It’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of our 40-day journey into the desert with our Lord.
What are you “giving up”?
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself for a couple of weeks. And I’ve been racking my brain and heart for the answer.
While praying, I’d been feeling conflicted about giving up chocolate, my go-to sacrifice. I knew there was something deeper the Lord was calling me to. Now, don’t get me wrong, giving up chocolate is extremely hard for me and I know the Lord appreciates it, but I wanted to do something more. I wanted to do something that would draw me out of myself and my habits.
So I continued to pray and tried my best to listen. I read several devotions leading up to Lent. The recurring message was about sacrificing something that might be preventing you from drawing closer to God.
Isn’t that what Lent’s all about—drawing closer to our Lord in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; drawing into His Sacred Heart; being with Him in the desert; giving of ourselves so that we may receive Him more fully?
When I woke up today, I still didn’t know what I was going to sacrifice or give until I wrote in my journal for a quick minute.
Something in me was stirring. I began to pray about what was pulling me away from the present moment with the Lord, with Caroline, and with John.
I’d been thinking I wanted less time watching TV at night. I wanted to spend more time reading with John and working on my blog. That led me to realize I’m desiring less distraction in my little world. I’m desiring to draw into our Lord’s Sacred Heart but my phone, my computer, the TV, and my thoughts are drawing me in a thousand directions, keeping me from being able to focus on one thing at a time, a huge problem in our world.
I then thought about what is stressing me during the day, why do I feel like a whole day can go by and I barely made progress in multiple areas of my life. Once again, I realized it was distractions. I wasn’t allowing myself to be fully present in the moment, nor was I giving my brain a break from trying to do multiple things at a time.
So this Lent, I will be giving up looking at my phone and working on the computer when Caroline is awake. Instead, we will practice smushing our noses on the window, taking
I will be giving up TV a couple of nights a week and I will be reading, blogging, and spending undistracted time with John instead.
I will write my thoughts down as they come to me in a little notebook and not googling or ordering immediately.
I will wait and be patient and if it is really important I will take care of whatever it is when I have time in my day.
And of course, the chocolate will be more scarce in my life for the next 40 days.
I hope that all of you are able to find something that stirs your heart, something that draws you closer to Him and those around you this Lent. I will be praying you are able to find that which brings you joy and simplicity of life.