I love Lent.
It’s my favorite season of the year.
There is something about the quiet and the without-ness and the focus that is given to us for these next 47 days (okay, fair, 46) that I really really love. I grew up in the Methodist Church and so I have always known Ash Wednesday and Lent and giving something up. So every year, even if I’m not in a church tradition that pushes Lent, my heart is drawn towards it.
I’ve given up everything at least once in the last 20 years of purposefully celebrating Lent: chocolate, caffeine, TV, dessert, Coke, social media. All the things.
This year feels like it is going to be different.
You know me, you know I talk about PCOS, and you know that I talk some about issues I’ve had with my body and how God is constantly healing that in me. (I wrote about it in Perfectly Unique and Let’s All Be Brave, if you want to read more.)
So. As you can imagine, as a girl who is allergic to dairy (always have been, just didn’t know) and who doesn’t eat gluten and who has PCOS, I think about my body and food a lot because it matters that I do this well- for my brain, for my heart, for my body.
As so as Lent 2015 came around, I started wondering what it would look like this year and I thought in my mind of what I wanted to give up.
And as I prayed, I kept hearing the Lord push me on one little thing-
Hey Annie. During Lent, what if you cared about your spirit as much as you care about your body?
[insert wide-eyed emoji because it felt like God was calling me out]
It’s something I haven’t thought about in the last two years of this journey, how a healthy lifestyle can still mean my priorities are off.
So for me? Lent is going to be about what most people think about during Lent – aligning my spirit with what Jesus was about for these 47 days. Setting aside time in ways I don’t usually to think and pray and read and learn.
I will kneel every morning from 7:03-7:14. Just like my sister Ann has suggested.
I will read SheReadsTruth and journal.
I will fight the urge to subtract random foods for vanity’s sake and I will press into whatever it is that God has for me, for Christ’s sake.
That’s not to say that subtracting food or adding activity is wrong in any way for anyone else. Like, LEGIT DO NOT HEAR ME SAYING THAT. I’m just saying for me, I can feel in my guts that God wants my heart to look long and hard at Him, and less at me. Yes, I still will eat the way that makes my body feel the best and exercise, but for me, it can’t be the center of my thoughts for the next 47 days.
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Around the internet, our friends have made incredible lists of reading plans for Lent and what you should be doing for Lent and etc. So I thought I’d loop them all together here for you. (And no, it’s not too late to start!)
Eric Willits’s Lent Devo (I ordered these for my Vandy boys, so if you know a dude who wants a guide this season, this is the one I would pick.)
LifeWay Women: 6 Reading Plans For Lent
Things Every REAL Christian Should Give Up For Lent (thank you, Relevant, for being hilarious, but I’m still gonna wear my pirate blouse.)
My hope and prayer for you, no matter your age or place in life, is that this Lent season will draw you nearer to the Cross and nearer to Jesus who, as Ann says, is the only One who has loved us to death. And, gratefully, to life again.
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So what are your thoughts on Lent?
What are your plans this year?
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