Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gentle Lent: Ash Wednesday

Photo taken by xandert
Like a storm looming in the distance was this year’s Lent.I fervently prayed for direction in what to fast. Each time I felt a wall of anxiety brush against my heart. Then whispered words: easy, gentle, simple…

I come from a “try hard” kind of faith. Lent was not something taught in the Charismatic Baptist Church I grew up in. InterVarsity in college introduced me to the practice. I dabbled with the practice from year to year, aimless and self-absorbed.

Until last year.

I knew it was coming and decided to prepare. Gathered pins on Pinterest, I organized. The Lenten season was God focused. It was a season of putting old battles to rest. Acknowledging wounds that were now scars and walking in freedom from an eating disorder. In celebration I got this:

But this year’s lent was different. I will do the Lenten Clean inspired by Charming The Birds From Trees like last year, but other than that, my focus was not clear, until Elizabeth Esther’s Gentle Lent.

It fit the words breathed over my soul as I prayed. The last few days spent on doing what makes me happy: lists, charts and words now cover my refrigerator with inspiration.

Inward focus is a Fast:
I am fasting cheats. Clean Eating is my style, but too many cheats and life falls into disorder. Cheats for me can be a protein bar instead of a proper meal, soda, glass of wine, extra time online or even “just one more episode” on Netflix. So that means Veg/Fruit at each meal. Getting up on time. Using a timer when I’m sitting on social media.

Photo taken by bosela
Upward focus is Church and quiet:
I struggle with unhealed Spiritual Abuse, mainly because I am not sure where to start. I wasn’t raised in a cult church. My high school church group was a little odd and there are scars from that. Some of the wounds are from my Parentals’ theology and their life of ministry. This past spring our family walked away from a church we’d attended for six years because of some things-but more on that later.

I want to crawl in a hole and never go back.

Yet the idea of community pulls at me. I am going to participate in a local Lutheran Church. From the Ash Wednesday service to using their daily devotionals, I’m opening myself up to learning something new: this whole liturgy thing.

Photo taken by taliesin
I am going to be still for five minutes every day in meditation. Sitting still and quiet is an anxiety trigger and prayer is another “hot spot” for me. I struggle with using the P word. One method I’ll try is the Praying in Color. I’m also going to learn about meditation and continue with yoga.

Outward Focus is kindness and caring:
It’s been a rough few years and I am in the middle of a long transition with boys emerging into adulthood. I find myself feeling suffocated. I don’t take Kindness Risks as much as I used to, although Divine Appointments are my favorite. So, I will open myself up to take one Kindness Risk every day

I am excited to share this journey on Elizabeth Esther's blog hop. My ideal is to write a little everyday about the journey: where I've come from, where I am, where I want to go and how God fits into all of it.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Lent! I LOVE your tattoo. What a wonderful idea. I recently have had very freeing church experiences as well. It has taken a long time to even start rebuilding.


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