Monday, February 11, 2013

Looking toward Lent

 Lent is almost here.  I savor this season of paring down and looking up.  It's like a total body cleanse for the soul.  And while I always fall short of my spiritual goals for this church season, I usually find myself so much closer to God in the end.

When I was a young and naive Christian newbie, I thought Lent was all about dieting in the name of Jesus.  I gave up chocolate.  Candy.  Desserts.  Invariably I'd have a hedonistic sugar binge sometime (okay, multiple times) during the 40-day deprivation.  It didn't make me feel closer to God, just full of crud — in my stomach and in my weak, weak soul. 

Nowadays I'm not super keen on giving something up for Lent, especially when Valentine's Day falls on the heels of Ash Wednesday.  (Maybe this is the year Mister comes home with a heart-shaped box of chocolate??)  Instead, I try to give up my distracted ways and attempt to give more attention to God.  

The good Lord knows I need a LOT of help in this area.  I think that's one of the reasons he gave me my beautiful kids.  Nurturing my children's faith keeps me more honest and consistent about communing with God than I would ever be on my own.

In the coming days I'll be posting some of the crafty, culinary, and clever things we do around here to draw near to God during Lent.  And I'll post several ideas that we haven't done, but that I'd love to try.  I hope you'll find an idea or two that inspires you and your loved ones.  If you have a favorite Lenten tradition you'd like to add to the mix, please comment about that!

May your Lenten journey to the cross fill you up with God's love, peace, and amazing grace.

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