Yesterday was the start of the Lenten season. I didn't grow up following the practice of Lent (I'm not catholic), but introduced it to my kids when they were fairly young. I remember each year discussing what would be the best thing to "give up," making the final decision, and then making that sacrifice for the next 46 days.
side note: most think it's 40 days, but it's actually 46. The 40 days of Lent were originally days of fasting. But it was thought that Sunday, the Lord's day, should not be a day of fasting, but instead, a day of celebration. So Sundays were excluded from days of fasting and thus there were 40 days spread out over a period of 46 days.
So, knowing Lent was approaching, I've been thinking and praying about what I wanted to do this year. I'll be honest... nothing has really come to me. Okay, (okay!) I'll be really honest... things did come to me, but I concluded that I wouldn't be successful at any of them.
For many years, I have given up some kind of food or drink. French fries, candy, sodas, and Starbucks have all been on that list. But since being diagnosed recently with Diabetes, I feel like I've had to give up so much already that, at this point, I'm not very willing to give up the little bit that I am still allowed to have. Maybe next year.
There have been years when I have "added" things to my life, like taking a daily walk or reading my Bible every day. But both of these have been things I've been working on since the beginning of the year, so they didn't seem right this time.
So this is what I've come up with. First, I started the Max Lucado's book 3:16, The Numbers of Hope, and am doing the 40 day devotional included in the book. That's something I will be reading each day (excluding Sundays) during Lent.
This next part is an idea that I'm not sure how to implement or how it's going to work out. I want to reach out to someone or perform some kind of act of kindness each and every day. When I think about it, it seems very overwhelming, a little scary, and maybe even impossible. But I will be praying each day that God show me if there's someone I should be interacting with and what I should be doing for them. This means that I'll have to be very intentional on hearing God's voice and then being obedient to that. Could be a very interesting 46 days.
another note: my link of the day is to Heidi Jo's post where she shares her thoughts on the meaning of Lent. It's beautifully written and reminded me of why I give up or add something during this period before Easter. I hope you'll take a moment to go over and read it.
link of the day: