The thing that I love most about Lent is that it challenges believers to action. This is the time of the year when people take on new challenges or choose to abstain from things that they love (one of my friends gave up drinking wine! I did not. :)) Lent motivates us and reminds Christians in a tangible way that yeah, Christ was human and went through hell for us - literally - but it's because he loves us so dang much.
I know we are a good solid two weeks into Lent and I'm just now writing about this but I really wanted to tell you that if you are in the middle of giving up or taking on something for Lent that you are awesome. And if you've already sipped a glass of wine when you swore it off that you don't need to feel guilty or like you've failed but instead ask for forgiveness and experience the sweet taste of mercy instead. Lent teaches us how to receive God's love, that we desperately need his grace and long to live a merciful life. So, keep going. Stay committed to what you declared to God on Ash Wednesday. Don't give up, because Easter is coming, a time of resurrection is almost here.
If you are wondering, my commitment for this season of Lent is to rest. I'll be honest with you all - I am completely puckered out exhausted after planning Fresh Grounded Faith. I am in need of quiet mornings to journal, afternoons alone to plan, and a warm cup of tea by a hot fire in a restaurant that serves bread to think. (In case you were wondering, the devotion in the picture above is the Naptime Diaries Lent devotional...I've enjoyed it so far and plan on sharing some thoughts from it on social media if you wanted to follow along!). I've been giving so much of myself these past few months that it's time for me to refill my cup so I can continue to pour out and love my people.
With that said, I'll keep having new Family Fun Friday posts each week but I'll also be sharing some posts that I've written in the past that are appropriate for this season of rest and reflection. In April, I'm preparing a great new series about living well that focuses on living a healthy lifestyle. I'm really looking forward to it and will share more as we get closer.
So here's a post that I wrote last year for Lent. I hope you check out some of the resources mentioned if it relates to your own journey this Lenten season.
Yesterday, the weather was cold and wet here in Alabama. But, as I backed the van out of the driveway to take the girls to preschool, Adi said, "Look, Mommy! We have purple flowers on our tree!"
Purple flowers on our tree are proof that spring is beginning its' beautiful debut. It starts with tiny purple flowers blooming on a tree and grows into an orchestra of birds chirping, grass turning green, and days warming. Soon, we will all come out of hibernation and enjoy the simple life of spring.
Last night, we attended our Ash Wednesday service at church which marked another beginning for spring: the Lenten season. Lent reminds me much of a race: runners start out strong, struggle through the middle, and give one final hoo-rah as the finish line approaches. Easter is the crossing of the finish line; the first sip of cool water that the dehydrated runner sips.
This year, I'm choosing to take on joy and give up clutter. I'll be on maternity leave during the Lenten season and I want to enjoy this time with my newborn and family. I want to notice the purple flowers, sing the lullabies, and play in the yard.
Since we are also moving, I'm taking the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge over at White House, Black Shutters. (Here's the link to the 2015 challenge). I think this is going to be an awesome way to keep me accountable at simplifying our stuff as we begin life in a new home. I've already given away three bags of clothes!
If you are looking for some ideas for the whole family to do this year for Lent, check out Oh Amanda's new e-book A Sense of the Resurrection or Ann Voskamp's free family Lent and Easter Devotional. You can also check out this post I did on fun family Easter activities.
Allow Lent to be an entrance into Spring. What winter layers do you need to remove as the weather warms? How can you take on more without taking on more stress to your schedule? Think about how Lent can challenge you in the best of ways.
I'd love for you to share what you are giving up or taking on this Lenten season in the comments section below. We are a community and can keep each other accountable if we let each other in! Praying for you as you begin your Lenten challenge. :)
Till next time, let your light shine!