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Even though our daughter was born in March, I find my mind turning to her short life whenever Lent begins. For those who don’t know our full story, I was induced (unsuccessfully) starting in the evening of Ash Wednesday, and she was born via C-section the next day.

I’ve always shaped my life around the rhythms of the church year, probably because I grew up as a pastor’s kid and have always been in the church. Since we went through the journey with Samantha, the liturgical year has taken on even more significance for me. Her healthy time on earth was essentially during the season of Lent. Easter season was spent in the hospital. Pentecost involved having her at home on hospice.

Because I’m not working for a church these days, Lent snuck up on me. I wound up texting a few friends yesterday to ask for recommendations for a study to carry me through the season. As always, my amazing people came through! So here’s what I’m doing:

  1. She Reads Truth. I hadn’t heard of this resource before, but I’m loving spending time in 1 & 2 Chronicles, two books that I generally haven’t studied. What’s really awesojme for me is that I met wtih a ministry coach back before leaving my last church position and she had given me a passage from one of these two books. I’ve forgotten where it was exactly but I’m looking forward to stumbling upon it again during my reading.
  2. Prayer: Forty Days of Practice. This one is a super-simple idea with profound potential. Short prayers and pictures invite meditation. I had purchased this book last year and hadn’t done anything with it at the time. Now I get to spend time in it.
  3. The Sinner/Saint Lenten Devotional. I had gotten the Advent one and neglected to use it much since December was a whirlwind. Now I have more head space.
  4. Finally, I’m contemplating giving some space to The Red Letter Challenge. I have a copy of it and am curious. However, I know that the above three items will be plenty, along with Wednesday night services.

I’ve never been one to give up things for Lent, but I do try to add stuff. This year it’s the above reading/devotions, but I’m also renewing a focus on my own health. The bonus is that a coworker connected me to a student dietician who has to practice nutrition counseling, so I get 4+ sessions with her to get back on track! What a gift.

Praying that all of you are blessed this Lenten season.