This year I'm participating in Lent. For the first year my church has decided to observe the season of Lent as a church. I'm really excited about this because I hope that it will be a time for me to remove some distractions from my life and really focus on God and getting my priorities in order. Instead of giving up one thing for the whole time, my church made a suggested schedule to follow where you give up one thing a week. I think this will be so good for me. My girls home group is getting together on Tuesday nights each week to be accountable to each other and share what we are learning and I'm also getting together on Wednesday nights with another group of friends from church.
My church produced a Lent guide with weekly readings. This is what it says about fasting. "By emptying our lives of commotion, clutter and noise, we hope to find greater room for Him to speak through His Word. Rather than simply subtracting something from our lives, this is an opportunity to add something greater".
So here is the schedule that I am following. Some weeks will be harder than others, but it's only for a week so I know I can do it.
Week 1: Food
Some people are fasting for one whole day or for one meal a day or from certain kinds of food. I kind of am forced to fast from food this week since I can't eat all week because of my new appliances on my braces and not being able to chew, so it kind of works out.
Week 2: Television and Movies
This one is going to be hard. I watch more TV than I care to admit and it's going to seem so quiet. I know it will be a good thing for me though.
Week 3: Social Networking and Internet
I think this week is going to be rough too. I'm constantly online. I spend a lot of time looking at Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Twitter, and just surfing the web. Some of my time is really productive, but a lot of it is just wasted. So if you don't see me posting anything or commenting on anything this week, you know why.
Week 4: Caffeine and Sweets
I think that this week will be pretty easy for me. I don't drink caffeine and I really don't have sweets. I do drink chocolate milk with unflavored protein powder every morning for breakfast so I'm going to give that up for the week.
Week 5: Radio and Music
I don't think I even realize how much I listen to music. This week will be really hard for me!
Week 6: Shopping for Non-Essentials
Week 7: Sleep
This is what the guide says about the no sleep week. "The hope is that we might set our alarms an hour or two earlier or stay up an hour or two later and devote one entire night or morning to prayer.
I think this season of Lent will be a big challenge for me, but I'm excited to remove some clutter and focus on what really matters.
Do you celebrate the season of Lent and if so, what are you giving up?