What you don’t have to give up

Friends, what can you say “yes” to during this season of Lent? No, I don’t mean saying yes to more chocolate, I’m talking about reflecting on what God may be asking you to give during Lent.

I feel like when I start to reflect on Lent, as we near March, I start thinking of all my bad habits and things I feel I should “quit.” Things like too much dessert, my impatience, laziness, the list could go on.  But am I really prayerfully considering what the Lord would have for me, the intentional God that He is, during this season?

Don’t get me wrong, there is holiness and merit in depravity, but let’s open our mind and heart to all the ways we can lean in to God, worship Him, and honor Him during this season.

The Lord has been nudging my heart for quite some time to get up early. For me, this is 6am. Some of you who get up at 4am to workout, go to work, or do something else great in the early morning hours, don’t laugh. 6am for me is early. And to be honest, I haven’t been completely obedient to this and feel like when we aren’t following God and doing what he calls us to do we miss out on the abundance He, our loving Father, longs to bless us with. 

My “yes” is to be obedient to what He is calling me to.  Yes to rising early and spending time with Him, in the quiet time of my sleepy home, before my kids and husband wake up. I need to sacrifice more sleep and my comfort to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even if I don’t have a mountain top experience the first time I pour myself that early morning coffee and sit in the silence of my home, I need to continue to say yes and be obedient and wait on him. 

To be honest, I get excited when I think about what He may reveal to me, maybe something great I need to do that may lead into another “yes” opportunity.  But it may end up to be not as grand as I envision with fireworks and all. It may be the simple obedience in rising early to set aside some of my time for Him. Time He has given me to worship and pray, and that alone is a gift.

After all, abundance really boils down to Him. Being is His presence. “In your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

During advent we spent time reflecting on Mary’s life changing yes. Let’s continue to remember her simple obedience as we enter this time. And let’s also look at the obedience of her Son.

This occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane. As you recall, He asked three times for the cup he was about to drink would pass from Him.  He may have been thinking, Father, does it really have to happen this way. Since all power on heaven and earth were in His reach, I would think he could have eased the pain and suffering He knew was coming. But He didn’t.

Sacred scripture tells us that Jesus, “began to be very distressed and troubled,” and told his disciples, “my soul is grieved to the point of death (Mark 14: 33,34).

For me, it is encouraging to know that Jesus, when faced with a choice, chose obedience to His Father, who loved Him with only good intentions, as He does us.  He, like his Mother, said yes to God.   The road may not be easy, in fact we are promised to face trials of our own, but our yes is always worth the discomfort, hardship or suffering we may have to endure.

Do you think Mary taught her son about her yes, as we long to teach our children from our experiences?  Did she encourage His heart to always do the right thing, as parents do?  I am sure the Holy Family talked about these things. Jesus was a child, and a teenager, and even though he was without sin, he still had conversations with his parents, that encouraged and strengthened Him in His humanity.

I encourage you, friend, to pray about what our loving Father may have for your this season.  Don’t just look for something to give up, open your mind and heart to something new.  Do you need to say yes to new volunteer opportunity, to more sleep and self care, to reading a certain book of the bible, or following through on anything He placed on your heart during advent?  I am as I write this.  I felt a nudging on my heart to start writing again. Now, with the getting up early, that’s a larger giant to conquer. Let’s continue to pray for each other, that we would discern his leading and calling, and continue to build each other up as sisters in Christ, ya with me?

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