Today, February 10th, 2016, is the first day of Lent.
I like to recognize Lent.
I want to honor Jesus Christ.
But, this year I am giving up Lent for Lent. I am not going to deny myself anything in particular – I already don’t eat sugar, wheat, or drink soda. I am holding fast to my one word 2016, DISCIPLINE in the areas of Read | Pray | Move.
This year I am going to just live, breathe, and have my being in Christ Alone.
I’m going to be faithful to what God told me months ago, “Speak Truth.”
I am going to continue to live brave.
I will continue to be obedient.
This Lenten Season finds me giving up … Lent.
How about you?
Tammy Mashburn says
Loved this, Susan! Cecil and I were just talking about this! A focus on more prayer, and less “anemic prayer” is exactly the thing I need!
Love you Friend!
You are such an early bird, Tammy! Looking forward to our meeting!
Just posted a comment only to accidentally delete it – ha ha! As I was saying…
Great post Susan. Very inspiring. I like the reminder to consciously emphasize living abundantly through Him – as he intends for us. John 10:10 living 🙂 Many blessings!! c
Love John 10.10 Thanks, C…
Thanks for this short&sweet! Agreed. Blessings from #TellHisStory
My posts usually are! Maybe not “sweet” all the time but definitely short!
Michele Morin says
What a delightful and thoughtful post! Susan, I’ve just started a book put out by Crossway and I thought of you because of your word. It’s called Disciplines of a Godly Woman. I’ll be reviewing it at some point — maybe it’s something that would encourage you in the practice and pursuit of your word this year.
Please keep me posted, Michele!
Joanne Viola says
Susan, thank you! Thank you! I was so grateful to have read your words just now. Earlier this morning a friend asked me what I was going to give up for Lent. I was sort of embarrassed to admit it but I shared … I am giving up Lent for Lent. I want to give up nothing to gain everything – a deeper focus on Christ alone. I wondered this year if we spend so much time on what we have given up that we miss what we gain. Know that your simple post blessed me greatly today!
Isn’t it awesome to get instant confirmation! Thank you for sharing that!
Linda Stoll says
He simply wants our adoring hearts, doesn’t He …
love this post, friend.
Simply put. YES!
I love this Susan! I realize Lent a fast of sorts, fasting is good and necessary at times. but I’ve seen it be more of a legalistic, lets see how close I can get to the line I’ve given myself while still keeping lent kind of thing. (like a lady I once knew that convinced herself that her big, huge veggies in her “broth” were legal for a liquid fast). Christ took us beyond rules, and oftentimes Lent takes us right back to them. Have a wonderful day! Linking http://christianhome.life/its-not-about-you-focus-on-your-spouse/ today
Oh I like what you said, “Sometimes Lent takes us right back to them.” Spot on, Christy!!!
Kitty Lawrence says
This is what being a Believer is all about: Live in Him. I know you. I know you are true, real and sincere. You live lent (so to speak) everyday of the year.
Well, thank you, ma’am – I went to Kathryn’s Bible school for a few years!!!
Oh gosh, y’all may think I’m weird, but I’m doing Lent this year. There is some things that I want to fast from. It’s not much , but to me it is, and I want to spend more time with our Lord. Getting up early to pray, read and sit quietly before him to hear his voice in my heart. And I’m hanging on to his word he gave me this year, more than ever . Thank you Susi for this great article, Love ya honey!
And, THAT is what it’s all about HM, being obedient to HIS WORD TO YOU!!!
Ruthie Gray says
Love it, girlfriend. I’m giving up something but not sure what yet! I’d like for it to be dessert.
Anyhoo, I’m sharing your Faith n Friends Lent post this evening, Tweeted, pinned, all that jazz – I’m glad you wrote it because most people think you have to be Catholic to observe.
Working on being more INTENTIONAL with my blogger pals this year! I miss you too – my blog has grown and the MTO ministry expanded so much that I never really get done with anything and I don’t EVER think I’m gonna get 31 Hats into Kindle!!!! ACK!!!
Love ya, sis!
RG, msfam, just keep doing the next thing. You’re good….you have a lot going on up there!!!
