Friday, March 20, 2015
how to keep your heart in lent
You've made it over half way through Lent and that is worth celebrating (something we know happens throughout the bible). But you're feeling like celebrating and calling it good, though your heart and soul says you need to finish this out strong.
Here's some encouragement and tools to keeping your heart here in this Lenten season:
1. REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED.
Just over a month ago you were on fire for fasting. You were thrilled about the potential this forty day period holds and you entered into this time craving a change for the better. So, reignite those feelings with Him. Find some bible verses that speak to your chosen fast, write them down and hang them around your daily routine.
2. MAKE NOTE OF THE CONDITION OF YOUR HEART.
Throw it back to elementary school and throw together a Venn diagram. Have one side with the before and one with the after and write down the ways you have changed. This will make the changes obvious and feel more appreciated. Now, hang that paper up on your fridge.
3. VARY THE WAY YOU APPROACH IT.
Are you fasting from a certain food or drink? Maybe find some "treat" replacement... Like no wine, how about cranberry and soda water instead? No coffee? Try a new tea. If you're giving up the internet in the evenings (like I am), think about placing your phone and computer completely out of your proximity so there's no temptation.
4. REFLECT ON AND REST IN GRACE
If you're like me, you've slipped up and made mistakes in the last few weeks. You've found yourself growing lax and sort of apathetic. This is where you rest in the grace He gave us through the gloriousness that is Easter (which is what we're celebrating even now in the Lenten season!).
5. WRITE YOURSELF A THANK YOU NOTE.
Take a moment and thank yourself. You care, you're pursuing Him, you are pushing yourself like athletes do. That's worth saying thank you to yourself. You didn't let doubt or I can'ts come in and convince you this couldn't be done, so be grateful.
6. BE HONEST WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE.
Say out loud that this is hard. Ask for some encouragement. Request prayer and support from the women in your small group. Don't be afraid to say, whoa, this fasting thing is really reflecting how hungry my soul happens to be.
7. FOCUS ON THE END.
Easter is a huge and beautiful time in faith. Remember that. Remember how hard, how scary those three days would have been for the disciples left behind. Reflect on the joyous occasion Resurrection Sunday would have been. And bring that in to today by planning a special something to mark the end of your fast. (I'm planning on some sort of delicious cake in case you needed some ideas!)
Go and be free friends. Be free to finish this fast with strength and joy!
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