Thursday, February 7, 2008

46 days

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.

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link of the day:
http://heidijowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.com/2008/02/lent-call-to-conversion.html

12 comments:

Heather said...

Wonderful post, Diana! I know that adding those practices to your life for Lent will bring you closer to the Father. And that's what it's all about, right?

On the journey with you....

jennifer said...

Diana! I am so humbled by this post. This is so what I was trying to say on Double Nickel. Giving up or sacrificing is often overlooked by giving up time to do something such as you have suggested. You are one amazing woman for sure.

And remember(in case you forgot) that without even addressing your blog to another, you are by post such as these offering an act of kindness...by sharing the LIGHT!

Wonderful wonderful!

Penless Thoughts said...

Great things to do for Lent, Diana. I wish you growth during this time. When we truly move out in directions like this to seek more of His will He always shows up!!!
Susan

Barb said...

Loved your post. I've been thinking a lot about Lent myself.

Your ideas are excellent. I can tell you've really looked at your life, what you need, and what you want to do!

I've seen the book, but don't know that much about it. I'll be looking forward to your sharing it till Easter.

My connection with Lent this year is going to be through explorefaith.org. They have a theme and devotions for each week. This week is Stillnes. I will blog about it tonight.

MightyMom said...

the best/hardest Lent I've ever had was the one where I spent the entire 40 days making something for someone then gave it to them ANONYMOUSLY. Keeping my mouth shut, not receiving praise or even gratitude....well, let's just say I learned A LOT!!

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

Thanks for sharing your insights into Lent. I guess I personally haven't thought much about it until reading your post. (I don't have a Chatholic background either) That would be a great way to focus on what the Lord has done for...and given us. Thanks!

Amber said...

What a stirring post! I made me think how people often give up physical objects for Lent and how it should definitely be more spiritually based.

Momma Roar said...

What a great post Diana - I look forward to hearing how God used you during this time! :)

Heidi Jo said...

glad you pointed out the sunday thing. each sunday is to be a mini-easter, so we are to celebrate. so get out the chocolate baby:0)

like i said in my post, lent is nothing without understanding. it's a ritual and a sham if not done for the PURPOSE it is intended. so glad that you find some refreshment in an old tradition!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to hear how God leads you in these 40 days.

Deb said...

Great Post!! I was raised Catholic when I was a child, I am not Catholic now but still walk the fast. I love Max Lucado, I just posted a devotion from his little Grace for the moment book.Well I am going to check out that site and read more on lent. God Bless:)

Melissa said...

What a wonderful idea! This is something I will have to mark on my calendar to do next year...