February 22, 2012

Observing Lent

Today while catching up on Pinterest, I noticed a large amount of repins of a pin I posted about Lent.  I did not grow up observing Lent so I often am behind on the actual day that it starts.  I checked in with my Lenten blogger, Sarah, and realized today was the first day of Lent!

Over the past few years I have observed Lent in small ways...giving up Facebook or cutting back on sugar.  But this year I feel ahead of the game as I am actually starting on the day of!  Perhaps next year, I will even plan ahead!

Thinking back to different times of my life where I practiced a certain self-discipline or fast from something, I am always reminded that I come out a different person and have learned something new.

The past few months I feel like I have been dragging.  I have struggled with motivating myself to do things and be the person I really want to be.  And as a person who craves discipline and order, I need this extra push to focus on the person I want to become in the next 40 days.

So today I took some time to think about and decide a list of things I will be practicing over the next 40 days:


I am in the process of losing 10 pounds I put on over the last year, and I think these disciplines will help me stay on the right track as well as help me rethink my relationship with food.  A few years ago I fasted from food once a week for a month and it was an amazing journey of realizing how little food my body actually needs to function for a day.  It taught me to rely on other things to get through my day and how to reevaluate what I was putting in my mouth each day.

When I do a juice fast, I drink a protein shake in the morning so I can still get through my workout and then drink one or two fruit drinks {like Naked Juice} throughout the day.  I also want to eat cleaner in general, eating fresh food and devoting more of my time and energy into preparing healthy meals.  I allow myself one treat or dessert on the weekend to practice the discipline of not rigidly restricting things in my diet as I am likely to binge later if I never allowed it.

For my spiritual and emotional needs I will be taking some time away from Facebook and also reading the book Celebration of Discipline {which I have started various times but have not had the discipline to finish!}.  I need more discipline in my life to take care of my spiritual and emotional health and think these will help me head in the right direction.  Making time to clear my head {like not listening to music in the car} will give me time to think and sift through my thoughts.

I have also put praying for my husband on the list {something I am not proud to say that I am not very good at} as well as praying for my dad who we recently found out is dealing with some health issues and will be undergoing an upcoming surgery.

And lastly, I will continue purging around the house as I have been, tackling the following list one day at a time.  This is inspired by the 40 bags in 40 days practice that is very popular during lent of purging around the house.


I also started a board on Pinterest for Lent in case you are looking for more ideas.

Whether or not you are a religious person, I think the concepts of making goals and setting disciplines can offer any of us a new outlook on life and how we spend our time.

And in case you are like me and are behind in deciding you want to join in on Lent, it is okay to start late!  It is not about following strict guidelines but rather focusing your heart and mind on this season leading up to Easter. 

How have you practiced Lent {or other disciplines} in the past and will you be observing it this year?

8 comments:

  1. I gave up music in my car one year and it was AWESOME. Seriously, giving up the noise was so good. Love this post!

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  2. being a Catholic means we know WAYYYY ahead lent is coming and what that means. We (as a family) give up meat on Wednesday's and Friday's- this would be ok for most but for a Dominican family no meat IS INDEED a sacrifice. We do Church and other traditions (I posted today about our dessert for this time).

    I pray everyday in my car. My mornings are crazy and that time I get to focus on doing it and I never ever forget to do it. Good luck with all your goals!

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  3. I love your lent list! I typically don't observe lent but am giving up wine this year :)

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  4. I'm Catholic too, so yup - I definitely always know when it's coming. I do give up something for Lent, and it's something we discuss at home or if a close friend asks, but for the most part, you're not supposed to really tell about it. It's supposed to be private between you and God. That's what the reading was about tonight at Mass as a matter of fact! That's why it sounds so smug to me when people say "I'll pray for you." You're not supposed to tell, according to the bible.

    But yeah, I give up something and try to take up a good habit too. We also observe meatless Fridays but I won't be actually fasting this year since I'm pregnant. It's definitely a good time to reflect and grow. :)

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  5. You're ideas for Lent are great. I've gave up music in the car for a while and it was great. I really was able to focus and plan my day. Isn't it surprising how one small thing can make such a difference.

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  6. would you ever fast from doing a to do list? :P just kidding

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  7. I have used Stormie Omartian's book The Power of a Praying Wife and it's really great and gives you specifics to pray about. It taught me a lot and opened up new dialogues with my husband. For lent, I am fasting free time to read my Bible everyday and doing some sort of house work. I lost track of being in the word each day and really miss that time with God. Also, I hate cleaning house and know it's a discipline, as well as a ministry to my family so I want to focus on that too. Blessings!

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  8. Your Lent Ideas Pinterest Board inspired me to do a prayer Pinterest board. I couldn't sleep last night so finally gave up & got up and pinned a bunch of prayers in the middle of the night. After years of Catholic school and having to memorize prayers it's nice to have a few new options for variety or to fit a special need. For instance, there is a St. Peregrine who is the patron saint of cancer victims and others with serious life threatening illnesses. I also found a sort of grandparents prayer that is used to address Saint Joachim and Saint Anne who were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I never really thought about who her parents were or what kind of people they might have been. I found some Marriage Prayers and Family Prayers and a Safely Home Prayer that sounds like someone who has passed away offering words of comfort to those they left behind. I hadn't realized there was such a variety! Now I won't have to bore the heavens saying the same ones over and over! Anyway thanks for the inspiration!

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