I haven’t blogged any travel, engagements, or weddings in months. Let alone published my yearly recap, yet. But here we are. March 1, 2017. It’s not even New Year. It took LENT for me to write what you’re about to read.
Ash Wednesday. The first day of LENT.
I never celebrated/participated in Lent. It was a thing in high school where all the kids were talking about what they were ‘giving up.’ I always thought it was really cool that young, non-Catholics liked to do this with their religious friends. To me, it was a really cool unifying season. Now I know it’s so much more than giving up sugar or texting, but kudos to the kids for declaring their vices and letting them go in their own way.
Here I am. Year two of what I call, “Facilitating and Inspiring Others to Participate in Lent.” For two years now, I’ve gotten to provide photos and some content here and there to create an experience for other people to participate in Lent digitally. Looking at my personal life however, I don’t think I’ve ever fasted anything. Maybe I fasted social media a couple years ago for a week. I have spent a great deal of time helping other people be inspired, but have always felt too burdened, busy, and tired to inspire and push myself.
I was at a bar yesterday (lol) and struck up a conversation with someone who deems herself, ‘not really religious,’ however, she told me that she’s super stoked for Lent. For her, it’s the one holiday of the year that she devotes going to church with her mom. She told me that it’s a great time to reset, fuel her body, get motivated, cook at home more often, and it means a lot to her family. From a spending a short amount of time with her, I already know she’s a motivated person and doesn’t need a holiday to get in the zone. However, as simple as this exchange was, it was a beautiful and real definition of what Lent is.
It’s a time to reset. Re-evaluate. Do things that are good for your soul and re-prioritize. Do the things you love with the people you love most. Another cool thing about Lent is the fact that the whole world is on the same page. It’s a worldwide event. Whether religious or not, it’s so cool that we get to keep in step with the Church calendar.
For me Lent is going to be what I make it. I won’t just give up stuff for the sake of giving it up. I’m going to make space for the things that give me life. Say ‘no’ to the things that don’t make the list of top values, whether good or bad. Say ‘yes’ to the things that I always have wanted to have time for: and as a Christian, a believer and lover of Jesus, and just a human in her 20s, here are those things that I’m going to do this season. Not because it’s another self-help track or goal, but because I want to create space for joy. It’s never too late to re-prioritize, in fact, it’s important to check ourselves often and ask, “Does this bring me joy? Do I have capacity for this? Is this hurting or harmful? Who do I love and how can I love them better?” So here’s what I’m going to do…and if I mess up, I’m going to give myself GRACE and keep on truckin’. No better time like the present (in this case, LENT) to cultivate habits that you’ve always wanted.
- Journal / write every night about my day & thoughts + take a photo to go with that
- Actually participate in The Lent Experience that I get to take part in creating at church which includes a variety of things
- Drink more water
- Spend more time with people I wanted to invest in, cultivate and care friendships
The list is not comprehensive and it’s pretty simple stuff, but like most people, I care about being healthier physically and spiritually. The one practical thing that I’ve wanted most is more time to not work because every waking minute in the past x amount of months I feel like I’m working and if I’m not, I still think about it. With more time that’s not work, there’ll be time to do the things I’ve always wanted. Read, be silent and still in prayer and not pray on the move, go to the beach, exercise, cook, dance, be myself and who I was created by God to be.
Join me? If you’re interested in the Lent Experience that ROCKHARBOR, is doing, you can follow their instagram @rockharborchurch, go to this site, & even sign up for text message reminders there. Even if you’re not Christian like many of my friends are, it doesn’t mean it’s not for you. Like the story above, there’s always value in resetting & reevaluating. Creating space to live a simple life is not a new concept.
Even if you really don’t want to do it, at least do it for me and the cool photos you get to see. Hehe.