A period of spiritual discipline, fasting,
penance leading up to Easter.
Right? It's ok, you can ask yourself that question, heck, I'd be asking the same thing if I were reading this instead of writing it.
Okey dokey, lets get that question answered for both of us.
Lent, although defined as discipline, fasting, and penance, has for the most part translated into; What am I going to give up?
Most folks give up chocolate, coffee, or a certain food. Some give up TV, or other electronic, heck there's one guy I know who's giving up Facebook for Lent.
While letting go of those things could potentially make us feel better, is there any value to giving them up?
I'm not sure I see those things giving my life renewal.
What if our focus was on something that would/could change our life?
Stay with me here!
There are three parts to Lent according to the definition: Discipline, Penance, and Fasting
I started thinking about those three things... really thinking about them.
Three Elements of Lent
Penance is really nothing more than recognizing our wrongdoing and turning from it.
Fasting is abstaining from food, but I believe it could also abstaining from bad methods or behaviors.
How ya doing? Ya with me so far? Good, lets keep going.
Here comes the link between Lent and finding and keeping love week.
What if, instead of giving up things that we're probably just going to go back to anyway (I mean who can really never eat sugar again...) seriously!
What if we used Lent to jump start becoming the kind of person someone could fall in love with or stay in love with?
What if instead of giving up chocolate, we gave up bitterness?
Or, or, what if instead of giving up Facebook, we gave up posting negativity?
Are you seeing where I'm going here?
How bout this; what if we recognized that we've not been very nice to our spouse lately and we did penance by becoming more giving?
What if we fasted from worry or being anxious?
Where would that lead us?
Listen, I'm not saying this sort of thing would be easy.
But don't you think this is something worth thinking about? Yeah, me too.
Of course, all of this started me wondering what or how to do all of this.
Guess what I came up with? YEP! A Challenge
Now, there's no daily emails, but I would love to have and be an accountability partner.
For this challenge, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me on Facebook (facebook.com/robyn.owen.71) with your struggles and successes! That would be awesome!
You can pick someone who's in your life that would be supportive and encouraging to you along the way. Hey! Maybe they'll even join you.
Whatever you choose, please consider this! I think it's going to make a HUGE difference in your life (in MINE too!!)
until Easter (that's April 5th)
This year, instead of "giving something up," consider this...
For the next 40 days:
- Recognize and turn from your wrongdoings toward others, making the penance 40 days of being different than you are right now
- Fast from being ________________________ (insert what you need to fast from - negative, bitter, angry, fearful, etc)
- Discipline yourself in the ways of communication, understanding, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness to not only others, but to yourself as well
My Lent Challenge
For the next 40 days I'm...
- Recognizing I'm a pretty loud, emotional person. Many times those two things combined are quite explosive when things are not going well between the hubs and me.
- Fast from letting my emotions rule me. I tend to react first and think second. I want to reverse that process.
- Discipline myself in maintaining a more calm, level headed response when I'm feeling overwhelmed with emotions, whether that's anger, fear, bitterness, or whatever.