It’s a double whammy today! The first of the month, which means it’s time for a new challenge, and it’s Ash Wednesday. Today is the start of the Lenten season, which is a time for self reflection and improvement.
Growing up, I always thought that Lent was about giving something up. My parents always gave up sweets. I wasn’t very diligent about it growing up. I mean, God is going to love me anyway, right? In college, as a way to improve myself, I would give up cursing. Any time I slipped up, I would take a tally, and a certain amount of money would get transferred to my savings account at the end. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that Lent isn’t just about giving something up. It’s about taking steps in your life to improve yourself. Yes, you can give up sweets if they’re a weakness. Or, you can give up Facebook or Netflix as an option to become more productive. This year, I’m opting for a few different portions of my life in an effort for self improvement.
- No Netflix in bed. This one sounds silly. I have a pretty standard routine. Shower around 9pm and then curl up in bed with some Netflix. This is not a constructive use of my time. I look at screens all day at work. No more Netflix before bed.
- No superfluous spending. I’m a sucker for online shopping. I tend to buy a lot of books or clothes from Old Navy. This also means that, if it’s not on the list, I don’t get it. No more impulse Pop-tarts or froyo. That money needs to be going somewhere else, like paying off my loans or saving for Europe.
- No more drinking alone! I really like having a glass of wine with dinner or a couple of beers at the end of a long day. I don’t need those calories! I need to drink more water or divert my attention to some juice or a smoothie.
Which brings me to my last item on the list, my March Challenge! I found this great blogger, Sweet Blessings. She does monthly Bible plans that give you the opportunity to pause and reflect on the Bible and particular verses. For March, she created one centered around grace.
You’re meant to take a moment and write the verses. Reflect on them and spend time in prayer. I’ve always retained things better when I write them. Instead of Netflix at bedtime, I’m going to spend some more time with my Bible.
It’s the start of the Easter season, and we have so much to be thankful for.