Lent starts this week. For all you Catholics and Episcopalians, you know what this means. For some of you who don't, here it is... It's a 40 day period leading up to Easter where we choose to fast or abstain from something in our life so that we can use that time and energy to focus on Jesus and less on ourselves. Growing up, I always did this. But I honestly can't tell you a single year that I have actually completed a true Lent season. Since we've been married, Cody has even started participating in Lent and he has done better than me.
Lately I've been convicted of wanting to be more intentional with my faith, my service, and my life. I want my life to mean something, to stand for something, to change the world for the better. I just want to make sure that I'm not floating through life, only focused on the earthly stuff that doesn't last. I want to make sure that at the end, I have used all that God gave me (cliche! but true) and I have made a difference for His Kingdom.
So I am going to try. I have horrible self discipline. I am always gung-ho about something for a day or so and then I get tired or busy and then I eventually just quit. Like when you mess up a diet on a Wednesday, you wait until the next Monday to start over, because the whole week must be ruined, right?
Why am I blogging about it? I need acountability! I didn't even tell anyone what I was doing for Lent last year because I just knew I'd quit and be embarassed (and yes, I quit very early on). But I want this to be a life thing, so I am hoping that it can start here and continue. I'm trying to get my stubbornness and competitiveness to kick into high gear so I won't quit!
So this year I am going to learn to be intentional. I want to be intentional with my faith. I want to make sure that people know where I stand, why I stand for things, and whose I am. I am God's. I am here, joyful and grateful, because He chose me, He saved me. I want to be intentional with my time. I want to make sure that I don't waste 3 hours a day on the computer (I'm not giving it up, we all know that would never work). I want to make sure that when I do spend time on FB or my Blog, that it becomes productive time. I want to tell that world about what God is doing in my life. What God is doing on earth in other's lives. I want to spend time each day with my sweet girl and my fabulous husband where I'm not doing three other things at once. I want them to know that they are my priority. I want to be intentional with my faith, prayer, and service. I don't want to just say I'm a Christian. I want to live my life like it's the only thing that keeps me going. I want to find ways to show other people that Jesus is the answer. I want to spend time in true prayer letting go of myself and being filled with more of Him. I want to serve others even if it's not fun or convenient or easy. I want to do it because God has asked me to, not because it makes me look good or check off something else on a list. I want to finally be the person that I have always wanted to be.
I know that I won't be perfect and that I won't be great at all of these things every day for 40 days. But that's the best part of being intentional in my faith in Christ. He never expects perfection - He knows I'm a work in progress. So, I can't fail. Because I know that God is with me in all things.
So starting Wednesday, here's to a season of being intentional with myself, my God, and the world. And here's to being honest about my shortcomings and my progression in the hopes that I can make a difference with someone or something.
Yet even now, says the Lord,
Return to me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
Rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain-offering and a drink-offering
for the Lord, your God?