From Sit a Spell:
Growing up, I thought Lent was something reserved for my Catholic friends. In my religious superiority, I never stopped to find out what my Catholic friends were actually celebrating. When God graciously opened my mind a tiny bit, and I started asking questions instead of judging, I found that Lent is a time of preparation leading up to Easter. It's a beautiful, focused season when believers can savor the story of the gospel, the meaning of the cross, and the hope of the resurrection. What a perfect time to ask God how these truths can bring about actual, tangible change in our lives and ultimately in this world.
I love Lent. This year it's hard for me to decide what to add or subtract from my life to celebrate and observe the coming of Christ's Death and Resurrection, especially since I just left the States. That in itself is a huge adjustment! I've been struggling to decide what to do, so I'm going to take this time and use this blog space as a sounding board to think on it for a bit...
I suppose I could give up something like coffee, but it's one of the only things that is the same in my routine so far, once or twice a week. I may not want to take that away too, just yet. Last week I posted on facebook that I was giving up America for Lent. I said it kinda tongue-in-cheek cause I did give it up, which began Tuesday/Wednesday. I'll stick with that for a "sacrifice," because there hasn't been a day that goes by that I don't remember that I am completely dependent on God! These 40 days are all about that.
In the past, I've added spiritual disciplines, and I've really enjoyed what that did for my soul as I remember Christ's sacrifice. Now, I know that it's a few days late to really get the full 40 days, but my heart is yearning for something to focus on specifically for Lent, so I want to begin something anyway (even if it's not for the Entire Official Forty Days). So, I think I might add a prayer every night from Beth Moore's Praying God's Word. I really enjoy that book. I've been using it as a guide to pray once in a while over certain strongholds in my life. I think I will add a prayer every night, intentionally, from the chapter on idolatry. In Isaiah 43:11 He says "I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior." Yes, I believe that is the perfect prayer for my heart in this season of Lenten transition.
Speaking of sacrifice, a friend of mine reminded me that it's normal to be sad about the things I'll miss in the States this year, cause they are real things to miss, like my niece's upcoming birth in May, or big holidays with my family. She mentioned, though, to focus more attention on the fact that Jesus had Heaven as His home. He lived there with the Father. He gave up HEAVEN for 33 years, to take His role as our Savior, the atoning sacrifice for our sins. The States are awesome, but they don't compare to Heaven. Earth is vile compared to Heaven, but Korea is just a different country. I can keep that in mind. When I'm struggling, take a deep breath and think: my Jesus who saved me understands being an alien in a foreign land. :)