As I usually state prior to an overtly faith-spoken post, I acknowledge and respect that not all who read share in my belief. I wish to maintain my convictions without any attempt to force them on others. That said, I invite you to share in my journey if you will. Please know that I welcome your input and thoughts even if they are different from my own.
We are entering the season of Lent on the Christian calendar which is 40 days of preparation before the celebration of Easter. For me this is a time of giving and pursuing in a more intentional way; a time where I open myself to deeper knowing. Its a time where I both offer and ask.
I avoid tradition for the sake of tradition (if that makes sense) yet I truly believe that, as within all of life, my faith also has ‘seasons’. There are times of rejoicing, of hearing, of questioning, of seeking, of following, and even times of…silence. I think that naturally after the seasons of Advent and Epiphany there comes this time of quiet and longing…for more. These next days of Lent are a time of saying, “here I am, listening, teach me.”. And so, over the last few days, I have listened and waited to know what I could give in order to pursue. I didn’t know what it would be until this morning, Ash Wednesday, when I found that the glimpses came together.
In many ways, I see this time as intensely personal, between myself and Him. That is why I am choosing to leave my lent unspoken for the time being but I wonder, do you take part in Lent? Why or why not? How do you view Lent and how do you choose what give up? Do you see it as a valuable practice that has impacted you?
**I really appreciated the perspective of the link above and would have copied it on here but it specifically requests that no copying be done, but it is worth the click!
My friend Dea expressed some thoughts on Lent at Our Journey Home that I really appreciated. She gives a simple explanation of what Lent is as well as thoughts on how to participate in it as a family.
Ah, Lent… my practice begins on Ash Wednesday with the service of the Imposition of Ashes. Being marked with the sign of the cross as a reminder to “remember that [I am] dust and to dust [I] shall return”. A reminder of the frailty and uncertainty of our lives and that God is here to create something new and beautiful within us and through us. Attending the service is a reminder that I not only take this journey with God but I do it surrounded by a loving and faithful community.In years past I have given something up (chocolate, wheat) but this year I have decided to consciously take on a practice. To spend more time with scripture and more time in prayer through the act of writing to God (I’m using a book “Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying With My Pen by Rachel G. Hackenberg).
It’s a time for me to meditate and listen closely to the voice of God so that I might hear more clearly over the 40 days of Lent what it is God is calling me to do. Lent… a time to journey through the wilderness with Jesus while carefully listening for God’s voice and call in my life. It’s not that I don’t do this throughout the year but that this can become an even more intentional time so that I may discover what treasure God sees in me and in my life for me to live out in this: God’s world. I agree, Missy, a very personal time with God.
Thank you so much for sharing Melissa! I pray clarity and the hearing of God for you. And you are so right, lent doesn’t mean that we don’t listen and seek through out the year, but I too appreciate this reminder to be more intentional.
I labored over what I would Fast for Lent. I understood that the intention of Lent is to bring oneself closer to the Lord. I thought that I would stop being so mean to myself. Over the last year, I have struggled with this. I think things, I say them to myself. I know that this has distanced myself from Him. It was not my intention, I didn’t really intend to do this at all. So I did, I slowly began to be kind to myself. It worked! I am grateful and feel His spirit more than I had been. Thank you for your writing …..