A Different Kind of Lent | Kindness Challenge!

Lent is coming up tomorrow. I grew up in the Lutheran Church, so I participated in Lent as a kid, but never really understood it. I just thought God wanted me to stop eating food that I liked for a month. I didn’t know the reason behind what I did. A couple of years ago, I became a Free Methodist. The Free Methodist Church doesn’t technically observe Lent, but I have decided that I will this year.

I don’t know what your thoughts are about Lent. I don’t know whether you observe it or not, or if you’ve ever even thought about it. But regardless, please hear me out for a second.

Some people have gotten the principle of Lent wrong. It’s not about the practices or rituals performed during the weeks leading up to Easter. It’s not about all the delicious food you aren’t allowed to eat.

It’s about getting closer to God.

(Bonus: click here for a super awesome article about the principle behind Lent!)

I bet I know what you’re thinking. “Sweet, now I can still eat good food during Lent!” Yeah, it’s not quite that simple. Regardless of whether or not you do celebrate Lent, I really encourage you to fast during this time. If you don’t know, a fast is defined similar to Lent. It’s when you give up something (usually food) for a certain period of time in order to get closer to God. However, there’s a very interesting part of the Old Testament about fasting (which also applies to Lent);

“Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loosen the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” – Isaiah 58:5-7.

That’s pretty convicting, isn’t it? Lent, or any type of fasting for that matter, has strayed far from this definition. We have been so caught up in the formality of fasting that we have forgotten about God’s instruction! It’s about time that we get back to God’s design for worshipping Him.

I’m challenging you to participate in a different type of Lent. One where we give to those who are in need. One where we spread kindness to the hurting depths of the world. One where we break the chains of pride and selfishness and open up our hearts to let the love of Christ pour out onto others. I’m proposing a season of Lent that becomes a season of giving.

There are 46 days in Lent, and in the attachment below, there are 50 ideas for acts of kindness.  If you want to level up your lent this year, I would totally recommend completing one of these acts for every day this month. I truly believe we can worship God, draw closer to Him, and bring light to this world, simply by participating in a different kind of Lent.

Check out this link for 50 acts of kindness ideas for the Lent season- 50-acts-of-kindness-ideas 

P.S.- I will be sharing my own journey with this “different kind of Lent” on my Instagram page, so if you want encouragement and ideas along the way for this challenge, you can check out my Instagram @wonderfullygirlshttps://www.instagram.com/wonderfullygirls/

Let me know if you will be participating in this challenge! If you have any other ideas for acts of kindness, please share them in the comment section below!

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Blog Updates! (New Schedule)

Hello again everyone! I know, I know, it’s been a while *hangs head in shame*. I’m new to the whole “blogging” thing, and I’m still working out the kinks. Plus, I’ve been having a difficult past few weeks (more on that coming soon!) But, I’m finally back. And, I have a brand-new schedule for you all. I’ll be posting every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with a different kind of post every day.

Tuesdays will be the type of posts you are used to here; topic-specific posts with biblical advice. I love writing these types of posts and I can’t wait to discuss new topics with you all.

Thursdays will be fun posts, whether that is crafts, outfits, stories, etc. I haven’t done any posts like this before, so I’m excited to try some new ideas! These posts will normally be related to whatever I’m else I’m talking about that week. (For example; if I talk about modesty on Tuesday, I might share modest outfit ideas on Thursday.)

Saturdays will be a devotional. I will focus on a specific part of Scripture and how it may apply to our lives. I know we have the most free time during the weekends, so I’m making these the most Scripture- filled posts.

I hope you are excited for this new schedule! I can’t wait to get back to posting. This was a pretty short post, but I just wanted to update you all on what is next for this blog. I have some exciting news and whatnot coming up soon. I’m super excited to start this new schedule and continue posting on this blog!

Don’t Even Think About It

Ever since I was a little kid, I loved the idea of having my own mind. (Bear with me, I know that sounds weird.) When I was younger, I constantly had an imaginary story running through my head. I’ve always thought that it was so cool to have my own little place that nobody could enter. All of my thoughts were safe and sound, and my mind was my own to do whatever I wanted with it. Then I became a Christian and realized, “Dang, I better clean that thing up.”

Once I started following Christ, I saw how much of an impact my thoughts had on my life. The more I let my mind get consumed with sin, the worse I treated my family and friends, the less motivation I had to work hard, and the more downcast I was in general. My thoughts directly correlated to my actions, which directly correlated to the quality of my life.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

Our thoughts run our lives. And our thoughts are a very easy place for Satan to make his way into. He starts off with a single little thought that isn’t a “big deal.” Maybe it’s just one snide thought that pops into your head about that girl you can’t stand at school. But before you know it, you’re consumed by them. When your mind becomes filled with evil things, it only takes a short time for your entire life to be affected. Your relationships, work, time, and energy suffer when your thoughts are in an evil place.

But, you probably don’t need me to clue you in on all of this. It’s very easy to tell when your thoughts are sinful. Your life stinks. What I always wanted to know when I was struggling was how to keep my mind off these things. No matter how hard I tried, evil thoughts kept creeping back in. I still struggle with this, and it is never easy to overcome any sin, but this is what I have gathered from all of my trials and errors;

If you want to think about sin less, think about God more.

Seems pretty elementary, but think about it: if you wanted to stop eating sugar so much, you wouldn’t spend all day sitting in an ice cream shop. Instead, you would spend your time doing other things to keep your mind off sugar, or eat something else that was healthier. Our thoughts work the same way. If we want to stop having evil thoughts, we need to turn them into a different place.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Turning our thoughts to God will vastly improve the quality of our lives, because as we previously established, our thoughts run our lives. Keeping our mind fixed on God will keep our minds way too occupied to focus on sin. We need to make our thoughts align with God. “…bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”- II Corinthians 10:5

As a final parting gift, here is a checklist for your thoughts which is straight from the Bible: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report (honorable), if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” -Philippians 4:8.

How are you using your mind? Are your thoughts driving you closer to God, or pulling you away from Him? How can you make your thoughts more God- honoring today?