Lent is a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.
Lent is the 40 days before Easter (excluding Sundays).
So why "DO" Lent? How do I start?
Are you searching for something more? Tired of running rushed, in endless circles but not really living life with direction, intention, or passion? (I'm frantically raising my hand). It's pretty easy to get distracted in the drama of classes, relationships, family, children, work, or just everyday life. Our lives are filled with distractions that take us away from living a life with Christ. Personally, my distractions are mindless TV, social media scrolling, meaningless gossip, comparison, shopping, laziness, excuses, self pity, blaming others, prisoner of unforgiveness, too many glasses of wine, rushed schedule with one activity after the next, goals related to better outward appearance or other fillers that end in the end - always leave you empty. I run away from life and from God!
This time of Lent is a great time to "repent" of these distractions - to return to God and refocus our lives to be more in line with Jesus. SIGN. ME. UP! It's a 40 day trial run in changing your lifestyle and letting God change your heart. It is NOT a set of rules or giving up something to receive a gold medal on how great you did. This isn't about us or the victory of what we give up - instead it is so much bigger! It is about turning our hearts and our lives to God!
This Lent season comes after the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3. Jesus went into the wilderness by the Spirit where He fasted and prayed for 40 days. During His time there He was tempted by Satan and gained clarity and strength to resist temptation. He was now ready to begin His ministry. Scholars speculate that maybe He needed this time to get away from all the distractions and see God more clearly. He needed intentional time with God as He searched for direction and answers for His life.
This grabs my heart! Oh how I need and crave this time to get away from the distractions of life! Ladies, I am so excited for this Lent season. Here's how I got started.
I spent time with God - praying about what these forty days look like in my life. Ladies, this is different for everyone so get alone with God and agree on it together. What do I mean by that? Go to a quiet place. Invite God into your time and when you ask Him specifically for what distractions you should give up to turn closer to Him - it is usally that first thing that comes to mind. It's the conviction that you feel. He speaks in a small still voice. It's a knowing that brings peace within you. My first "knowing" was simple - I need to go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier!
Try doing one thing in each of the falling areas:
Fast - You can fast by cutting out some of the things in your life that distract you from God. What do you need to let go of or "fast" from in order to focus on God? What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do?
Service - Take something on for Christ. You can commit to help a different stranger, coworker or friend everyday of Lent.
Prayer - A time of intentional prayer and becoming more in tune with God.