From the Ashes

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photo from unsplash.com; edited by me

God is so good, y’all. He works in the most mysterious, most amazing ways. He’ll never leave something broken without replacing it with something better. He’ll never leave you alone. He will never abandon you. (In fact, it’s usually us that try to do the abandoning and running…)

I attended mass last night for Ash Wednesday with two great friends, and that was so special. Fact: church is one of my favorite places to go with friends. Call me crazy, but it’s all with good reason. After mass, we went to “spirit night” (the Catholic student union youth group night), which is always uplifting.

In talking about Lent, the topic always turns to, “what are you giving up for Lent?” Since I’ve come to understand the true meanings of Lent, this question has bugged me every time I hear it.
It’s not just about giving up candy for 40 days, or not watching TV. It’s about the why. Why are you doing it?

The speaker last night posed this question: “Who do you want to be at the end of Lent?”

Who do you want to be?

Lent is a period of 40 days. Studies show that it only takes 30 days or so to break a habit or create a new one, so there’s plenty of time here for either.

So, who do you want to be?

I’m still figuring out exactly what it is that I’ll be doing for Lent, but I know that there will be a why behind it.

 

After spirit night, I spent some time talking with my new friend Tori (creator of thefreckledprep.wordpress.com) about Lent and who we want to be. (Never have I ever met someone who is so similar to me, it’s crazy. But again, God works in wonderful ways, and he’s definitely working through this lovely lady.)

We have similar outlooks on life and faith, and similar aspirations for where we want to take ourselves, in school, work, and our blogs. We’re both just two college girls with passions for working hard and sharing God’s grace.

We’ve already been collaborating a little for our Instagrams, and we have some brand new ideas hatching.

From the ashes, I feel a fire igniting.

I’m so excited to grow with her in faith and friendship, as well as working our blogs and social platforms. I’ve got a feeling that God’s got a plan to work through us, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

 

So, I pose the question to you, who do you want to be 40 days from now?

Do you want to be more loving? More grateful? More fearless?

It’s a tough one.

My challenge to you (and myself) this Lent is just to be open.

Be open with yourself and your thoughts, and with your friends and family.

Be open to prayer, and to God and his gracious power in your life.

Be open to possibilities, and be open to change.

Be open to being uncomfortable, because that’s where true growth happens.

Be open for forty days. I know you won’t be disappointed.

 

P.S. If you don’t know where to start, try taking 10-15 minutes to be quiet with your thoughts in prayer or journaling, or listen to some worship music to get you in the mood. No lie, I’ve been listening to this song on repeat.

 

Thanks for reading, happy Lent!!

 

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18 thoughts on “From the Ashes

  1. Truly, one of my FAVORITE songs to help me connect with the Holy Spirit! Thank you for this. I’m doing Lent on a small scale this year — following Karen Ehman’s 40-day challenge to give up our words (spoken in haste, anger, etc). I must admit, though, because I’m not Catholic and have never done Lent, I’ve sort of just been going through the motions. I really haven’t focused on dedicating each day to the thing I’ve promised to give to God. I’m not spending time in deep prayer – but am just saying the words and checking it off my list. 😦 Yes, Lord – I confess! This post helped to remind me that it’s not about what I’m giving up — but Who I’m giving it up for. I need to refocus my desires on Christ – and on desiring His glory – and desiring His good work in me. In Romans 8:28 (my favorite verse), He promises to work for my good through ALL circumstances … so long as I am seeking His will with all my love and devotion. It’s that second part that people forget. When we’re focused on self – and not seeking God’s purpose, then we can’t really expect His blessings in all their fullness. So, starting today – I’m rededicating my promise to Him: to give up my words (spoken AND unspoken) — and that’s a BIG one for me! But I know His will is for me to learn a better way – and to break strongholds that have caused so many problems in my life. So if it’s His will (which I know it is), and if I’m seeking it with my whole heart, I can TRUST in His promise to work for my good! Thank you for this!

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    1. Wow, RebeccaLynn, this is awesome!!! I’m so glad you’ve come to realize all this, even if you haven’t really ‘done’ Lent before, you have the right attitude, which even long-time Christians & Catholics lose. Honestly, I think perspective and attitude is most of it, and realizing that we aren’t perfect, as you talk about. We just have to give him out best, and that’s all we can do!! I’m so so glad you’re realizing where you’re being called, refocusing your promise, and doing your best to offer up your life and words to him. Best of luck this Lenten season, I hope to hear progress later about how it all works out for you in this time!! Thank you for reading and for the awesome comment 🙂

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  2. I haven’t done Lent in a while (no longer Catholic) but as a Christian, one thing I miss is the way it makes you focus. It’s good to think on this, because I’ve been considering fasting on a different schedule. And what a good reminder – if you’re fasting in any form, definitely be open! That way God can lead you where you need to go. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, that’s what I enjoy about it too, but I think many people miss the point, of doing something out of the ordinary and focusing on something to improve yourself! I hope you can be open to whatever it is you’re called to! Thanks for reading 🙂

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  3. I love everything about this post! Thank you for sharing! At the end of these 40 days I want to be better fulfilling God’s purpose for me. God put it on my heart so I’m obeying. Fasting is my favorite way to truly connect with Him. Since fasting and prayer keeping popping up on my radar, it might be time to acknowledge I need to do a fast asap ;).

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    1. Rebecca, this makes me so happy to hear!! I’m so glad you’ve listened up and are willing to answer your call this Lenten season! This year, I’m doing my best to truly figure out God’s purpose for me, too. I’d love to hear how the 40 days turn out for you! Thanks for reading, have a great Monday 🙂

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  4. Thank you Kristen for including me in your post! So sorry that I’m reading it so late. I’m so excited to grow in a Christ-based friendship with you and lean on you for support with life, friendship, faith, and blogging! Love you girlie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries, you’re too cute!! I’m so glad I met you and found someone so similar to me and someone with such a bright fire for Christ!!! Can’t wait to keep learning & growing together!! Love to love you ❤

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