Growing up in a structured, traditional church came with the yearly Lenten sacrifices. I would start planning weeks in advance for the “just right” thing to give up as my offering each Lent. Choosing involved making sure that whatever I gave up would hurt, but not too much. Giving up chocolate or desserts seem to be a typical “go to” sacrifice each Lent because I knew I could handle this for 6 weeks and often other family members were doing the same thing so there was strength in numbers. I noticed as I went through this process each Lent, I didn’t feel any different when I walked away at the end of six weeks. My time of preparing was bogged down by giving up chocolate instead of truly preparing my heart for the redeeming sacrifice that Jesus was about to make for me on the cross. Instead of focusing on the ultimate sacrifice and redemption story that was written for each of us, my focus was on whether I could make it without sweets for six weeks without cheating .

I realized that I had misread Lent and its true purpose for our lives.

Psalm 62-5

I am learning, slowly but surely, that in order to truly prepare myself for the dying and rising of Jesus, I need to look inward at my heart and what I hold inside as important. My preparation is only complete when I invite God to be part of the process and let Him work on me from the inside out. It is only with God’s help that He can lovingly mold me into the beauty that is me by painting me with His strength and firing me with a daily dose of grace.

Please follow me to The Weekend Brew where I continue my refection on Lent.

I am so blessed that you are here.

Mary

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