Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lent Lessons...

As you may have read here on my blog, our family is practicing Lent {for the first time} this year!  We are at the four-week mark today... and honestly, it has surprised me that we even came this far!!!  You see, our family has given up eating out for the whole season of Lent {including Sundays} and using the same amount of money to send six under-privileged Filipino children to school for one whole year!

So... why does it surprise me that we even came this far?  Well, one simple answer: I don't like to cook!  It's a norm for us to eat out or buy take-out food at least twice on a normal week.  On busy weeks, well... let's not even say how many times we do that! :-) 

This morning, my thoughts went to the Scripture verses from Matthew 11:29-30 (NLT), and they say:
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
I had a "eureka moment" as these verses penetrated my heart!  Following God and doing His will should be naturally restful for the soul, for His yoke is easy to bear and the burden He gives is light!

That's why this whole experience of practicing Lent has been so fulfilling!  Don't get me wrong --- it has definitely required a tremendous amount of discipline, hard-work and self-control for our family, but it has definitely grown us in unexpected ways, in God-ways!  

For me, personally, it has been a great season of experiencing God's unforced rhythms of grace, not just in the area of making dinner, but in many aspects of life as well.

In decisions, big or small. In planning for the future, near or far. In daily living, routine or out-of-the-ordinary.  

Yes, our family is pleasantly surprised at the lessons that practicing Lent has taught us!  It has emphasized for us what it means to be a family who lives out Micah 6:8... here's what those verses say in The Message:
But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don't take yourself too seriously — take God seriously.
And, there's one more thing we are planning to do as a family during Lent.  It is to go through a 17-day Easter devotional called Trail to the Tree by Ann Voskamp.  I am so thankful for this free resource, a grace-gift!  To get a copy for your family, please visit this blog post at A Holy Experience.

Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

1 comment:

  1. I love how you phrase this:
    "season of experiencing God's unforced rhythms of grace."

    That is beautiful. I am seeking the same rhythms of grace. Yes, it does take discipline, but his grace overcomes even my inadequacies there. I'm thankful for what he is doing in each of us during this lent season.