Sunday, February 15, 2015

Let's Talk About . . . Lent

My mind is absolutely blown that February is halfway gone! I can't seem to wrap my brain around the fact that we are firmly six weeks into the new year. I suppose that means I can stop calling it "the new year" now, huh?

Anyway.

Mid-February doesn't only mean Valentine's Day and President's Day. It also means we are coming up on the beginning of Lent. The churches I grew up in didn't really do much in the way of highlighting or celebrating Lent, so it was probably around college that I really began to understand that this sacred season could have meaning, value, and implications for this Southern-Baptist girl.

Perhaps you're like me and never really thought of Lent as something more than ash crosses on foreheads, choosing the least important to you thing to "give up" (but not really because you didn't really like it anyway) for a period of time. However, the older I've gotten, I've come to realize that there really is something special about setting aside extra time to consider the sacrifice made, the suffering endured, the salvation offered for us. Somehow all of this reflection makes Easter that much more meaningful for me.

If you're looking for a resource to help you as you reflect over these 40 days, I have three that I'd like to suggest. You've still got a few days to grab these before Lent officially starts on Wednesday, but even if you can't get it together by Wednesday, start whenever you can!

Follow: Watching, Waiting, Wonder from Naptime Diaries. This devotional includes six devotions (one per week), along with a daily Scripture and journal space to write out thoughts and prayers for each day of Lent. This is a perfect option for those who like a something a little less structured and more free-flowing writing and journaling. The printed version is sold out, but they've made a printable PDF version available for purchase.

Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross from She Reads Truth. You can register online to receive daily email devotions completely free. They've also put together a nice study pack for purchase, which includes a daily devotional journal, Scripture prints, and Scripture memory cards. I've been hearing about this ministry for a while now and have several friends who follow along with the various studies they offer throughout the year.

Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional by Scott James. Scott James published a family Advent devotional two years ago and it is simply amazing. I was so excited to hear that he has published a similar Easter devotional. I have not personally read this yet but wholeheartedly recommend it based on his other book. This would be a perfect resource for families with children of all ages.

How will you observe Lent this year? 
Do you have any other resources to recommend?


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