Today is the first day of lent. I am LDS and I have been participating in lent since I was in high school.
That is over 10 years! Over the last 10 years I have learned a lot about myself as I have struggled some years with the things I have given up and others years weren’t so hard. Last week I thought that I had missed lent and I got really upset! I could have sworn that lent always started some time between February 12 and the 22 or so. As I texted The Hubs all flustered that I had missed it, he asked me when it started. So I googled it and with a sigh I relief, I discovered that still had time to figure out what I wanted to do and to participate.
Why am I writing about lent for #tuneinmoments? Because that is kind of what lent is about. Lent is an opportunity to fast, serve, or pray.
You can fast/abstain/give up something that is addictive or distracts you from becoming closer to Christ. Examples could be:
You may not realize how addictive or distracting these things are until you actually limit yourself or completely give them up. One year I gave up soda for lent because I was 2-3 can a day person. In high school!! After the first year I was down to 1 can. After two years in a row of giving up soda, to this day, I only get sip The Hubs soda and on a rare occasion will a get one to share with Little Man. I have also given up chocolate in the past and gone from several chocolates a day to only wanting dark chocolate because the milk chocolates are too sweet and hurt my teeth!! You can learn a lot about yourself when give something up. You learn that you are stronger than you realize and you learn to take control of your cravings. And if you give up something like TV or social media, you will realize that you have more time in your day and can get so much more done with out the distraction.
You can serve those around you every day. Whether you realize it or not you might already be doing little acts of kindness and service every day. Such as:
holding the door open for someone
smiling as you walk past people
pay for the meal or drink of someone behind you
pick up trash you walk past
lending a hand when someones arms are full
paying someone a compliment
If you tend to be service minded naturally, then go more outside the box. Volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen, or something that takes more of your time than a quick moment. If you are someone who isn’t naturally service minded (guilty) then pick 2-3 things that you can focus on doing every day, like holding open doors, smiling at people, and paying compliments. I have been focusing on doing that over the last several months and it has been amazing the transformation that I have started to feel coming from the inside!
You can pray for others more specifically. Examples:
to forgive someone
pray specifically for someone to have comfort
pray for someones safety
give an entire prayer of thanks
end the ‘postcard prayer’ and be more purposeful
I have done some of these outside of lent and on more than on occasion and it’s amazing how prayers change and how you feel when you are more purposeful. It’s almost amazing how answer seem to come more quickly when you are more mindful and purposeful of what it is you are asking for. My favorite though has been an entire prayer of thanks. I do that at night before bed. I focus on my day and thank Heavenly Father for every thing I can think of, big and small. It really does help me to see His hand in my day! I’ll occasionally add on a request for something at the end but 98% of my prayer at the end of the day is being grateful for my day and what happened.
We should be forcing on all these areas — fast/serve/pray — every day. But it’s hard. I love lent for that reason. It’s 40 days (March 1-April 16, Ash Wednesday to Easter) to be purposeful and specific about one thing. One thing we can add to our lives or change about our lives to make us better. To bring us closer to Christ. It’s the least we can do for what Christ did for us!
So what am I doing for lent?
To be honest I have been really struggling in the chocolate department. I have given up sweets many, many times for 30 days off and on over the last several years. I am pretty good at my self control with sweets in general, for the most part. But when it comes to chocolate, I am having the hardest time. I have broadened my tastes and I will eat anything chocolate just to get chocolate. Even if I don’t like it. It’s sad. So I will be giving up chocolate. All kinds of chocolate!
What are you giving up?!
Comment below and share it with me! Follow me on Instagram (@TheStokerKitchen) and lets encourage each other to hold to our goals and desires!! We can do this!!
P.S. Today is my Birthday!! So cross your fingers that I don’t mess it all up on the first day! 😉 ❤