Lent is only a week away! It’s hard to believe. Somehow it tends to sneak up on me more easily now that I juggle working and being a mom. Lent is a great time to reflect on where I’ve been in the past year and to decide the direction I want to be going for the rest of the year. I have a tendency to go a little crazy with my Lenten resolutions, so my biggest temptation is to go over the top with my praying, fasting and giving. This year I am feeling really called to think small, to slow down, and to take time to really connect with God and with others.
So I am trying to keep my practices this Lent simple but meaningful. I am choosing one way to pray, one way to fast, and one way to give and sticking to those without adding too many events, prayer meetings or extra sacrifices.
Pray: For my prayer practice this Lent I will be working my way through the book Hosanna,* which is published by Take Up and Read. It’s a bible study and prayer book based on the Gospel of Matthew, which is also the Sunday cycle we are in this year, so I am hoping the study also gives me added insight into the Sunday gospels. Take Up and Read makes beautiful resources that are thoroughly grounded in scripture, which I love. I am excited to get started on this beautiful book. For everyone who’s busy, their studies also work in days of rest, which is something I always desperately need.
Fast: For this one I am going to have to get a bit creative. Normally I follow all the prescribed fast days and days of abstinence, but this year I can’t literally fast because I am expecting a baby. (Yay for answered prayers!). So I am going to go with an old standby from my childhood and give up sweets. I know that this is a very specific Lent stereotype, but for me this year, this will actually be quite sacrificial as sometimes sweets are the only thing that taste good during the season of morning sickness and terrible headaches. I am also going to avoid added sugars and sugar in my coffee, which is where the real sacrifice will be I think. On the prescribed days of fasting, I am going to completely fast from non teaching essential technology. For abstinence, I already mostly don’t eat meat on Fridays, so I will continue to do that.
Give: Each week during Lent, our family is going to decide on someone to give to. Some weeks these will be charities and causes, other weeks they may be friends who could use a meal or for us to watch their kids so they can go on a date night. God has blessed us this year, and we have the ability to be flexible in our spending during Lent. There have been other years where my giving has had to be completely time or talent based because money is incredibly tight.
So that’s the simple plan for Lent this year. I’m hoping that by not adding too much to the plate, I can have a Lent full of meaningful connection with God and with the people he has put in my life. What are you doing for Lent this year? Let me know in the comments!
*the link for Hosanna is an affiliate link. This means if you purchase the book using my link, I receive a small commission at no cost to you.