When Lent Is Not Giving Up But Looking In // The Weekend Brew — 57 Comments

  1. Hi Mary; thank you for this wonderful post on Lent! (One of the best ones I have read!) It reflects on this >>> “Intentionally adding God to our day instead of giving up our favorite sweet thing, will aid us in leaning in close to the One who prepares our hearts for His glory and His plans.” This is (to me) the true definition of Lent; we need this time to create in us the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in our hearts. That’s my focus this beautiful season!!

    Thanks for another awesome link-up friend! Have an amazing week!

    • Your sweet encouragement is such a blessing. Thank you! Your words above state that it is about making Jesus first in our lives. Amen to that! Thank you for being here and sharing your wisdom. Have a blessed week!

  2. Hey there! Thank you for beginning this conversation. I did not grow up with Lent. I was not in church growing up, but when we did go to church with our grandparents we went to a Baptist church. Growing up in South Florida, many of my friends were Catholic. So, I thought Lent was just a Catholic thing. I thought it was kind of mean to make people give something up. It didn’t seem very Jesus-like to me! I’m guessing my friends had a pretty negative attitude toward giving something up for Lent. =)
    As an adult our family attended a non-denominational church, which one year decided to explore the purpose and meaning of Lent. I’ve celebrated Lent ever since. I pray and ask the Lord to show me what to give up for Lent. Usually He asks me to give up a thought or an attitude. One year He asked me to give up my right to be right.
    This year He has really been speaking to my heart about taking something up more than giving something up. He’s reminding me daily to take up my cross and follow Him.
    Bless you on your amazing journey with Jesus as you carve out Sabbath time for Him,

    • I love how Lent has evolved for you over the years. it is very easy to get a misconception of Lent especially when it is not something that you grew up with or your church has not focused on. I love how you are being intentional in asking God how He wants to use you or what you should give up during Lent. Deepening our relationship with Him is what it is all about and I would love to hear how your Lent goes this year. Thank you for joining us at The Weekend Brew.

  3. Sabbath time each day. I needed to read that, Mary. I usually give something up, to deny myself something. But this year, Lent began and I got lost in life. So I feel I’m behind. But I love this thought about a Sabbath time each day. Thanks for this thought. I’ll be starting my Sabbath time tomorrow. 🙂 Blessings to you, friend!

    • I can’t wait to heart how your Sabbath time goes Julie! Having grown up with Lent being a time to give up and realizing that it never worked for me, I am humbled that God really just cherishes the time we spend with Him and setting aside daily is a blessing for me. So glad you joined us here Julie! Have a blessed week!

  4. I’ve never really observed Lent, Mary. I was raised Baptist and, well, we Baptists just aren’t a very ritualistic bunch. Now change the carpet color at the church, well! Those are fighting words! ha! Really I’m not much of a Baptist anymore either. I am at a non-denom church now but there’s still little mention of Lent. I see it mostly in my blogging buddies’ posts. And it always reminds me to take more seriously the worship offering of “sacrifice.” And I love all that you say here about creating that sacred space in our lives, Mary! It’s where I love to go deep sea diving with my Lord. But what do I offer as “sacrifice” offering? Maybe giving up fear and replacing it with faith. That’s what I want to grow stronger and deeper in. Thanks for sharing your kind and inspiring heart here, Mary! Your presence is being felt around the web, my friend! And thanks to Barbie, for highlighting my sweet Mary and hosting such an awesome linkup. Can’t believe it’s my first time here! I’ll be back!

    • I always love seeing you and imagine how excited I was to see you linked up at The Weekend Brew. Barbie opens her beautiful blogging home to me every other week to host The Weekend Brew. It is such an honor and such a beautiful community that it is my pleasure to be here with all of these wonderful writers.

