My thoughts on Lent. Not that you asked.

on February 26, 2009 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 24 comments by

I love Lent. I always have. On Twitter earlier this week, I said regarding Lent, “You can take the girl out of the Methodist church, but you can’t take the UMC traditions out of the girl.”

Cause growing up at FUMC Marietta, Lent was something everyone did, even when I was in middle school. The tradition of giving up something for the 40 days of Lent has just stuck with me through the years. I’m a bit of a Presbyterian now apparently [based on my church choice], and I don’t even know how they feel about Lent. But I’m in it to win it. [There’s no prize. That’s just a saying.]

By nature, I’m what you might call “lacking in self-control” and maybe “lazy”. So having 40 days of dedicated sacrifice [and knowing there is an end in sight] has always been really motivating to me and it encourages me that maybe someday I will actually be full of discipline.

This year, I have a small collection of Lent give-ups, but the biggest one isn’t a give-up.  It’s a must-do.

I was talking with some friends the other night about the fact that I am struggling seriously with insecurities and lies in my head. And it’s no one’s fault but my own. Because I’m not going to God each day and spending time with Him, my well of Truth has run dry and I’m getting beat up in my mind. My reservoirs of Truth are empty. Time to head back to the well. EVERY DAY.

So for Lent 09, I’m spending time every day with God. No matter what. Yeah, I know that’s lame and it was probably my Lent commitment in 1993 as well, but I’m bringing it back in 09. And my awesome Nash family friends are helping me out- we send emails every morning of Lent sharing something we learned in our time with God.

There ain’t no better accountability for me than email accountability. What can I say? I love the internet.

Every day I’m listening to THIS PODCAST and using it to springboard the time I’m spending reading the Bible, praying, and writing in my journal.

What’s my goal? To set a pattern, to create a habit, to grow in spiritual disciplines as a RESPONSE to what Jesus did for me on the cross. And to hear God.

What about you? Are you a Lent-er? Are you giving anything up? I’d love to pray for you in your sacrifice this season, so leave it in the comments and we’ll all pray for each other. [That’ll be real cute and totally community-ish of us.]


  1. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 12:58 PM  |  reply

    Yep, I’ve given up something for Lent for the first time ever, though I’m not telling anybody what it is. Only 36 hours in, and I can’t believe how meaningful it’s already been.

  2. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 1:10 PM  |  reply

    well, let’s see…i don’t “celebrate” lent, but i admire anyone who can give something up to focus more and rely more on God, that’s always a good thing!! i have fasted before and i think it’s a good way to get closer to God!!

  3. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 1:12 PM  |  reply

    I’ve never been a Lent person (not out of principle… just grew up down the street at the Baptist church!). But this year, I was inspired by a question that Buckhead Church posed –

    “What, if removed from your life for a season, would give God more of your attention?”

    Hmm. That’s good stuff. I still haven’t decided what I need to do, but I know I’m going to participate in Lent this year (albeit a day or two late). 🙂

  4. Face
    posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 1:36 PM  |  reply

    ah HAH! You’ve joined us.
    The minute you said you were moving to Nashville we knew you’d come around.


    Now I will finish reading the rest of your post.

  5. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 1:37 PM  |  reply

    I have given up caffeine. It is terrible. I realized not long ago that I “needed” caffeine, that if I didn’t have it, my body revolted. It is not healthy for me to need anything like that. So I gave up coffee. For Jesus. And it’s been tough. Withdraws have been terrible. But I’m pushing through!

  6. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 1:45 PM  |  reply

    I’ve never even known what Lent was until your twit piqued my curiousity…I’ve wondered a time or two, but googled yesterday. I decided to acknowledge my contribution to the debt Christ paid and to give up some health-less things in honor of the love shown when Christ gave all! Thanks for the shove! May this Lent be a start to a renewed mind toward those disciplines you’re feeling convicted about! I’m praying for your journey these 40 days!

  7. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 2:53 PM  |  reply

    The Lenten season is a journey of penitence that lasts for 40 days. We do not count Sundays in the season as they are mini celebrations of Easter. For many people during this season, they give up something (chocolate, meat, drinking alcohol, etc). Some people fast for periods of time while others spend time in deep reflection.

    Whatever you decided to give up or take on, spend some time in prayer. I know I will be praying and listening to what the Lord has to say to me.

    Blessings for a meaningful Lenten journey.

  8. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:01 PM  |  reply

    I’m a Protestant mutt – grew up Presbyterian, spent time as a Methodist and am now a Baptist – but I really appreciate the Lenten season and practices. I am giving up chocolate this year and reading a chapter of Exodus each day. I have been so lax on my quiet time discipline and this is a great way to bring me back to that. And yes, I’m lazy, so having a 40-day commitment is a good thing!

