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Happy Ash Wednesday 2019!
Yes, you heard me right! Today is Ash Wednesday and while it marks the start of the penitential season, it is also a time for small celebration in my life. Particularly, because I know that time spent growing closer to God will reap wonderful rewards down the line.
Plans for Lent
Every year I strive to either make a sacrifice or add to my days in a way that will bring me closer to Christ during this time.
In past years, I have given up coffee (a difficult feat living in Alaska with a coffee stand on every corner!), done a spending fast (buying only absolute necessities for the home or business), added time to read Scripture each day, and attended daily Mass at least once a week.
Like the past few years, I am doing a combination of things.
This component is two-fold. First, it helps me sleep a little better at night when money isn’t flying out of the bank account as fast as it goes in. Secondly, we can become more generous with our financial resources when spending is in check.
Although we sold our Alaska house in August, we do have a smaller rental unit up there where my college son lives and we ‘crash’ during our trips up there. Even though the expense is less than covering our house was, it is still money that needs to be covered each month. Plus, my trips back up there get expensive quickly when all the boys insist on going.
Even though it is tight, I refuse to give up our weekly church donations. After all, we are supposed to be tithing from our bounty as it really is all God’s. I am praying that I can not only get our finances back in better shape but have some left to go towards our beloved Alaskan church’s Go Fund Me to cover earthquake damages.
Daily Mass and Increased Prayer
Daily Mass is a great way to start my day. And, I am able to center myself with the day more focused on God than the world. While I know all this, it is not something that is easy to do when the sky is still dark and I’d rather be in bed. Or, if I am working crazy shifts at the hotel. Yet, I am striving to go at least one time each week.
Since I won’t be in Alaska for most of Lent, my increased prayer time will be at home. While there is much I like about our Colorado parish, I have not found the same opportunities for spiritual growth as I have in Alaska. Nothing like the MOMS group for a combination of study, prayer, and fellowship.
Caring for My Temple
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Corinthians 6:19
Caring for my body is a constant struggle. And it is an area I always bring to the forefront during Lent.
Nutrition, exercise, and rest are the three pillars for this area when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. And, I have NOT done a great job with them this past year. Working a few night audit shifts at a hotel each week has wreaked havoc with my body. The last few weeks ‘off’ from working out of the home has shown me just how tired the prolonged crazy schedule has made my body.
My body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit and my wacky immune system issues (including thyroid levels gone awry) continue to need addressing.
Time outdoors (ideally with some sun!) is going to be a priority. Alongside this is striving to get in plenty of steps each day. I rarely get above 5,000 even when on my feet for an 8-hour shift at the hotel.
Drinking enough water is sometimes an issue, especially when working. Eating enough vegetables can be a struggle (so I am joining my husband in doing a daily V-8 style juice to help with that.) And, the combination of caffeine and sugar has crept into my life at alarming rates.
Through all this, I am also eating a gluten-free diet. I now get a reaction when I am ‘glutened’ and know that I can’t go back to eating those things. Less time at home means more convenience foods which is not good for me, either.
40 Days of Seeking Him Sampler
If you have been reading the blog for a while, then you might recall that this link up started in 2011 as a daily one. I didn’t always participate but have made an effort to do it as often as possible. We switched to a weekly link up format which means at least one anchor post per week here.
I decided to pull together a ‘sampler’ as a free ebook to subscribers. If you are already a subscriber, just open up a recent weekly newsletter and click over to the appropriate “subscriber only” page.
If you are not currently a subscriber, you can get your copy when you sign up.
40 Days of Seeking Him Ash Wednesday Link Up
The linky will be up each week so you can add in posts daily, weekly, or whenever you are able.
The posts can be about anything related to Lent and preparations for Easter. This includes crafts, food, devotions, music or reflections.
I hope that my readers will join us on the journey through Lent as we seek to grow closer to Christ. Christian bloggers are welcome to join us in the weekly link up with posts that they are writing to showcase activities or reflections taken during this Lenten journey.
We are expanding the platform for this meme to include a 40 Days of Seeking Him Pinterest board for submitted posts and a Facebook group. I hope that you’ll check out the Pinterest board and join us on Facebook, too, as we seek to grow closer to Christ.
Inlinkz Link Party