      I love your idea of giving up fear and replacing it with faith. This is a lifelong process for me that would take much longer than one season of Lent. Since Lent has been such a tradition in my life, I knew I needed to examine it on a deeper level to understand how I could make God’s presence greater in my life. Creating a sacred space just for Him is how I will make more of Him and less of me. Blessed as always by your words of encouragement and joining you in thanks that Barbie shares this space with me! Love you friend!

  5. Love the idea of a Sabbath time each day. As we’ve discussed, Lent does seem to be more about connecting to, being called to His presence, than about giving up. Grateful for your encouragement as I turn my heart in this direction this year too. xoxo

    • I love how God is working on and in us in a smilier way this Lent. I am looking forward to the work and to letting Him better prepare me for His promises. I always love seeing you here my friend! Have a wonderful week!

  6. Amen, Mary! I too find myself reflecting on what I used to do during Lent. The focus became what we gave up and how we didn’t eat meat on Fridays. That was the definition for me. The sacrificial death on the cross? No, that wasn’t spoken about until Easter Sunday. My heart breaks to recall how “giving up” turned into “works” – we missed the mark completely. Thank you for sharing this post. Blessings to you this Lenten season.

    • Carrie- It sounds like your Lenten experience growing up was very similar to mine. I always wondered when it was all said done each year, what the purpose truly was supposed to be. I am praying for you and all during this Lenten season that we may grow deeper in our relationship with Christ and in the process He opens our hearts to Him and His glory. Blessings!

  7. I really like this Mary. Making Jesus the center of everything instead of focusing on the thing to give up. I always want Jesus to be the center of my world. To be focused on Him. This is truly the challenge. I don’t even know the steps or processes I take to do this, but somehow I do?

    • Yes somehow when our hearts are open God leads us in just the direction we need to go. Praying we all look to centering our eyes on Jesus and let Him fully prepare our hearts for all that is next. Blessings!

  8. I love this perspective — Lent is not giving up, but looking within. May He fill our hearts and being with Himself as we listen and wait. Thanks for the beautiful post & for hosting & God bless!

  9. Mary, thank you for stopping by my post and leaving such an encouraging comment. I love this post, especially your quote, “True preparation allows the opening for God to work on our hearts from the inside out. In the process of preparation, each layer is peeled back until a new creation is formed.” So true…love that image ❤️

    • Thank you for Beth for your sweet encouragement. This community is always a blessing to me and I am thankful that you are part of it too. May God work intentionally on each of us during this Lenten season. Sabbath blessings!

  10. I love this perspective Mary! I didn’t grow up in a church environment that participated in Lent, but I’m learning the value of it as an adult. This year I’m “looking in” and instead of giving up something tangible, I’m giving up critical comments toward my husband.

  11. Hi Mary,

    I loved your post. This is how I see Lent 🙂 . It’s an important time of reflection for me, and grateful for this time. Blessings to you and Barbie 🙂

  12. Oh yes, in this world of drowning noise, chaos, rhythms telling us how to feel. In this season where fears and doubt can plague us and the threats of terrorism try trapping us in a corner of doubt…our God is bigger! Love this! Yes, that we might set a part time in His presence, intentionally pursue His abundant grace making Him first in the Kingdom of our hearts! Such a wonderful Lent post! Thanks Mary! And thank you Barbie for letting us join you for Weekend Brew!

    • Thank you for the sweet encouragement! The chaos in the world is deafening but God creates a stillness inside us when we invite Him to join us in the midst of our days. Blessed that you joined us here this weekend.

  13. Beautiful post, Mary! I’ve never observed Lent by “giving up”, so it was new to me. Several years back, I gave up more time to spend with Him. I love your thought on making time for Sabbath each day. Thank you!

    • Thank you for being here today Ellen! I do believe that we can be more intentional with our time and in that process we will draw closer to God. Sounds like the perfect heart preparation to me!

