40 Ideas for Lent (2012

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Believe it or not, Lent begins next week! As has become a tradition here on the blog, I’ve compiled a list of 40 ideas that I hope will help you make the most of this season of reflection, penitence, and preparation. Some ideas are repeated from last year, others are updated, and others are brand new. Please feel free to add your own ideas and plans to the comment section.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? 
 2. Is there a habit or sin in my life that repeatedly gets in the way of loving God with my whole heart or loving my neighbor as myself? How do I address that habit over the next 40 days?
 3. Is there anyone in my life from whom I need to ask forgiveness or pursue reconciliation? 
 4. What practical steps can I take to carve out time for daily contemplation? 
 5. What spiritual discipline do I need to improve upon or want to try? 
 6. What are some things in my life that I tell myself I need but I don’t? Can I give one or two of them up for 40 days? 
 7. Why am I giving this particular thing up? How does giving it up draw me closer to God and prepare me for Easter? 
 8. What am I going to tell myself when self-denial gets hard? 
 9. Is it necessary/helpful for me to share the nature my fast with others or should I keep it private?
 10. What do the ashes mean to me this year? What does baptism mean to me this year?

10 Book Recommendations:
1. A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay 
 2. 40 Days of Living the Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight 
 3. Lectio Divina Bible Study: Learning to Pray in Scripture by Stephen J. Binz
 4. Eastertide: Prayers for Lent Through Easter by Phyllis Tickle (link fixed)
 5. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp 
 6.

A Book of Hours by Thomas Merton 
 7. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (Orbis Books)
 8. The "30 Days With a Great Spiritual
Teachers" Series (I've used, and enjoyed, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux)
 9. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on

the Character of Christ by Dallas Willard
 10. Wondrous Encounters:

Scripture for Lent by Richard Rohr

10 Disciplines, Fasts, and Rituals:
1. Pray the offices for 40 days. The Daily Office, (or the Divine Hours), consists of four times of prayer each day: morning prayers (Matins/Laudes), midday prayers (Sext), evening prayers (Vespers), nighttime prayers (Compline). I love praying the hours, and for Lent this year, I’d like to try to get into a more consistent schedule, at least sticking to morning and evening prayers, no matter what. If it’s your first time praying the hours, I recommend using Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours. If you’re looking to add something new to your prayer schedule, I recommend A Book of Hours by Thomas or Common Prayer:

A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan WilsonHartgrove, and Enuma Okoro. 2. Institute a Way of Light wreath or an Easter Tree (via Ann Voskamp)
 3. Eat and drink like the poor for 40 days. Then donate the money you save on groceries to a charity or project that serves the poor in concrete ways. This is the challenge offered by Chris Seay in his new book, A Place at the Table. Chris is teaming up with Compassion International and Living Water for this project, and you can learn more on his Web site. 4. Take the 40 Days of Water challenge from Blood: Water Mission to help bring clean water to Uganda. Give up all beverages except for

9.. Unplug—TV. worldwide church. like the Sermon on the Mount. Just be sure to contact the monastery ahead of time to inquire about their guest services. And I don’t mean . etc. Bernard Abbey in Cullman. It sounds crazy. Commit to 40 days of praying for your enemies. (And remember to be respectful of the silence and prayer schedule while you are there. Commit to memorizing a significant portion of Scripture. or Isaiah 58. Spend a weekend at a monastery. Facebook. 
 6. They have a great Web site through which you can track your progress and learn more. It’s a great way to feel connected to the historical. 5. 
 8. Netflix. but I spent three days at St. Many monks eat in their meals in silence. There are dozens of Benedictine and Trappist monasteries around the country that open their doors to overnight guests. so consider joining millions of Christians around the world in this fast.. usually at very inexpensive rates. This is perhaps the single best way to carve out some extra time in your day for prayer and meditation. Traditionally. Alabama as part of my ―biblical womanhood‖ project last year. and it was one of the most meaningful times of prayer and contemplation I’ve ever experienced. Christians abstained from eating meat during Lent. or (one of my favorites) 1 John 4.so don’t go expecting to chat it up during lunchtime!) 7. Twitter.water for the 40 days of Lent 2012 and donate the money you save to Blood: Water Mission.


