Lent's Get It Together (Part II)
(This is Part II of a two-part post, you can read part one here.)
I grew up hearing the word Lent around Easter time, but I didn't know very much about Lent until college, when I started hearing people say they were giving up certain things for 40 days.
A Brief History of Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, which just so happened to fall on March 1, this year. Today, you may notice people walking around with a cross on their forehead made from ashes (it signifies repentance an allusion to sackcloth and ashes in the Bible (eg. Luke 10:13)).
Although, Lent is not mentioned in the Bible it is one of the oldest observations in the Christian calendar. It was mentioned by Irenaeus, an early church father, as early as 130 to 200 A.D.
Lent is a season of 40 days (technically its 46 days but Sundays are not counted)—symbolic of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness before beginning His ministry.
For those who observe Lent is a time of increased prayer, self-examination and reflection, repentance, and service in preparation for Easter Sunday.
Some people go on a fast or give something up (eg. chocolate or coffee) for the 40 days. However, there is no right or wrong way to observe Lent.
#LentsGetItTogether is a challenge I've issued to myself, and that I'm inviting you to be a part of.
Over the next 40 days lets hold each other accountable. Let's get our lives together, together (alongside each other), by submitting to Christ in every area of our lives, especially those areas we find ourselves struggling in.
I have decided to give up fear and my desire for control during this season (and beyond) and to embrace, and diligently work to increase my faith. I am also going to attack with the full force of Christ's power my goals for my daily life.
Here's what I'll be working:
Adding a faith related scripture to my daily reading. Why? Because I realized my desire to control my life comes from a lack of faith in an All-Powerful God. And faith comes by the word of God. (Romans 10:17, my scripture for today!)
Really relying on God to empower me to complete my daily To-Do lists. As opposed to relying on my own fragile strength. Why? Because I need Jesus to do anything and everything I aspire to do in a day. And clearly relying on myself hasn't been working.
Be active again! Why? Lent comes from the German word Lenz, which means spring. Here in Atlanta we've been having bi-polar weather (what's new?) but Spring is on its way which means warmer temperatures in the morning. I stopped running because of the cold weather. But now it's time to be active again. So if it's not running because it's too cold then I still need to do some kind of moving activity for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 day a week—whether its dancing or burpees (yuck)! It's time to get those endorphins flowing again.
Writing. Why? I've gotten better at trying to make my own projects as much of a priority as the projects of my clients but operating on my own strength has been stressful. I know that if I am resting in the peace of God my writing will increase and improve significantly.
Sticking to this weekly cleaning schedule. Why? Rather than try to clean up on one day, when all I want to do is relax, I can get one major task done a day.
Planning meals in advance. Why? I need to making eating a priority, no matter how busy I am. Planning meals will lead to ensuring I eat said meals, and will help us better steward over our finances. I plan to cook at least 3 times a week. Leftovers should do the rest, and if not, I'll adjust.
Community + Social Media
The together in #LentsGetItTogether is a double entendre. #LentsGetItTogether is not just about each of us piecing the different parts of our individual lives back together (into a whole) but about embarking on this faith-filled, goal-crushing journey together (alongside each other).
Community is crucial. I shared my six goals publicly because community provides accountability. And I need you to hold me accountable. And I'd love the opportunity to be there to support you and your goals over these next 40 days.
I'll be sharing my faith verse of the day every day on Instagram (@findlayhouse) and there may be some sporadic Instagram stories or snaps on Snapchat (also @findlayhouse). Feel free to share your progress on social media and use the hashtag #LentsGetItTogether!
JESUS left heaven, GOD walked among men as a man, died a horrible terrifying death, and then got up (rose again) for us! And HE is ever-present, and ever-ready to help us handle the ins and outs, and the ups and downs of our daily lives. HE loves us just that much!!
Whether or not you choose to observe the Lent season, I pray that you would encounter and embrace the LOVE of GOD.
Here's To Getting It Together by God's Grace!
P.S. Here's a great goal-setting series from Lara Casey, the founder of Southern Brides magazine.