Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ready, Set, Lent!

Our Vine and Branches
 It's funny, I used to dread Lent.  It seemed like it lasted forever and giving things up seemed unbearable after the second week.

I think I had two problems: one was that I was focused on the negative, and the other was that I felt that if only I gritted my teeth hard enough, I could succeed at Lent.

But I couldn't just will myself to be holy!  I was thinking of "getting closer to God" as making myself more like God, a better person.

Now I see "getting closer to God" more like the way I see "getting closer to" my Mom and Dad, or my kids, or my husband.

This Year's Walking with Jesus Poster
It's a relationship!

Lent became about spending more time with God, getting to know Him better, and  setting aside some things to make more space for Him in my life.

The funny thing is that it probably looks the same from the outside!

Our Lent Altar

I mean, I still give up sweets and snacks, still pray more, and do more spiritual reading.  But now they are just ways to spend more time and energy with someone I love.

Fruit on a branch already!
The biggest change is that I used to, when (not really if) I messed up on any of my Lenten observances, I felt I had failed.  I failed Lent.

Now, it  doesn't bother me.  God already knows I'm not perfect!

It's been a (very!) gradual change in attitude, but now I look forward to Lent.

Pretzels in the cookie jar
It's like a vacation from me.  For just a little while, I get to leave me and my endless wants as the center of my decisions, and center my life on Jesus instead.

It's not that I don't want my life to always center around the Lord - I really do!  But, without a concentrated effort, I am always slipping back to my old ways of thinking and deciding things.

Oob praying
So, each Lent, I get a chance to make that concentrated effort.  I make more space in my life for God.

Each Lent I am changed a bit more: giving the Lord a little room does that.

And now Lent is a very happy time for me!

1 comment:

Sue Elvis said...


I know I am late commenting on this post. I did read it a while ago but was in a hurry so didn't stop. I wanted to share your drawings again. I love your attitude towards Lent! God bless!