 I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. The transition from winter to springtime provides so many beautiful. Litany of Penitence (You can find another version in the Book of Common Prayer . tangible reminders of the significance of hope and rebirth in the Christian faith. Psalm 139
 3. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)
 5.I love this litany!)
 7. taking pictures. Get outside! Commit to spending at least 20 minutes a day outside – walking. 
 and the fact that I think that I am following your will 
 does not mean that I am actually doing so. Prayer of St. Psalm 51
 2. meditating.
 And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the .
 Nor do I really know myself.
 But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.ruminating over all they have done wrong and praying that they will change. 
 10 Meditations: 1. I have no idea where I am going. journaling.) 10. Augustine 
 10. The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) 
 6. Francis 
 9. that they will find health and peace and grace. Litany of Humility 
 8. please leave a note in the comment section. This one.
 I cannot know for certain where it will end.
 And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. (Does anyone know of a good resources on how to do this well? If so. that they will come to know Jesus or experience the love of Christ more fully.
 I do not see the road ahead of me. Penitential Prayer of St. Isaiah 58
 4. from Thomas Merton: My Lord God. but praying that they will be blessed.


 and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.right road. Share 693 4 
 Disqus
 
 . 
 though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
 though I may know nothing about it.
 I will not fear. for you are ever with me. • Feb 17. View these Tweets. Please add your own ideas and plans to the list! I always love reading the comments after this one.
 Therefore will I trust you always. 2012 • Topics: prayer Tweet 164 This page has been shared 164 times.


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 13 people liked this. I want to find true beauty through gifts.not a stitch. I wear because culture tells me I am not pretty without it. I am giving up makeup for lent. I am also going to make sure I don't compliment physical appearances. prettied up version. Showing 80 of 91 comments Sort by first Popular now Best rating Newest first Oldest Subscribe by email Subscribe by RSS Lindsey 5 days ago 
 In an effort to redefine beauty in my life. but what I do wear.. NO MORE! :-) So for 40 days. relationships and inherant value.. no make up. 
 
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 Danae Hudson and 12 more liked this Like Reply Eleanorjane 5 days ago in reply to Lindsey 
 I did that last year as a way to focus on being the 'real me' instead of a covered up. ever. It was challenging but . I am going to blog about my journey and I'm excited to see what happens! I am sure my students will tell me I look really tired. Haha. I don't wear much.

I wouldn't stop complimenting others 'cos I'm really big on compliments and praise and I'm not anti-adornment but each to their own). 
 
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 12 people liked this..can't remember where . Like Reply 
 
 
 Lindsey 5 days ago in reply to Eleanorjane 
 Definitely not going to stop complimenting others.about how we tend to compliment based on appearances ("love your necklace!") rather than character ("you're so great and making sure everyone feels included!"). 
 
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 2 people liked this. I'm going to try and start doing this again. So I started paying attention to how I compliment people..helpful. just need a re-focus. but when I tried to be more deliberate about complimenting character. Like Reply 
 
 
 Tiffany Taylor 12 hours ago in reply to Rachel Held Evans 
 I read this quote somewhere once and it immediately became one of my favorites. 
 
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 4 people liked this. which is of course fine. (Personally. Don't think they are bad either. Thanks for this reminder. Just going to stop complimenting on new sweaters or great earrings. . the comments were clearly more meaningful to people. Like Reply 
 
 
 Rachel Held Evans 4 days ago in reply to Lindsey 
 I read an article once .and was SHOCKED! Usually I was just trying to say something nice.

thin and pretty people as well. or pretty. but terrible for actually being smart. and I avoided doing things I was bad at. like putting together a cute outfit. smart. or thin. people complimented me on being smart. I've seen many attractive girls who really felt ugly because of the way they are treated. Like Reply 
 
 
 pofalici 59 minutes ago in reply to Tiffany Taylor 
 As well don't be putting people down for things they can't control. or sticking with their workout plan. That's fine for looking smart. I find I sometimes retreat from being me. Instead I look for things that they're actually doing. Like being intelligent. figuring something out. Now I'd no more compliment people for being pretty." -William Pietri 
 
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 1 person liked this. or strong than I would for being tall. It took me so long to get over being made fun of for these things and on bad days. 
 
