Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My personal Lent

This has nothing to do with crafts but it has everything to do with me so please amuse me and allow me to digress from my creativity for a few minutes and share something close to my heart. I'm sure you know that today marks the beginning of Lent and I am humbled to participate.

Lent has never really a part of my life, which is odd considering I grew up in church, but because it tends to be more of a tradition in other denominations than the evangelical one I grew up in, it just wasn't really an observance in my family. As I get older and examine my heart and lean into Jesus Christ more and more, I have come to question and define my own personal theology and discover who God is...and who He isn't...and the difference between what I've been taught and what I truly believe.

For me Lent isn't a Catholic thing...or a Lutheran's a Jesus thing. It's about prayer, self-denial, sacrificing and remembering Jesus Christ, His life and His crucifixion. It's not about doing it because of works...or not doing it out of's a choice that I've consciously made and encourage you to pray and ask God about what it means to you, if anything.

Not unlike most people, my life has been hit hard lately. Finances, family, work...these are all things that have worried me, kept me up at night and divided my attention. My personal prayer time has been intimate and beautiful and spiritually, I am in a good place. But outside of that time, I have been anxious and frazzled. It's not how I've wanted things to be, but it's just the truth of what it is. I have no desire to pretend that all is ok...and I am "giving it to God" and feel this peace. Sometimes I have peace, sometimes I don't. Just the truth.

The other evening, I was sleeping and woke up around 4 in the morning. I was instantly hit with such a profound sense of gratitude for really simple things. I got up and got a drink of water and was moved to tears that I was blessed enough to do that. I turned on a light and was reminded how that alone is such a gift. I climbed back into my warm, snuggly bed and thanked God that I had a roof, a bed and a home that is mine. It seems simple, but it was profound for me and it outlined my focus in my observance of Lent.

There are things that I've chosen to "give up" for Lent. There is a choice that I am making to focus my time and energy on prayer and time with God. I am conscious of the life of Jesus Christ and the time leading up to His crucifixion. And probably, most importantly, I am putting my focus on things, people, situations, issues....and offering this time as a sacrifice to Jesus Christ. There are two causes that I am supporting with prayer and time during this 40 days:

40 Days of Water and 40 Days for Life.

Please take a few minutes and visit each, or maybe ask yourself where your heart lies. It doesn't have to be these two...but I know it lies somewhere. What is your testimony? Where did God bring you from? What are you asking for now? Take that issue or concern outside of yourself and find a person or an organization that you can sacrifice for. It can be time, or it can be money, or it can prayer....there's always something to give.

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