Last Lent I gave up gluten.
The fast didn't last the whole 40 and some odd days, however.
It lasted about half.
But also last Lent, I picked up journaling.
And that.....that has stuck.
Near daily I pick up that leathery pink bounded bunch of papers - and let the prayers and concerns flow from mind to parchment.
It's been healthy for me.
And helpful, too.
Because it's shocking what one can forget when an event, a word, a prophecy, a feeling, an idea...never makes it into ink.
It's like it evaporates into thin, stealing air.
But having scribbled it down on lined paper - you can revisit and remember and pray and praise all over again.
And that's always, always good.
Seeing where you've been...
recognizing where you are...
and realizing where you are going...
it's conducive to growth and rootedness.
Leading up to the Lord's dying and rising last year, I found myself in a hard season....
Husband job transitions.
It was a heavy, fully-loaded, uncertain bunch of months for me.
Looking back on the words I wrote during that period... I feel glad I'm not where I was.
I feel grateful I made it through.
I feel pleased that I put the pen to paper.
This year's Lenten season has it's own oddities and concerns and hopes and dreams - but I'm happy I'll be writing it all down again.
I plan on giving up something again this year, too.
Perhaps I'll even make it the full 40 this time :)
As we meander our way to that empty grave this Spring... let's make it be more than tradition and merchandise.
Let's make it be more than doing your duty and going without for a while.
Let's embrace the meaning, the history, the promises, the truths.
Let's really see and hear and know our Savior this go around.
Let's ask for revelation, and breakthrough, and freedom.
Let's ask for faith, and righteousness, and repentance.
Let's ask for deep level heart change.
Let's really lean in this Lent.
And write it all down.
This time next year....
I think you'll be glad you did.