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 Nicholas 4 days ago in reply to Rachel Held Evans 
 Was it in a corporate HR bulletin? . Even worse. God makes. They meant well."Never compliment people on (or chide them for) things they don't control. but it was terrible for me. I didn't learn to stick with things. intelligent. And. I could only control how smart I was appearing.0 
 
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 .When I was a kid. So I learned a bunch of tricks for seeming smart. I couldn't control how smart I was being.

as does yours! Becky 
 
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 2 people liked this. I am so pale.wildgoose 5 days ago in reply to Lindsey 
 Hi Lindsey. when I don't wear makeup. Going without makeup has to be a brunette thing. a friend of mine once covered up all of her mirrors . Edit: read your clarification below. Spiritual beauty doesn't mean disembodied mind beauty. Like Reply 
 
 
 Nicholas 4 days ago in reply to Lindsey 
 The makeup thing is a good idea. but the not complementing physical appearances is not. I haven't tried it. On a similar vein. I have no visible eyebrows or lashes. but it seemed a worthy challenge. Beautiful physical appearances are worth complementing. I am constantly asked if I am sick. 
 
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 pofalici 54 minutes ago in reply to Lindsey 
 Ha-ha.to put distance between herself and her preoccupation with her appearance. (< 
 
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 Katrina Mathews 1 day ago in reply to Lindsey .

dear friend. I have nothing I would rather do. God . Would you mind if I take care of your cats while you're gone?‖ ―Is there anything I can pray for you? Surgery? March 8th? May I drive you to the hospital and drive your boys up to their dad on Friday and watch your dog while you recover? Of course it's no problem that it's a 100 mile drive. for some unknown reason. I've been there. to text a dear friend. Not sure why. Living paycheck to paycheck is hard. Kat 
 
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 Jim Fisher 4 days ago 
 Sacrificial love for my neighbor … ―I heard you are headed down to Florida for Spring Break. I will follow‖ … which caused me. Would you mind if I took your dogs out for a walk on my way home so they don't pee all over the floor before you get back?‖ ―Oh.‖ ―I heard you need to work late tonight.
 Lindsey. Lead me. I am willing to spread your sacrificial love to those I love. would love to follow this blog of no make-up. ―My prayers are with you. I was pondering lenting mirrors. but I AM SURE. May I stock your freezer with a month's worth of meals?‖ My prayer for the next 40 days is simple: ―Lord.

. They were the sort of people who you know you ought to visit.. I'm participating. but who somehow end down the priority list.com/a. Some visits turned out to be good fun and even where it was more of a duty we felt glad we'd made the effort. 
 
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 Guest 2 days ago 
 Last year. It included my grandmother (very old and who doesn't recognise me any more).loves you. I'll be praying outside an abortion clinic once a week as a peaceful witness. And so do. one set of people per week. 
 
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 3 people liked this. some other elderly friends of my parents and some friends going through a rough time.40daysforlife. we made a list of people we should visit/meet with during Lent. show more 
 
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 Kimberly 4 days ago in reply to Jim Fisher 
 YOUR idea of lent and it's purpose is What it's all about! 
 
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 Sheila Bloedow 19 hours ago 
 One idea that you missed it 40 Days for Life.. It proved really a surprisingly good preparation for Easter.

There's a Catholic church down the street from my apartment. 
 
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 3 people liked this. and instead spent that time in prayer and meditation. Like Reply 
 
 
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 Alecia 23 hours ago 
 Last year I gave up the radio in my car. I'm also considering going to an Ash Wednesday service. but lots of my friends give up things like Facebook or chocolate. 
 