  14. I think you are so right, Mary! I’ve never practiced the “traditions” of Lent. But nearly everyone I know who does, has felt the same disconnect in the process of giving up something for Lent. Nearly everyone comes to the realization that they missed the point. For me I’m using this time to put more thing into my life that point me to Christ and bring me closer in my relationship with Him. I understand that Lent is about self-examination and repentance, but I believe the closer we are to Christ the better we can and will accomplish both. Many blessings on your week!

    • Amen June! I agree with everything you said. In the self-examination and inviting God into the process, we will be able to accomplish all that God is asking of us. Beautiful reflection. I am blessed you are here today! Happy Weekend!

  15. Good Morning, Mary … I love these 3 little steps you leave us with. Sometimes we just need to see things spelled out in black and white and realize how simple His invitation is to us …

    Thanks, friend, for the wisdom you live out. You inspire me …

    • First I love using you here today, friend-I am blessed! Second, my favorite part of these words from God are the three steps we can do to draw closer to Him during Lent or any time of the year. He amazes me with all He wishes to teach us.

      Have a blessed weekend and thank you for linking up today! I can’t wait to read your words!

  16. Mary I don’t normally practice lent but each January I do a 21 day fast to give my first fruits to God. This year, I felt numb. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Later I discovered that the fast had become routine. Your thoughts have really touched my heart. My fast next January will be with a totally different outlook. Thanks friend. Beautiful.

    • Thank you for joining us today Carmen. I was struck by how you you affirmed that in sacrificing something for God there is always another piece that goes with that-being intentional in how we allow God to be part of the process. I am blessed by your words. Have a wonderful weekend and I always love seeing you here for The Weekend Brew.

  17. Lent has never been a very important part of my Christian walk, although several years ago I did the Daniel fast and found it to be meaningful. For me giving up chocolate or coffee or dessert feels more like going through the motions of something. I really appreciate what you say about making Lent a time to open more space for the Lord in our lives. I’ve been intrigued by different posts I’ve read about doing something for lent, rather than giving something up.

    • I would love to hear how this post or others on Lent could possibly change your perspective on observing Lent in some way. Since Lent has been part of my life from a very young age, it is part of who I am but I am learning that God calls us to so much more during this time of preparation if we provide a space for Him to walk this journey with us. Have a blessed weekend and enjoy your time with your dad!

  18. Mary, this is a wonderful post on Lent! There is much here to reflect on. I loved this truth >> “Heart preparation requires an invitation to God to be part of the process.” May we each invite Him in & have our hearts prepared by Him. Blessings!

    • God speaks volumes to me when I slow down, open up and let Him enter my quiet time. Letting God work on me is the perfect way for me to prepare this Lenten season. I am blessed that God is always so willing to spend this time with me and all of us. Happy Weekend friend-I am glad you are here!

  19. Great post on Lent! I think we should be prayerful about how we spend this season. Not just give something up for sake of saying we’ve given something up, but to grow closer to God in the process. Maybe giving up something we need to shed from our lives. Or, taking on a renewed discipline with our faith to grow new habits and a closer relationship with God (usually also means giving up something to make the time).

    • Lent is a giving up with intentionality. For me it is allowing God to work on me from the inside out. It is taking the time for God to do His work in me and listening and learning all I can during the Sabbath time.

      I must say that your post from last week about Lent got me thinking about what this should look like for me. You inspired me. I am thankful you are on this journey too. Blessed to have you here at The Weekend Brew.

  20. Thank you Mary….your words spoke to my heart and I have copied some of this into my prayer journal to meditate on and reflect as I need to make SPACE for God,and to learn to block out the NOISE of life much more and to be STILL in His healing Presence.Much appreciated !

    • I am so thankful you are here Mary! I am learning that as I share my words it’s because God has so much that He is trying to teach me. Over and over He whispers to me in my stillness and helps me to overcome the messy that surrounds my life. I am blessed that God loves to spend this time with me daily. May we all make time for God who absolutely loves hanging out with us. Weekend Blessings!

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