Joanna Sormunen says
I’m giving up wheat, sugar and soda for this lent but I also feel God is calling me to pray more, read Bible more and be more in His presence.
Which is why I’m waking up earlier to read Bible and pray and also learning to chant Psalms.
It is wonderful when He is close!
Joanne, oh my the three very things I mention!!! Those are great, healthy choices. God is so intentional about things isn’t He?
beth willis miller says
Susan, I love this post! Being raised as a Southern Baptist girl, we never celebrated the Lenton season…but I’m with you…I just want to keep Jesus in the center of my life, my thoughts, my marriage, my family, my work…when I’m focused on Him everything else flows…many blessings to you sweet friend!
Beth, I honestly used to think “only Catholics” observed Lent. I’m so glad my eyes have been opened to TRUTH!!!
Angela @ Setting My Intention says
I love this post! Yes, me too. I’m going to continue to be disciplined in my daily habits and monthly goals. I’m going to continue to daily sit in the am breathing deeply, knowing that I am a beloved daughter of the most High King.
Angela, I’m sitting right there with you in the presence of our good, good Father!
I have not given up anything for six years. Instead I’ve taken on something; praying through my FB friends list. So incredibly powerful!
I love your Lenten practice, Tara!
Betsy de Cruz says
This is refreshing, Susan! So often we feel like we need to work ourselves up into something “super spiritual” and sometimes God’s not calling us to that! I may do some days on the Daniel fast. Can’t start yet because I didn’t think ahead and buy for that when I went grocery shopping! So I’ll have to wait until next week.
Betsy, just don’t become legalistic about it – I think that is the trap.
Janis Cox says
I found you at Sitting at His Feet. Good idea. This year though I decided to give up “controlling” my husband. To let it go. Let him find his own way. I have been working on this for years but decided to be more dedicated this year for 40 days.
Would love you to share at Word of God Speak Linkup each weekend.
I would love to, Janis.
I have never done Lent. I know, I really should at least try. But I feel like its just a time to do life WITH Christ 🙂 Love the way this is worded!
Bethany – thank you. I miss seeing you!
Jim Kane says
Excellent post and an excellent One Word!
Thanks, Jim – glad to see you here!
Gayl Wright says
Susan, this is so good! “This year I am going to just live, breathe, and have my being in Christ Alone.” That is my desire and prayer, too. I want to remember to go to Him first in everything and not try to rely on my own strength. We can’t do it alone, but with Christ we can do anything He calls us to. Blessings to you!
Sandy B. says
Love this Susan!
Love you, Ms. B!!!
I’m new to your blog. I found you through one of the link-ups I visited this morning – not sure which one. :o) As I was scanning post titles, I thought yours was interesting. And it was!
OK, I know nothing of Lent (but I will search it on Google!), but somehow, I get the feeling that your take on it is rather spiritual. If it’s anything to do with fasting, why not make it personal? Why wait till a certain season. And why would we ever tell others what we are fasting from? That’s not exactly the prescription I see in scripture. Perhaps that’s just my Protestant mind not understanding my Catholic brethren? But I just appreciate your perspective here.
Thanks for sharing!
Tiffiney…I am a Protestant sister! You are right about fasting – the Word says to do it unknowingly! But, Lent is a bit different – a time of self-denial as we reflect on the final days of Jesus on earth!
Jaime Wiebel says
Giving up lent to stick with your discipline of putting Christ first. Exactly what He asks us to do daily and take up our cross and deny ourselves. That for sharing with us at Sitting Among Friends on Wednesdays. Have a great week.
Jaime, fancy meeting you again today!!!
Mary Geisen says
YES! Imagine a fist pump as I am saying that. I was talking with some friends last night about Lent and I realized that growing up Lent was a huge part of my church’s tradition. It became meaningless because it was only about giving something up. In the last few years, I have become more intentional in seeking Jesus through these 6 weeks and spending time with Him rather than giving something up.
I’m fist-bumping with you, sister & friend!!!
Karen Sebastian says
Sounds like an excellent plan to me! Love your discipline and, most of all, your heart.
