Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent... and letting go.

Today is Ash Wednesday.  I grew up in a Catholic family and observed the Lenten season for many years. It has been awhile since I've considered myself a Catholic, but only a few years since I have stopped acknowledging the "rules" of Lent (i.e. many years of Friday tuna fish lunches, etc!).  However, today I  completely forgot it was Ash Wednesday until about an hour ago - after eating a leftover enchilada (with ground turkey).  Sigh. Ah well, pretty sure God will forgive the turkey.

But I digress.

I have been thinking about Lent more this year than I have in awhile.  Maybe it's just where I am at right now, but I know I *need* something and it must come from God. Despite knowing that, I have been struggling to get close to Him, finding excuses to make everything else the priority. As anyone could guess, that has simply caused a vicious cycle and left me feeling... just off.


What better time than Lent than to take steps toward God? To stop being so off and find a way back on again.

Usually during Lent, people give up luxuries, things like sweets or social media. Some form of penitence (I've given up pop and chocolate too many times to count!). This year, I'm working on giving up control. I spoke a little about control here, and although I do want to avoid micromanaging my family, what I am speaking about now is more about more generally giving up control to God. Trying less to get my ducks in a row (or a tight military formation!) and more about trusting. Not hoarding my fears and worries, but giving them up to the only One who can really do anything about them. 

It's about giving up the ugliness inside, letting it out; instead of trying to bury it and hide it and keep it for my own. It's about not having it all together - not pretending to have it all together - and not needing to have it all together. And appreciating the many blessings I have, whether I have it all together or not!

I'm still brainstorming what this might mean for the next 40(ish) days. I expect journaling, self reflection (perhaps some here, plenty privately).  I have a few books I want to read.  And prayer.

[Side bar:  Here's a confession - I find praying really hard. I get distracted. It's always been difficult for me to imagine this direct line with God in a way that makes prayer a natural conversation. One way I want to tackle this is to commit to at least one unplugged run a week - no music, no audio book. Just my thoughts or lack thereof. I am fairly confident that I will start talking to myself, which seems a good lead in to prayer. :) End side bar]

Since February is already half over and I never actually sat down and gave myself some goals, I'm not going to. I'm going to work on this. I'm going to work on letting go...


  1. I know that you aren't Catholic any longer, but have you ever downloaded "Pray As You Go?" It's a 10-15 minute meditation on the Bible reading of the day, with hymns or other music. I also find it difficult to pray outside of a church, but the people who do this are very soothing speakers, which is sometimes just what I need to get my day on track. On mornings that I need a do over (like this morning, ahem), I will listen to this to help get into a better place in my head. Good luck!


  2. Faith comes and goes in life, but I do believe it is always in us. You don't have to be "Catholic" to have faith and every one walks the walk differently in life. Keep on pondering and you will never feel alone! I am on a similar path and find as time goes on I become more and more aware. One of my favorite verses... "But seek first the kingdon of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides" P.S. I am a converted Catholic women!