With Lent in full swing, I wanted to take some time to reflect on observing Lent this season. As these next 45 days (give or take) are a season of reflection with a greater eye towards Christ’s life, today I reflect on how I plan to make space for Lent.
I was born and raised Catholic. Liturgy and the Liturgical Calendar was something I took for granted, and gave no thought to growing up as it was a familiar motion that made sense. It wasn’t until I left the Catholic Church and joined the Reformed Church that the liturgical calendar had a lasting impact. My church doesn’t practice liturgy all the time. I find that despite my church, I still find myself observing certain liturgical practices like Lent. It’s partially out of habit and partially because I like the tradition and cyclical reminder.
Growing up Lent was always about giving up something. However, today I learned that Lent is never once mentioned in the bible and isn’t even a required practice per the Bible.
Lent is a forty day period (not counting Sundays) in which we mirror Jesus’ time in the wilderness. I personally love it because it is a time to reflect upon myself and turn my focuses on to God. It’s a time of repentance and honesty. In Genesis 3:19 (NIV) we are told: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” I haven’t been to a formal Ash Wednesday service in years, however I find it beautiful and telling that this sacred day is what kicks Lent off. Lent is a time in which I reflect upon my own mortality and the reminder of ashes to remind us that we will become dust again is so coming.
What I’m Making Space For
This Lent, I’m focusing less on giving up anything and more on making space in my heart. I’ve found a few podcasts specifically related to Lent that I wanted to share because they not only taught me quite a bit but also have created some new practices for this Lenten season.
- Ash Wednesday and Fasting – Sacred Ordinary Days
- Lent + Prayer – Sacred Ordinary Days
- Lent + Almsgiving – Sacred Ordinary Days
- That Sounds Fun Podcast: She Reads Truth & Lent
These four podcast episodes are great if you are trying to learn about lent as well as the observation and practice of such.
This year, I am making space. I’m making space in my heart for the ascension of Jesus. I want to make sure I am in the Word of God every. single. day. Further, I want to learn more effective prayer practices and make that a priority in my life.
I’m working my way through the bible in 2017. Ever day I’m doing assigned reading in this bible: The Daily Bible. It’s a chronological bible and each day is usually a few chapters of the Bible. I’m in Deuteronomy and Leviticus right now, and as rough as it is, I’m appreciating the legalism of the books. As a lawyer, I find these easy to read, however, difficult to truly grasp.
My other goal for Lent is to spend more time in prayer. I often feel as if I’m not good at it, or I let life get in the way of it. How often do we, as humans, feel as if our worries are not big enough to lay at God’s feet? I do this all the time. However, He is El Roi, the God who Sees Me. He cares about us so much and wants us to speak to him. I’m tired of making excuses that I’m not good enough or that I don’t have time. Thus, this Lent, my priority is to pray at least twice daily and to not make excuses.
Being the avid book lover that I am, I snagged a few books to gain new perspectives on prayer:
- Prayer that Works by Jill Briscoe (I saw her speak at If:Gathering and she was the greatest. I learned so much truth through her!).
- Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore
- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
Regardless of reading these books I am being intentional and cultivating a prayer life. My goal is to pray in the morning at night. I enjoy journaling my prayer, so I will attempt to at least do that once a day.
Making Space in Our Hearts
Another way in which I’m making space is to participate in the Enjoying Jesus study from If:Equip. Through six weeks, the study is teaching twelve different spiritual practices. Essentially it’s a study on making space in your heart, and I’m thrilled that it was announced at If:Gathering!
These forty days are a time of reflection and preparation as we prepare for Jesus’ coming. If you choose to observe Lent, it is so important to make space. How are you making space this Lenten season? Do you give things up? Do you add something in?