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Lent: First Friday

Day 3 – How’s your Lent going?  I think it might be a good idea for me to post weekly throughout Lent (at a minimum) in order to hold myself accountable.  We know that I love Lent and I do revel in the sensation of gathering mastery over various aspects of my life that perhaps have become a bit out of control or neglected when they shouldn’t be — and I did have my plan all laid out and ready to go the night before the season began, but I’ve found that I’m in need of a fine-tuning already.  Now wait a second, don’t get carried away, I am fine-tuning for good reasons (not to be read as EXCUSES, but REASONS).  Hence, we hit on my topic for this post – the reasoning behind the readjustment.

I realized very quickly that my list of things that I wanted to incorporate into my Lenten practice might be a bit excessive for a daily routine.  Kudos to me – generally I struggle through this and try to keep it up but this year I am being realistic.  Rather than letting it go on until I failed some aspects at some point, I opted right off the bat – yesterday to be specific – to realign a few things and shift them from ‘dailies’ to ‘weeklies’.  And in the process, all of those ‘weeklies’ together are now part of a well thought out and spiritual Friday routine, which I am fortunate enough to have as one of my days off during the week.  This helps in a few ways, the most important being that I don’t feel that I have to rush through or squeeze in any of these practices.  They now have a day.  A full day during which I can divide them up, dole them out, lump them together, contemplate them, reflect upon them, and more.  I still have things ‘to do’ on the other 6 days of the week, but they are manageable and I can better appreciate them as I carry them out.

I have to admit, I am a wee bit excited about this idea and I can’t imagine why I never I thought of it in years past during my overachieving seasons of Lent.  I had to get over my compulsion toward feeling that I can’t change anything once I’ve started Lent – but here’s the reality; I am very certain that God would much rather have my practice be one that is filled with devotion, insight, and appreciation instead of resentment and guilt over failures.  I haven’t removed anything, I’ve simply improved upon the plan, keeping all of the elements but placing ones that necessitate more time and devotion in a place where I can devote more time to them and they can work on my soul more fully.

Need to shift a few things around on your Lent list as well?  Do it now, do it quick!  Embrace your overachiever ambitions and accept them for what they are, then be a little more realistic, a little more human, and exhale.

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