I haven’t practiced Lent much in the past couple of years. Since my son was born I just found the prospect too overwhelming. But for the last year I’ve been working on a Lenten devotional. The writing has stalled for the moment and I feel like I need to refocus. Lent seemed like a perfect time to do that.  My Lenten devotional is based loosely on the themes and fasting schedule that my church used several years ago.

During the first week of Lent we focused on our relationship with Jesus by fasting from one meal a day and substituting communion. I’ve really been struggling to set aside time to really connect with God. So part of my goal for the next week is to sacrifice both food and time. During the time when my children nap, I’m going to forgo my afternoon snack and take that time to spend quiet time with the Lord. Yes, this is something I probably should have done a long time ago. But as Amy said last week on The Finer Things in Life: Yes, do that. Of course, some people might look at this and say “Why don’t you just skip a meal?” As a mom, I skip more meals than I’d like to admit. But during my kids time I tend to do way too much snacking as a way of coping with my day, instead of turning to Jesus.

If you haven’t really practiced Lent before, I would encourage you that this could be a great year to try. It’s not so much about what you do, as why. It’s not as much about what you are giving up, though that does matter, as what you are going to do instead. I heard a great saying once (please forgive that I don’t remember who said it.) that fasting without prayer is just a diet. I don’t want to fall into that trap. As I try to honor Lent, I want to do that with my heart not just my body. My heart gets distracted a lot lately as my hands and body stay busy caring for my kids, my home and running from place to place.

The long winter has taken a lot out of many of us. So what I’m looking for this Lent is thaw. I want to restore my soul and spirit, so that as the spring finally comes, I’ll be able to experience new life myself as well. I invite you to join me.

How do you celebrate Lent as an individual or with your family?