    I’ve recently been talking with some friends about lies and insecurities that we believe, even when we know better. I’m reading a book by Jennifer Rothschild called “Self Talk Soul Talk” that addresses this very topic. Already (just 3 chapters in) it’s speaking to my heart. Have you read it?

  9. Southern Gal
    posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:04 PM  |  reply

    I’m reading the Bible aloud to my senior in high school. He’s so busy with school, sports, etc, that I asked him if he would like me to read his daily Bible plan with him everyday while he’s eating breakfast. So that’s what we’ve been doing.

    When I was in school it was my Catholic friends who always spoke of Lent. I was much older when I actually discovered what it was!
    I haven’t prayed about what I should give up, but I will.

  10. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:42 PM  |  reply

    Wow. Beautiful. The Ash Wednesday podcast featured a prayer song familiar from Sound of Music. Gorgeous. And the Joel scripture was in my Bible study on Ash Wednesday. Thank you.

  11. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 4:15 PM  |  reply

    Every year for Lent, I give up Lent.
    No, really.

  12. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 4:29 PM  |  reply

    I like it Annie!
    Mine is similar, I blogged about it on Tuesday:
    I love Lent, as well and think it’s a way to make giving something up a lifestlye, or adding something to your life part of your daily routine. Thanks for sharing :o)

  13. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 5:54 PM  |  reply

    i am going all out for my first observance of Lent evah. i gave up twitter, facebook, meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sweets (doing the Daniel Fast). and reading the Power of a Praying Wife each day as i prepare for marriage (66 days away!)

    thanks for sharing your heart, sweet Annie. i will definitely join you in prayer and podcast. XOXO

  14. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 6:16 PM  |  reply

    Wow. I really like that quote from Buckhead that Jamie put on here. I was planning to observe Lent for the first time ever this year by forgoing sugar. I did that once before (when my husband was on a missions trip) and I found that removing that small treat from my life was really purifying, in some way.

    But now I’m thinking — it doesn’t do that much to bring me closer to God. It’s a daily reminder, like a string around my finger. But I wonder if I could do more?

  15. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 6:32 PM  |  reply

    ok. just listened to the podcast. LOVED IT. thanks so much for sharing!!!

  16. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 7:38 PM  |  reply

    great post annie. i get it.
    i am giving up being a punching bag for lent (you’ll have to read my latest post). hopefully by easter there will be quiet a celebration of freedom as we embrace Truth, drawing nearer to the One who saves.

  17. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 7:52 PM  |  reply

    i’m giving up dating for lent.

  18. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 9:07 PM  |  reply

    it is Lent – that time of self reflection and repentance. It is the time to take stock of ourselves as we really are – to be completely honest with ourselves, one another and with God. Lent is the season we must go through in order to get to Easter. No lent, no Easter. And similarly, out of the mud and muck in our lives, new life bursts forth.

  19. posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 9:16 PM  |  reply

    Well, since you asked….

    I just posted my own little Lent post, and am hoping you won’t mind if I leave you a little linky love on my blog….Is that OK?

  20. posted on Feb 27, 2009 at 12:46 AM  |  reply

    I just started back fasting once a week. I’m not sure if I’ll stop once lent it over….we’ll see.

  21. posted on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:16 AM  |  reply

    I LOVE your idea of spending every day with Jesus during Lent. Although you’re right it does sound vaguely familiar like something I might have done in middle school. Nevertheless, I think I might do the same thing! 🙂 (I know I’m a little late – but I did have a quiet time yesterday and will have one today so I can still jump on board i guess!) 🙂

  22. Laurie
    posted on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:39 AM  |  reply

    I’m also choosing to give back to the Lord by spending time with Him daily (as opposed to giving up something). I let too many distractions get in the way of my relationship with Jesus. I’m trying to make the effort to listen to more Christian podcasts (thanks for your suggestion!) and Christian music during this time, as well. New to your blog and enjoying reading.

  23. posted on Feb 28, 2009 at 7:21 AM  |  reply

    Hi Annie, I came over from Twitter. I’m a baptist converted to Lutheran so this is only my 3rd lenten season. Among other things, I gave up comments on my blog (although I made an exception for when I talk about faith…my readers say they always learn a lot from the comments). The increased prayer and bible reading time have been great so far. God is faithful to our measly attempts at discipline! Look forward to reading more of your blog. Blessed Lent to you.

  24. posted on Mar 09, 2009 at 9:41 AM  |  reply

    Apparently, you also can take the girl out of Scotland, but you can’t take the Church of Scotland out of the girl.


    Giving up sweets of all varieties for Lent. It makes for a gluttonish explosion on Easter Sunday with all the sacred chocolate the Easter Bunny brings to celebrate the Resurrection and the stockpile of Girl Scout cookies that Satan always delivers in the midst of the Lenten sacrifice.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.