First day of Lent.

I must admit, lately I’ve lost track of time. I (embarrassingly) was made aware that yesterday was Fat Tuesday only because someone brought in homemade paczkis to the tax center I volunteer at. (They were freakin’ delicious, in case you were wondering.)

There’s really no excuse for me to not know that Lent is once again upon us, but I’ll confess that it snuck up on me completely. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic high school, so Lent was a big deal to me growing up, at least in practice, if not necessarily in meaning. I always had ashes on my forehead on Ash Wednesday and each year I dutifully gave up something for the 40+ days of Lent (I even included Sundays, because I was dedicated, darnit!). 

In my adult life, I’ve stopped giving up something for Lent, instead choosing to focus on growing closer to God during these weeks. Last year I read the Bible and did a devotional (and even blogged a bit about it). This year I plan on doing the same thing (the reading, not necessarily the blogging), but hopefully I’ll also journal more about my thoughts.

I will be following along with the reading plan at She Reads Truth.

I try not to confuse Lent with New Years. In the New Year (and sometimes on my birthday) I think of ways to better my own life, and I stick to resolutions. However, I don’t make resolutions for Lent, I make plans to (hopefully) draw closer to God in a deeper and more personal way. This season is not about bettering my own kingdom, it’s about building God’s kingdom, which I cannot do unless I’m connected to Him in a meaningful way. 

My hope is that this season will bring me opportunities to lean on God more heavily, and to lay my burdens on Him. My hope is that by being in the Word more each and every day, I will live my life according to His will instead of my own. My hope is that my relationship with God will grow and deepen. My hope is that my love will expand and my words will be full of grace, forgiveness, compassion, and kindness. My hope is that I will feel God’s love surrounding me more than ever before. My hope is that I will be bold in my love for Jesus and will have increased confidence because of His love for me. My hope is that I will learn and understand new aspects of God’s character and who He is.

You could say I have high hopes for this Lenten season!

What about you, do you celebrate Lent?


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