Lent 2014

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Lent is the six week period (that kicks off today, Ash Wednesday) and concludes on Easter Sunday. Because Easter has a tendency to sneak up on us, the 40 days leading up to it allow us to examine ourselves, our sin, and to become more aware of our need for Jesus Christ. Not only do we celebrate the ability to wear white, linen, and Jack Rogers without judgment, but Easter is also a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

According to Twitter, The top 10 most-mentioned Lenten sacrifices in 2012 is as follows:

1. Twitter

2. Chocolate

3. Swearing

4. Alcohol

5. Soda

6. Facebook

7. Fast food

8. Sex

9. Sweets

10. Meat

Last year I gave up Thin Mints. In 2012, I gave up texting and driving (trying to break a bad habit), and in 2007 I tried sobriety (but that was college and lasted all of 8 days). So the soul searching process began a few weeks ago and I decided instead of giving something up, I was going to start doing certain things:

1.       Living more intentionally: I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this, but I can be having a conversation with someone and then realize I have zero clue what they said. 99.9% of the time it’s because I’m reading Twitter or refreshing my Instagram feed for the 20th time in two minutes. Matt gets so frustrated by it that now he stops talking mid-sentence until I realize I have zoned him out. I also find myself not knowing the answer to something that someone has already told me, most likely because I wasn’t giving them my full attention. With the routine of daily life it’s so easy to be on auto-pilot. I know one day I’m going to look back on my fast-paced life and  wish I had taken more time to ask my parents important questions, or to check in with old friends.

2.       The Love Dare: A few months ago I heard about a 40 day devotional a from the mail courier where I work…crazy story, but this man is on fire for Christ and such an inspiration to me. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but then the devotional kept surfacing in random places and conversations and I really felt compelled to give it a shot. The book is The Love Dare, and it  leads you through daily devotionals, places to record your thoughts, and each day ‘dares’ you to perform a simple act of love for your significant other. While the book is marketed for married couples, I know that it will be of great value in my relationship now. There is also a ‘Love Dare Evaluation’ you can take beforehand to find your love strengths and weaknesses and sends bible verses to help you in your areas of weakness. I often take my relationship with Matt for granted, and never want to forget that it was God who brought us together and who is constantly working in our lives to make us stronger.

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