Tuesday I read Ann Voskamp's blog titled Why Doing Lent This Year is What You Really Need. It got me thinking about Lent...about giving up something for 40 days...giving up something for the One who gave up everything for me.
Then I was worried that I missed the start of Lent and it just wouldn't be the same if I missed the first day...but today is the day.
Yesterday as I was pondering going down this road, I wondered what would I do this for...I didn't just want it to be some will power thing. In the past if I stuck my mind to something I could just do it. No, I wanted this to be different not an act of my will conquering something but a laying down of my will for my Saviour. The One who said to His Father three times, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
I thought about this Lent thing all afternoon and new I needed to do this and knew it would be hard for me. I live in the Western world where everything is pretty much at my finger tips...I lack for nothing. I live in comfort and plenty and I'm not saying that's a bad thing but it can become a stumbling block. A stumbling block to the One I need most. Because how do I at times know of my need when so many of my needs are filled or when my life is full of so many things that would take me away from time spend with my Saviour. At times I lose Him in the clutter and fullness of my life and yet His eye is forever on me and He waits...
I can be so selfish at times, just filling my days with what I want, forgetting that He is the source of all that I have...that He is the One who gives me breath...gives me life. And He doesn't just deserve my leftovers but my first fruits. He is that never ending life source...the Bread of Life...the Spring of Living Water. All that I have in this life here on earth is temporal...but what He gives is everlasting. And I want the EVERLASTING to be my focus...my life blood...not the temporal.
I want to draw closer to Him and so this commitment to partake in Lent is some of that. I've decided to give up all baked goods, chocolate, and all other sweets. That may seem silly or insignificant but for me it's a laying down of something...something I very much like and enjoy. We're bakers in this family and hardly a day goes by where there isn't some form of baked goods in our house. It may seem strange but I struggled with this decision yesterday. I had just baked a chocolate zucchini cake and my daughter baked some mini chocolate cheese cakes and I wouldn't be allowed to have any of it. Tomorrow is Valentines day and I had bought a bit of chocolate from Chocolates Etc... and I won't be able to have any of it. It's my daughter's birthday, my dad's birthday and my birthday during Lent...no chocolate...no birthday cakes...nothing.
Another thought I had in giving up all these sweet things was this would be a good way to shed a few stubborn pounds but I knew that couldn't be my reasoning either...I want this to be for Him...leading up to that Good Friday Morning I want to know in a deeper way the sacrifice He made for me. If anything is to be shed in these forty days I want it to be my stubbornness...my pride...my sin...
This morning I was reading in the Gospel of John 13 where Jesus is telling His disciples He will soon be leaving them. Peter steps forward saying he will lay down his life for Jesus. Jesus then says to Peter, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!" In that verse I am reminded of my own inability to fully follow Him, to fully give Him everything of me, realizing that I fail so often and that as much as I love Him I stumble and as He knew it for Peter so He knows it for me. He knew how much we all needed a Saviour and that it was a place He'd have to go alone and yet that Easter Morning the Son would rise and death would have no sting!
I know that what I give up is so so small but it's the posture of my heart that matters and I don't want this to be some strong willed woman trying to conquer something in her own strength because if that's all it is I will have failed. May this draw me closer to Him my life blood...
Still journaling those One Thousand Gifts
Gifts journaled for days 36 ~ 43
107. Kids happy with a meal
108. Hay for our horses
109. Warm sunshine on a cold day
110. Quiet night with the girls
111. A compliment from the eldest son
112. Doing chores - feeding the animals with Silas
113. My kids
114. Safe arrival
115. Good friends
116. Snow and lots of it
118. Majesty of Niagara Falls
119. Meeting new people
121. Gorgeous winter morning frost
122. A problem solved
123. Son and daughter wrestling in the snow
124. Christ who washes feet
125. God's providence
126. Sharing life
127. Finishing touches
128. Fresh fruit
129. This crazy loud family of mine