What are you giving up?
For my entire life I have heard people talk about what they are “giving up” for Lent, the 40 days before Easter. Raised as a Catholic, it was tradition that we gave up something. For me, as a child, it was usually sweets. The reward? On Easter my basket would be filled with eggs and bunnies, chocolate galore.
Many do not practice the fasting during Lent, in fact many do not acknowledge Lent. However, the 40 days that lead up to the celebration of the cross can be a sweet time of focus. Not a focus on the latte I give up each morning, but a focus on the ONE who gave his life that I might live.
During the 40 days that lead up to Easter I am not “giving up” anything as tangible as food or drink. But, I am GIVING IN to allowing the Lord to have my thoughts,resulting emotions and actions. My goal will be to line my heart and life up to the words written by Paul in Romans 12. Practical living words that challenge the part of me that wants to do her own thing!
Have you ever heard women described as drama? Webster’s defines drama as , interesting or intense conflict of forces. That certainly makes it sound more sophisticated than it is. In real life drama is ugly conflict that is the product of emotions that are ruling and reigning lives. Feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy and petty grievances take over like a thief, stealing all the beauty of who a woman longs to be. Natural beauty is stolen by the ugliness of gossip and negativity.
Part of my ” fast” of sorts, is a giving in to the Truth in God’s Word about His love for me and my significance in His plan. This will put my focus on Him more and me less. Focus change can eliminate much of the stress in our day to day lives.
Self focus gets us living in our emotions quicker than anything else. And, living with our emotions on the throne is what gets us into trouble. When we live by our emotions we can spiral, make things bigger than they are, damage relationships and do things we would otherwise not do. Truth is, many of us as women are very schooled and practiced in living by our emotions. It’s what comes natural.
What’s a girl to do?
We need to get real and open our eyes. No more denial about this slippery slope. We will always have to check our emotions. Feelings, thoughts and emotions are all part of our processing system, they are not bad in and of themselves. It’s what we do with them that counts. To make it clearer, living by emotions is living by our feelings first and foremost. Feelings rule our world and in this place feelings will take us down. Our feelings are the catalyst behind all insecurity, fear and anxiety in our life.
We “feel” badly about things so things are “bad”. Paul talks about this to the Corinthian church.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“We have small troubles for awhile now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than our troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we can not see.”
I will be journaling here during this month as God shows me things in my own heart and life, with the hope that they will also connect with yours. I’d love to hear your comments, your journey.
This year I desire to approach Easter as a Celebration of true faith in the God who sent His Son out of extreme love for me and for you. I want it to be “hands in dirt” practical. My desire is for God to make real to me once again, the reality of His Presence, the truth that He is With me, the miracle that He has planned for me to be part of History, His Story.
This is my prayer for you too!
Let it begin,