Monday, February 15, 2010

My 40 Days of Lent.....and beyond

I was raised in a church going family, but we never practiced fasting or sacrificing for Lent while I was growing up. Some of Joe's family is Catholic and they usually did meatless Fridays and gave up some food type thing for Lent (candy, pop, coffee, etc). In the early years of our relationship and marriage, we usually gave up coffee together, but it was never replaced with more time with God, more Bible study, family devotions or anything like that.

Now that my relationship with Christ has grown over the last couple of years, I feel like it's not enough. I don't feel tied to a particular denomonation or how a particular group may go about Lent, but it's more of a Holy Spirit prompting to get my act together. (*more on this later this week - it needs its own post*) And what a better time than Lent to go to my God and thank and praise Him.....and I think Lent is for all believers.

So my plan for Lent.....

No facebook or twitter. I did this last year and it was very hard. I easily slipped back into spending way too much time there after lent was over, but am really praying that I will find a healthy balance after lent.

No internet on Sundays. This will probably be difficult too, since I often write a few blog posts on Sundays and schedule them for later in the week.

Limit my time online in general. I will still blog on my own site within reason, but will limit the time I spend reading other's blogs, searching amazon, etc. I'm thinking I will actually use a timer to pull this off and be accountable to myself. Most days, it is just I and the kids so I don't really answer to anyone about how I spend my time.....thus the timer. I would like to say no internet during the day when the kids are awake, but with a business it is not realistic. I still need to attend to some things like emails during the day.

By making the above changes, I will free up time to more actively be the child of God, wife and mother I want to be.....and that my family deserves.

I have been reading the Bible (Bible in 90 Days) every day since January 1 and have been pretty much staying on track. I will continue this. My plan is to slow down the pace a little and spend more time on particular books, verses later on when the 90 days is over. To continue to pull this off.....

I will rise early to start my day right and have my devotions before the kids are up. This will require me getting up by 6:00 am (we have early-risers over here). To successfully do this, I am also making a commitment to go to bed at a decent hour - preferably by 10:00 pm and no later than 11:00 pm. My days go sooooo much better when I make a conscience effort on this to start the day with Him.

Finally and most importantly, I will undergo an attitude adjustment.  I'm hoping this will come with more time in the Bible, but I know it will be hard. I'm stubborn. I am not patient. I am quick to get defensive. I am quick to jump to conclusions. I can be bitter and hold grudges. I like things done my way. I yell and get angry too quickly. Recently, while doing my weekly Bible study I was struck by verses that I have read a million times.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails.

Then, I came across this post from Amy and thought.....I get it Lord, I need to change me.

Charlie is only 2 1/2, but I've seen her mimic my behavior enough to know it is not how I want to be, nor do I want my children to grow up like that. Prasie the Lord for His patience with me and for my dear husbands understanding and forgiveness. I don't know exactly how to make this attitude change happen and to make it stick, but I have a few ideas. All will require me to humble myself and ask for forgiveness way more often than I do now.

Our Heavenly Father is soooo forgiving and patient with me.....I need to be that with my husband and children. I'm in Proverbs today for my Bible reading and so many verses have spoke to me about really following through on this on.....

Proverbs 13:3 - He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 14:1 - The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:6 - Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for: through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.

So, there are my plans for Lent.....praying it goes well and continues way beyond Lent.

God bless!

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