And so it begins, Lent is here. It’s time to put away our chocolates, turn off the TV, hide coffee beans, sweets, and whatever else we’ve decided to give up for Lent.
My list is the same year after year: chocolate (very hard), wine (also hard), chips or ‘crisps’ in British-speak (very hard), coffee (not hard), meat (not hard since I’m a pro-vegetable vegetarian), and playing games on my iPad (should not be playing them anyway.)
Notice tea is not on the list, mainly to protect those around me. (Virginia without her tea is scary to contemplate.)
Some people give up Facebook, movies, favorite TV shows, desserts, or what what.
The harder it is to give something up for Lent, hopefully missing it (whatever it is) draws us closer to God? At least, that’s the general idea of giving up stuff.
Lent is also a chance to exert a bit of discipline to get our spiritual selves in shape.
Sometimes we allow spiritual sloppiness into our lives. Maybe we have skipped our quiet times a bit too often, missed our small faith group meetings several weeks and running, stopped going to Adoration, or even made excuses to forgo Sunday services.
Lent is an opportunity not just to give up things, but to get serious about our spiritual well being (with lots of God’s help.) Get to church more, show up to be with God in the mundane of our everyday mornings, open our hearts to more of what God is doing around us, and what God can do within us.
Lent is a time to look around, to reach a hand out to those in need. Getting in spiritual shape means looking up to God more and then looking around ablaze with God’s love for others. (In Virginia’s opinion, we should do that all year ‘round!)
We may have messed up. May have? How ‘bout we surely have messed up, since messing up is part of life. Lent is a chance to offer all that up to God, to seek forgiveness and then accept God’s forgiveness (that means forgiving ourselves, too.)
As we start our Lenten journey with ashes and fasting, may God open our hearts to Love, the sacrificial died-on-the-Cross-for-me kind of Love. The kind of Love that says to our spiritually sloppy selves, “Walk in the Light with Me, come where My dewdrops of mercy shine bright…”
grace, peace & dewdrops of mercy
Virginia : )
“We have fallen, but we will rise again. We are in darkness now, but God will give us Light.” Micah 7:8
Tears shed after reading your blog.
Thank you, Carol-Jo, for your encouragement for Blogger Virginia to ‘go for it’ this Lent! Big hugs! 🙂
Hehe. Glad you kept the tea.
It requires a great deal of self discipline and control to say no to things we so often indulge in…though not impossible. So help us God…amen.
May you accomplish all that which you set forth as a goal this lent season.
Thank you, Miss Sunshine! Tea would be, well, VERY VERY HARD (especially since when it’s cold I do 4 big teapots a day? Green tea early morning, black tea mid-morning, and two pots of herbal rooibos in afternoon & evening.) I hope to make it with my Lent ‘list’ – but I know God’s help will be needed (in extra doses) as you so rightly agree! Blessings to you in all that you are doing! 🙂
Happy Ash Wednesday, Virginia! My tummy’s growling as I write this (and I had breakfast!). Not a big fan of fasting. I rarely eat between meals, but something about knowing I CAN’T makes me hungry more, ha! The abstinence part isn’t that bad — we usually don’t eat meat on Fridays anyway. And you’re right — more of us should draw closer to God even outside of Lent.
HaPpY Ash Wednesday back at ‘cha, Debbie! I am the world’s worst at fasting. My low blood sugar doesn’t help, but I am super hungry now (may have to sneak a ‘snack’ piece of toast before bed as my tummy is grumbling. Since I only had one ‘snack’ piece of toast for breakfast, and only ate a salad for lunch, methinks that qualifies as ‘two small snacks + one meal?’ Egads! May your Lent season be blessed with extra doses of grace, peace & endurance (!!) 🙂