Welcome back to another Sunday Series.
I want to start this post by taking a moment to remind us all to pray for those up in Central QLD who were affected by Tropical Cyclone Marcia that made landfall on Friday as a Category 5 cyclone! Many towns in Central QLD have been damaged & some almost entirely destroyed. I have many friends in Yeppoon & Rockhampton who have had their homes affected, at this moment they are still without electricity, phone service is patchy & supplies & clean water are limited in the town. I pray that they stay in good spirits & that the damage can be easily fixed and that electricity, phone service & water supply is restored soon! Stay strong guys, we are all thinking of you! We also thank God that we have heard of no serious injuries or fatalities from the cyclone.
This past week Lent started. Tuesday was ‘Shrove Tuesday’ & the following day was ‘Ash Wednesday’ – the start of Lent.
(For those who don’t know what ‘Shrove Tuesday’ is, it is the day before the start of Lent where people would use up their ‘rich foods’ to start a period of fasting. (There is a lot more technical history to it, but I doubt you all want to read about it!))
In todays world it’s more about eating pancakes and forgiveness. Shrove is basically defined as confessing sins to a Priest. We can translate that now as admitting our sins to God and asking for forgiveness and also being forgiving towards others.
I must admit I always find the forgiving part a little hard. The past year I’ve been hurt not just by just the normal person who annually causes me grief, but also by a very close friend & that has really hurt my heart. I have forgiven everyone who has hurt me in my life, but that doesn’t mean I have to allow people into my life who hurt me. I think we have to be smart when it comes to who we let in, I think running after someone who has treated you badly is idiotic, I will never beg someone to be apart of my life, because if they wanted to be there they would. So I let go of the anger, the pain & I just move on. I leave nonsense, pettiness, cruelty & disloyalty behind. I’ve forgiven people for the hurt, but that is so I am not bottling up anger inside myself – holding onto anger that I have towards people for being cruel to me is not healthy and I refuse to do it.
I understand that God forgives me each time I may sin so who am I to really condemn someone, at the end of the day that is up to God, not me.
Anyway, moving on…
So after Shrove Tuesday comes Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent for 2015. Lent is the period of 40 week days before Holy Thursday (the day before Good Friday).
So for Lent it is common to give up something to symbolise the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Traditionally it was rich foods and meat, so people would fast for the period of Lent. But today it can be anything, alcohol, chocolate, social media etc. This year I have to admit I was struggling to think of something to give up, previous years I have given up stress, procrastination, alcohol, swearing, negativity etc. I cannot give up all my social media accounts, I was considering shutting down my Facebook but I really love being able to show my Mum photos daily of LuLu.
So this year I’ve decided to give up on;
- Worrying about those who couldn’t care less for me
- I want to reduce the amount of take-out food we purchase, make even more home cooked meals!
- Let go of anger & stress. Just let go of any negative feeling…
And my things to add into my life;
- More prayer time (whether it be more devotionals, more quiet time just however I can in a moment for God & I etc)
- More happiness
- More patience
- More peace
- More quiet
- Be a better wife, Mum, daughter & sister (daily goals!)
- Blog more
- Be more grateful
Giving up something for Lent is symbolic to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and the 40 days and nights he spent in the desert and teaches us to practice self discipline. I think it is something wonderful to do and a good way to start positive habits in life. The things we try to give up for Lent should be things that can negatively effect our lives and the things we add to our lives should be things to make us a better person. (I hope that explanation is simple enough to understand, I know some topics in religion can be kind of confusing!)
I believe all the things I have picked are positive and will help me become a better person!
What have you decided to give up and add for Lent? Even if you aren’t religious this could be a good time to say I will cut back on soft drink, alcohol, sugar, negativity etc for 40 days and then try to continue it on past the 40 day point. There are so many possibilities and this is just a good chance to do something positive for yourself.
Even if you have already given up something for Lent, I encourage you to add something positive in & if you are religious add more of your Faith into your routine!
Have a glorious Sunday!