I usually try to “give up” something for Lent each year.
I know it’s a Catholic thing, but it’s such a beautiful tradition to prepare for Easter.
And I don’t think the Catholics mind others joining in for that good cause: changing our hearts.
For those wondering what Lent is, here you go: “Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully.” (Quote from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, bold added by me).
Could there be a better cause?
Especially in preparation for Easter?
Anyway, this year I’m “giving up” or abstaining from chaos.
I know, weird, right? But my life has started to swirl a bit out of control lately. I keep thinking of good things to do, and then get busy doing them. In the meantime, people ask me to do good things. And I say, “sure!” because they are the best things and I know they’ll help me grow. And then there’s my calling at church and extended family and people from the Internet I want to connect with and friends I’ve lost touch with, etc.
Oh I want to do it all.
So I try to, and just so anyone else out there trying can know, it just doesn’t work!
Anyway, how in the world do you “give up chaos”? you may ask.
I’m doing it by adding in meditation, scripture reading, and boundaries each day.
Because when I add these things in, I am able to shift my priorities just so that seems to help more time enter into my day.
I have a goal to read the whole New Testament in 2023.
My friend bought me this book (from Deseret Book) because she knew about my goal:
And I’m working on reading and internalizing a little bit each day.
It has awesome space for writing notes as I read:
It’s amazing what this does for my soul.
And it’s amazing that because it does all that good stuff for my soul it takes Lent to really push me to get my nose in that thing every day.
But I’ll take it!
As far as the meditation goes, I’ve tried meditation over and over again for years.
But I know it takes time and attention so each day during Lent I’m committed to take some time out to meditate and breathe every single day.
Isn’t it so interesting that sometimes you set a goal and you’re not really sure how you’re going to do it, and then a little miracle shows up to help you make it happen.
It turns out that a lady in our church congregation has recently attended two meditation retreats and actually asked me if she could come over and teach me some of the things she’s learned. Maybe she saw how frazzled I am (ha!) or maybe she just was led to do that as an answer to my prayer, but she came over last week and led me through a beautiful meditation after she explained all the 7 Chakras.
I’m trying to meditate and breathe for at least a few minutes every day outside.
And gosh, it does something for my soul!
Oh I have many more grand ideas, but I’m just doing two for these forty days because I know (from past experience) that I sometimes need to take baby steps.
As a side-note, another great way to prepare for Easter (aside from Lent):
Read The Robe.
I have written about it before, but I want to read it again in preparation for Easter this year. It’s such a beautiful, thought-provoking book!