We often speak of Lent in terms of a desert. For 40 days, Jesus withdrew to the desert to fast and pray. We do the same, though figuratively speaking. For the 40 days of Lent, we devote ourselves to increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
For awhile now, I’ve realized that I need to cut down on the noise in my life. The sources of that noise are many: various social media platforms, music in the car and at home, and reading many news stories that either leave me disturbed or are simply pointless in the grand scheme of things. This is basically what my Lent is revolving around: reducing the “noise” in my life in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Though being deprived by fasting of various types resembles going into the desert, there is fruit. We are being pruned, old habits cut away so that there is room to bear new fruit. Our hunger pangs can point us to something–Someone— greater.As we follow Jesus into the desert, it’s a great way to grow in intimacy with Him. Letting go of some of our earthly delights invites in His heavenly love. The time that I spent on the noise now holds silence instead, a perfect opportunity for Jesus to speak to me or I to speak to Him. My heart is being freed up to better love Him and others.
How’s your Lent going? Is there anything you’d like me to keep in prayer? I’m so grateful to be on this journey with you!
We cannot move forward without letting go. What we let go of is varied: it could be relationships, desires, sins and bad habits, or other things. Do you want to make progress in your race and move forward into a better future? Then you must learn to let go. No progress can be made without sacrifice. Once you have sacrificed, then your progress will come.
Progress requires letting go of unhealthy relationships and those that are critical of us.
Progress requires letting go of unhealthy habits that don’t allow us to grow spiritually or physically.
Progress requires changing thought processes that are negative and self-demeaning.
Progress requires making decisions that some people will not understand.
Progress requires saying “no” to some goods in order to say “yes” to the best good at that time of your life.
Progress requires holding back from buying “wants” in order to better provide for needs and secure a stable financial future.
Progress requires waiting and growing in the present moment in order to receive a future, long-awaited blessing.
Progress requires total faith in Jesus Christ and His plans and promises for you.
What is it that you need to let go of in order to be free and make progress?
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”~Philippians 3:14
A few months ago, I finished reading “Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin.
Rubin quotes Virginia Woolf’s diary entry from April 13, 1929: “Habits gradually change the face of one’s life as time changes ones physical face; and one does not know it.”
Lately I’ve found myself in a “life overhaul”–really attempting to examine my habits and ways of spending my time. This book helped me to see traps that we can fall into. It is so easy to rationalize. Over time, rationalization leads to a way of life. We don’t make progress when we rationalize. In fact, we have no desire to, because we’re simply fine where we are at.
The book provides examples and gives tips on vastly different methods and perspectives that have assisted others in changing and forming new habits. It was an interesting and worth it read (though, I must admit, that it did get a little long!).
I am pleased to say, that along with the help of my Heavenly Father and doing some soul-searching, this book was a catalyst for change in my own life. I would recommend it.
Are you trying to change your habits? What strategies are you employing?
Living a healthy life can seem daunting, especially after years of bad habits. “How will I live without Doritos?” you wonder. Or, “I don’t have time to exercise!” Or pray, or cook, or sleep. The list of excuses goes on. You may hope to live a healthier lifestyle in 2015, and be resolving to do so.
I’m here to encourage you in your resolve and also to keep it real. Because, let’s face it: most people fall off the bandwagon of their New Year’s Resolutions after a few weeks, or even mere days! If you try to become “perfect” all at once and do a complete 180 on your lifestyle, you will definitely fail. That’s just how it is. But, if you take small steps, you will excel. That’s what life is all about: taking one step forward and not stopping! Each step will get you closer to your goal.
So in 2015, resolve to keep walking forward. Don’t look back at past mistakes. Don’t give up on where you want to be in life! Keep looking forward and taking those baby steps into a healthier lifestyle!
How are you hoping to live healthier in 2015?
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.