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Lessons from Lent 2016

Lessons from Lent 2016
It’s almost Easter and I’m so excited! This year was the first year that I really took time to embrace the season of Lent and while I didn’t meet all of my goals for Lent 2016, I can feel the difference this year versus other years when I haven’t been really focused. I’m truly happy that I’m taking the steps to strengthen my relationship with Christ in 2016 and Lent is just one part of my journey this year. As we approach Resurrection Sunday I wanted to share a few lessons I have learned these past 40 days and hoping that you spend some time reflecting as well (if only for a few minutes like me as I have a day full of work ahead in order to have a stress/work free Easter Sunday). These are personal reflections but hopefully they reach someone in need of the same message.

  1. Discipline is a practice and one that I can master if I’m committed and submit it to the Lord. For Lent, I gave up a pretty important part of my daily life. As a person who struggles daily with discipline, being able to do this was eye opening for me. I tend to have a million and one excuses when I don’t stick to my plan, schedule, or themed day but the reality is, it all comes down to discipline. I’ve battled with being disciplined when it comes to working for myself but when it came to Lent and serving the Lord, I was steadfast. Can you imagine what I could accomplish if I used that same discipline in all areas of my life? This thought was confirmed yesterday at Good Friday service. The last speaker talked about letting God lead you in ALL areas of your life. Not just submitting to him in one area and resisting in another. It’s time for me to start serving the Lord not just in prayer and service, but in all ways, at all times.
  2. There is a true transformation that occurs when you fill yourself up with the word, every day. This lesson was delivered to me in an unexpected fashion. I started to recognize the power of daily prayer and journaling the word before Lent started. Doing this practice everyday helped my spirit, demeanor, and attitude towards life, family duties, my children, everything. There was a true shift in ME when I made it a point to spend time with Him and His word every morning. During Lent, while I stayed committed to giving up something, I fell short in this practice. And I felt the difference. I still prayed and read the word often but that’s different than truly sitting, experiencing, and soaking up His word at the start of my morning, every morning. That practice changes you. And while I noticed the change when I started the practice, falling short during Lent intensified the difference. Sure midday prayers, nightly prayers, referencing scripture throughout the day is a great (and necessary) addition, but starting, truly starting my day with Him is essential for me.
  3. I’m not sure if I can articulate this lesson but please bear with me. Our journey to Christ is a family one with each of us at different points on our own personal paths. My goal is to gently encourage without being forceful or overbearing. At our church, once a child turns 7, they join the congregation in the main sanctuary for service on Sundays. No more children’s church. And while Sdot, my recently turned 7 year old son has “a difficult time” focusing, my 11 year old son Na shows a ton of interest. I underestimated him when I decided to go on this Lenten journey of giving something up alone. At one point during the season he asked about why I wasn’t doing certain things and I explained it to him. As best I could, I explained what Lent is, how long it is, when it starts and ends, and why we give something up. I expected he would respond something along the lines of  “that sounds hard! you got that! no way! I couldn’t do it” but instead I got “that sounds cool. I want do this next year with you.” Too often as parents we feel like we’re unsure of ourselves or that we’re getting it wrong. As a Christian mother, one of my daily prayers is for guidance to raise children of the Kingdom with most days still trying to figure it out for myself. The lesson I learned from that conversation with him is that, whatever I’m doing, it’s working, and to continue to trust that I can handle the responsibility the Lord has given me. 

I pray you have a blessed Easter and if you received a lesson or message during Lent please share in comments <3.

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