it.  As we moved around and attended various churches I became a little more up to par on what it was all about, but still most protestant churches do not observe Ash Wednesday or Lent.

Over the years I have known people who gave up something for Lent and it always seemed hard.  I mean who can really give up chocolate?  So, to be honest I’ve never really taken the time to consider how observing Lent could impact my life.  This year I have decided to embrace Lent and incorporate a few reminders of how I desperately need to cling to Jesus in all areas of my life. I have learned in much of life, especially when doing something that I want to have an impact on my life, that it is better for me to keep it simple.

For me Observing Lent is not about giving up something just to be giving up something.  I have felt the tug of several convictions lately in some areas of my life and I have come to realize that they all work together to make up the whole of me. It’s not so much what I choose to give up, or even what disciplines I may add, but it is more about the awareness that I need more of Jesus.  So, when I struggle to give up something I have become attached to, it will be a reminder that I need to rely on the Grace of Jesus.  The hope is that it will remind me to turn to him.

Turning to him is the ultimate goal for my spiritual growth.  So I have chosen a couple of food items that are not good for me, that I have become too attached to in recent months and I have also chosen a couple of attitude or character items that I have felt convicted about.  Those will be my focus during this Season of Lent.  In each case I have listed them in the form of substituting something good or positive in the place of the not so good. Additionally, in the spirit of reaching out to others I have a goal of reaching out to one person each week with an encouragement. This is my 1×6 goal.

I have made a little chart to encourage me in my endeavor.

lenten.goals

What about you, are you in the habit of observing a Lenten sacrifice or discipline?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

I am linking up with Elisabeth Esther for a Gentle Lent.

Also, you may find these two articles helpful in learning more about Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Observing in Grace,

Teresa

 

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12 thoughts on “Beginning Lent

  1. Hi Teresa I could not find your email address but wanted to remind you that you are scheduled to be featured on My Favorite 5 next Friday. Could you please send your post/images as soon as possible? Thank you! 🙂

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    1. Laura, I apologize for so much trouble in locating my email. My main email is tlhardymon(at)yahoo(dot)com. I guess I need to add it to my blog. Thank you for the opportunity to be featured on your blog. I can have my post to you by the end of the weekend, if that is ok. Other than favorite five are there any specific guidelines or preferences that you require? Also, can you send me an email for submitting the material. Thanks and have a great day!

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  2. What a wondrous post! Our church we attend now observes Lent and it is such a precious time for preparing for Easter. Last year are pastor talked about not “giving up” but just giving. I loved that and for the second year in a row I am doing just that.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

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    1. I love the idea of giving! Hope your weekend is great too – St. Patrick’s Day already – I’m ready for spring – we have still been having some late winter lingering.

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  3. I don’t observe lent but I like the last two a lot. We all should do more gratitude and prayer, but I say eat the fries! 😉

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    1. 🙂 I have eaten fries once. I never write anything in stone! It’s more of a motivation to eat healthier and lately fries have been one of my pitfalls. The coke is harder to let go of. The gratitude and prayer are so necessary to feeling balanced. I don’t usually observe lent either, but this year felt that I wanted to put some reminders in place that would remind me to make the better choices. Thanks for stopping by – hope you come back!

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  4. THIS is so perfect and gentle and lovely! And I just LOVE the little graphic you made. So whimsical! I want to print it and put it on my own desk! Thank you for sharing.

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  5. That’s adorable. Catholics are encouraged now for us to not simply give up something, but to replace it, as you have done with your little sign.

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    1. Thanks! I figured giving up something does not do me any good if I am not replacing it with something better. I need to eat healthier and complain less etc so I thought the sign might be a good motivator. I have it on my fridge. Glad you stopped by!

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  6. Absolutely love your chart! Like you, I did not grow up observing Lent. I have learned about it over the years. For me it is not so much giving up things, but getting more of Jesus. Which, really, is less of me. Giving up me, my wants and desires for His.

    Beautiful post, beautiful blog!

    Thanks!

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