Let’s talk about Lent
Lent is tomorrow.
I’ve never participated in Lent before. I grew up in a Presbyterian church and we had Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, but I didn’t know about Lent until probably a few years ago.
I’ve been reading on it in detail the past few weeks and it’s just fascinating. I love all the different perspectives, history, and ideas about what to give up. Search Amazon for Lent in Books and you get some pretty interesting takes on it.
We’re writing a 40 day Lent devotional for She Reads Truth (seriously, join us tomorrow), and because of that I decided to “do Lent” this year. That certainly doesn’t sound right – like I’m giving God a try or something. We’ll just chalk it up to biblical incorrectness on my part and move on.
I ordered a Naptime Diaries Lent journal to help me stay on track. Lent is a time when you give something up in order to prepare your heart for Easter. The basic concept is suffering by choice in a very small amount because of the incredible way Christ willingly suffered for us. It’s not mandatory. It’s not something you have to do as a Christian. We live in such a “me” centered world though that the idea of Lent seems to be a unique, much yearned for concept.
The more I thought about what I would give up, the more selfish I became about what I didn’t want to give up. Quite honestly, our pain has been so intense lately that the thought of losing a small bit of comfort/joy that earthly pleasures bring to our lives wasn’t anything I wanted to do.
I like coffee y’all.
Still, I truly want these next 40 days of Lent (more than 40 because Sunday’s don’t count in there) to be a time where I’m actively in God’s word and seeking his will for my life. I still feel very alone in that way. Maybe this won’t make sense to anyone, or some of you will think I’m off my holy rocker, but I feel as if God withdrew and Jesus stepped in after I lost Kaden.
Lent is appealing to me because it feels like it might set me on the path to figuring out where God and I stand in all of this.
I want to give up something as an active reminder to me of my decision to spend more time with God.
And I just realized (seriously, I paused writing this and knew what it was) what I’ll be giving up.
I read all the time. It’s become a way to distract and avoid for me. I read at night when the pain of losing Kaden is so intense I can’t sleep anymore, when I knit to keep my thoughts from spiraling, and anytime I need to sink into another world for a while. I have stacks of books by my bed, dozens on my iPad. I adore books and always have, I can read them until it’s so late my eyes barely can open just enough to finish a chapter.
I just don’t read the Bible like that. I want to. But another (often more interesting if I’m being honest) book is always calling. Then I skip the Bible most of the time.
So that’s what I’m going to do. For the next 40 days of Lent, the only book (besides Bella’s) that I’ll read will be the Bible.
I feel a little nervous writing this publicly. I kind of want to delete and find a new Lent thing.
That’s probably a good sign that I picked the right comfort to give up.