Thanks for coming by, Karen, and, your kind words.
I like how you turned that around. I haven’t given up anything for Lent since grade school – when it was a school project. I like intentional things, not tricks. Instead of giving up, this Lenten season I want to spend more time with God, being intentional in immersing myself in Jesus story and his walk to the cross – I want to steep myself in it – which I think is what the giving up is all about – and, like you, I’m doing it in a upside-down way – which really isn’t upside down at all! I’m so glad I stopped by! Shalom!
Maryleigh, Jesus says “the last will be first” – He pretty much is the upside-down gospel!! He also say to gain we must lose…yes, He brought the inside-out, upside down GOSPEL! THE GOOD NEWS!
I like this, but I am giving up a bad food addiction for lent, at least I hope Lent will jump start it. I like the one word for 2016. I have seen it online and I just might try it. Stay in your truth and continue to share what has been laid on your heart for you! Visiting you from Sitting Among Friends!
THEN, that is what God has called you to – the sacrifice, the giving up. Yay, you, Tanya!
Merry Geary says
Had decided giving up something is not as important as “finding God through prayer.” I continue to be Blessed each day by his promises n when asking for “favors” know he will answer in “HIS” time, not mine. What do they say, “patience is a virtue?” Hugs to u n hubs
I believe you made the right choice for you! Hugs back to you and Mike.
Love this! I’m in a similar place this year as I’m not really giving anything up. I’ve just felt drawn to a slow reading of the Gospel of John during the Lenten season and to focus on finding God’s presence in the midst of the noise.
Leigh, one can never go wrong with those red letter words!
Valerie (aka The Momma) says
I’m a Catholic and I haven’t “given up” anything for Lent in about 4 years, but I’ve still celebrated it and done my best to live it each day throughout the 40 days of the Lenten season. When Catholics speak of Lent, they often speak of “giving up” something because giving up something we really love or have grown accustomed to on a regular basis can help us grow in the virtue of temperance. We are also encouraged to use whatever time or money or energy we would have spent on what we’ve given up toward a more spiritual purpose. For instance, some individuals or families give up eating out or spending money on non-essentials and instead earmark whatever they would’ve spent for a charity that benefits the poor. In Catholic parlance, this is also known as “almsgiving.” Giving up something is a kind of fasting as well. Those two things as well as prayer form the cornerstone of what Lent is all about. It’s about drawing closer to God through (1) fasting from things that distract us from Him, (2) growing in our love of neighbour by acts of charity, (3) and pursuing Him through prayer, scripture, and meditating on His Word and His will for our lives. These things are not always easy or convenient either and may cause us some frustration or hardship, but that’s the point of making sacrifices. These little sacrifices which hurt or frustrate us give us the tiniest taste of the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made for us and they point us toward His cross which became for us, a means of our redemption. Lent allows us to enter the desert and be stripped bare of all the distractions and secondary, superfluous things of life so that He is all we see. Yes, we should live Lent every day, but the reality is that most people struggle with just the 40 days. It’s human to struggle and to want to do better. The Lenten season is a great way to strengthen ourselves for the daily struggle by jump-starting new good habits, getting rid of old ones, and becoming more aware of God’s will for us which gets revealed by such an intense focus on Him. It also makes the joy of His Resurrection and the Easter season even sweeter for all the struggle. 🙂
Momma, you know I LOVED THIS. What a beautiful essay to explain true Lent to this Protestant girl!!! THANK YOU!
I think you’re right about the way we can traditionally observe Lent. I think we can get focused on some outward thing or behavior as “sacrifice” and fail to recognize He is after the condition of our hearts and our relationship with Him!
Blessings and love,
Pam, in all honesty Lent is so personal – and if we seek His input, He will most definitely lead us to the right thing!!!
Deb Wolf says
Amen! We should live with a Lenten attitude all years long, shouldn’t we? And it sounds like you are. The only thing I change is I add some Lenten specific devotionals to my Bible Study time. Several years ago I decided to add something instead of denying something. More of Jesus. God’s blessings my friend!
Deb, love the idea of the Lenten-specific devo’s. Going to do that.