Do you celebrate Lent? I grew up Catholic (I am no longer Catholic, different story for a different day) but I have always appreciated the season of Lent. Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday (February 10th) and ends on March 26th. Lent is a time preparing for Easter by fasting and repenting.
In the past I’ve used the few weeks prior to Ash Wednesday as a time of reflection. I look at how God can be the center of my life. I struggle with this and try to use the season of Lent as a time to grow closer in my relationship with the Lord. Many Catholics choose to give up something during Lent.
I was thinking about the upcoming beginning of Lent this past week. I didn’t want to give up soda, candy, or junk food (which I have all done in the past). These are all good things to give up, but I didn’t find any significant changes in my life besides missing eating Snickers and Blue Bunny. I wanted something more meaningful.
As I thought more about this I came up with 5 unique Lent ideas to try this year.
If you choose to participate in Lent this year (you don’t need to be Catholic to want to grow your relationship with God) please choose one idea, not a bunch. Focus on that one idea and see how your relationship will grow. My prayer for you is that it will be life changing!
Here are 5 unique Lent ideas to try this year:
1. Give up putting yourself down.
You are a masterpiece made by The Master. It’s time to start treating yourself that way. If you find yourself putting yourself down replace it with a positive affirmation such as, “I am getting better everyday” or “I am loved” or “I am strong”. After you go through your affirmations, say a prayer thanking God for his great work he has performed in you and ask the best way to use your gifts!
2. Adopt a new habit that is good for you!
Have you been wanting to try doing the Whole 30 diet, join a gym, take a lesson, or clean out clutter? Starting a new habit is tough! Pray about it! Ask for help! Start! You can do this!
3. Stop buying anything you don’t need.
You can approach this idea in a few different ways. The first is that you can use this time of fasting from buying to pray for good stewardship of your money. you could take the money you save and apply it to debt, to your tithe at church, to help someone less fortunate than yourself, to support a charity, or one of your own awesome ideas!
4. Quit yelling at your kids or husband.
If you are a natural yeller, this is a hard one. Learning to react without yelling requires discipline that only God can provide. Pray about why you are yelling, when you feel the need to yell, try whispering! Pray for a better relationship with your family because you are no longer yelling and more open to communication.
5. Create your own “War Room.”
For those of you who have seen the movie War Room you know that your own War Room can be anywhere: from your bathroom, kitchen sink, closet, or car. Gather your supplies such as your favorite Bible verses, memory work, Bible, prayer journal, or whatever you need to do battle.
None of these are particularly easy, but they are beneficial to your life and your relationship with God. When things get hard, pray. Ask God for help. That’s the point of this!
Do you participate in Lent? If so, what are you giving up or adding to your life this year during this special time?