Dear friends, I am not a part of a church that celebrates the liturgical year and/or the Lenten season. However, the more I have been reading about Lent, the more I feel the Lord leading me in this direction. Alot of the resources I have found are from more liturgical settings: Catholic, Lutheran, etc. However, as I read through some of the prayers and scriptures I find that alot of it is non-denominational and very fitting for this season we are moving into.
Lent is a 40-day season that comes just before Easter. If you are beginning on Wed. Feb. 25th which is Ash Wednesday, you do not count the Sundays in the tradtional “40 day” count. The reason they do not count Sundays is because Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection. The 40 days of Lent represent the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness. It is a time of repentance, devotion, surrender, renewal, soul-searching, and rededicating our hearts and lives to the Lord. Honestly, I am VERY excited and hopeful to see what God does in my heart during this time. I’m excited to see what things He shows me, what things He wants to change in me…as well as our family relationships growing deeper and stronger.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting 40 days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”…Jesus said to him, “Away from me Satan! For it is written: ‘worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’ Then the devil left him and angels attended to him.” Matthew 4:1-11
The things the Lord has placed on my heart regarding Lent are…
*Jesus spent 40 days in the desert…I want to give HIM 40 days with more of my attention, prayers and heart.
*While Easter is the most joyous day in the lives of Christians, the time leading up to it was probably the hardest time ever in the lives of those believers living at the time with Jesus. I want to spend this season focusing on Jesus, what He did for me, spending time at His feet in prayer and worship, choosing the “better” for a season.
*I have read of so many people who observe Lent and how much MORE meaningful Easter is to them…to have focused on Jesus and his suffering and death for the weeks leading up to the resurrection will make Easter morning an even MORE joyous occasion!
*I want to “put away” the things that take up my time and take away FROM time with the Lord.
That said, I am going to be “giving up” my internet as far as the “fun” of it is concerned. Now, I do have prior obligations that will keep me checking for emails and such.
MY PLAN for Lent:
*no blog reading (this will be hard, I love reading all of your blogs!)
*no computer during the day until around 9pm daily and this will be ONLY for email checking and the occasional review (I am committed to TOS for these reviews and cannot just quit mid-year, I also have to check in on that message board, I will do at after 9pm a few times a week.) (I am also committed to sending out prayer email chains for our choir and women’s ministry that I will check at night, but not during the day.)
*no “surfing” including my teaching/lesson plans, I *hope* to have my units and school plans ready to go by Tueday of this week
*no message board reading (I am committed as a moderator of HSS, but will not be checking in for pleasure, I will check in with the “staff” message board there and ask them to email me if I am needed.)
*little blogging coming FROM me – again, I am committed to my TOS reviews and each of those has a deadline that I will be meeting. I also hope to share my Lent and then Easter plans with you, and come Caleb’s birthday I’ll have to post some pictures of my boy! But, it will be pretty quiet around here for the most part. Unless I feel the Lord leading me to share something specific.
IN PLACE OF: (what I hope to replace my internet time which has become WAY too time consuming)
*more time in prayer (I have bought a new prayer journal that I hope to record in daily)
*more time in the Word
*more time READING! Do you guys know how big the pile of books is that I have to read beside my bed?? The books that will be my first choice are books that will draw me to the Lord. I have a new devotional, a Lent devotional and a few books on faith that will be at the top of that list.
*David and I are going to be doing the book “Love Dare” from the movie Fireproof. This book is 40 days long and will be perfect for us to focus some time and energy into our marriage during Lent.
*more “fun” time with my kids – I’m going to make more of an effort to play games with them as 1 specific thing
*a little spring cleaning around the house
*exercise – I have been really, really enjoying how I feel with consistent exercise the past 3 weeks…I want to continue that and work towards a better daily routine with that
*for all areas of my life to grow healthier: physically, emotionally, spiritually
*to deepen my love and devotion for Jesus
*to deepen and strengthen my prayer life
*to hide MORE of His word in my heart
*for Him to change me…in ways that I may not be expecting, in any way He sees fit
*strengthen and deepen our family relationships – with David and with the kids