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 1 person liked this. I'm Pentecostal so we don't "officially" observe Lent. Like Reply 
 
 
 Charlotte 5 days ago 
 I've been thinking more and more about Lent this year. When I was in college. I think instead of giving up something I'd like to add some type of spiritual practice.Rachel Held Evans 1 day ago in reply to Guest 
 Beautiful! 
 
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 1 person liked this. some friends and I had an impromptu Ash Wednesday service on the stage of the chapel and I really liked it. 
 
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 Michellebriggs99 4 days ago in reply to Charlotte 
 Try to attend a Stations of the Cross service. like contemplation. I'm going to see if I can go to a service there.

this includes gossiping.Nicholas 4 days ago in reply to Charlotte 
 I spent many lents of my youth in contemplation. but I'm not telling anyone except my spiritual formation group. I have given up negative speech for Lent. Like Reply 
 
 
 JBW 5 days ago 
 For the past few years. but I find myself muttering things under my breath or when I'm driving that I'm not proud of and that don't glorify God. especially when I realized how much gossip was a part of my daily conversations with co-workers or how often I complained. I'm going to do it again this year. "Well. I've given up complaining for Lent. I'm not a huge cuss-er. and cussing. though. I also tried to replace my negative speech with positive things: encouragement. I know that it will involve more intentional prayer and contemplation time. It is always a challenge for me. I'm still praying about and deciding what my goals for Lent are this year. complaining. Like Reply 
 
 
 Ellen Di Giosia 1 day ago in reply to JBW 
 Last year. I did the same thing and found it was really helpful. They say you can go blind from that. affirmation. so I won't say anything. etc. Last year I would sometimes say. For me." which is about . words of love. I'm so glad you gave these resources on praying the Hours! 
 
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Blessings! 
 
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 Rachel Held Evans 5 days ago in reply to JBW 
 That's a great idea. because it is a time for us to draw closer to God. This is something that I haven't done a good job of while they were younger but I am committed to get better. I will be mindful of that through the 40 days. Like Reply 
 
 
 Jjohn 5 days ago in reply to JBW 
 Excellent reminder for how we use our words. So I am going to read from the Bible with them and talk about it to help them have a better understanding. I will also be doing something for myself for Lent but it is between God and I because I don't think that we should necessarily announce everything. 
 
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 RonLane 2 days ago 
 One of the things that I am going to do this year is make sure to get the kids involved.as passive-aggressive as it gets. Not really in the spirit of things! 
 
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 Rachel Held Evans 1 day ago in reply to RonLane 
 Ann Voskamp always has good ideas for bringing children into Lent. Here's a new one she put up today: .

I say more about this in my own blog entry...aholyexperience. But far too many people seem to just be jumping on the bandwagon. personally. I should be clear. in my opinion. there are some really GOOD things that social media does that could get lost.http://www.c. serious enough consideration about just what is being given up. as I feel this has become a little TOO fashionable for people to suggest without. as well. and why.thisclassicallife.. To borrow the cliche. 
 
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 Paula Snyder Belousek and 
 Mark Baker-Wright 5 days ago 
 I really need to push back against the "unplug" bit. it may well be that giving up Facebook (or any other bit of social media) IS a good thing for you. 
 
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 kristen m stewart 5 days ago 
 Great ideas! I have a list on my blog of ideas for keeping lent at home with particular attention to including children: http://www. to do. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Why You Shouldn't Give Up Facebook for Lent. Like Reply 
 
 
 Rachel Held Evans 5 days ago in reply to Mark Baker-Wright ..com." 
 
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..com/. as it is about turning inward for a season. Most.In our culture of digital voyeurism.. of my spiritual community is online so I . or for a week).
 See. meaning an overwhelming majority.. realtime updates.on paper. or over the weekend.. can impede contemplative life.mostly because the nature of social media." http://www. or saw it. as if it were itself a bad thing. but I understand why a 40 day fast would make sense for a lot of people.. we are tempted to believe things only become real when they are external. third?. reactionary nature. heard it.. Just some thoughts! 
 
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 Sandra ChristianHeretic 5 days ago in reply to Mark Baker-Wright 
 I am stepping back from Facebook and Twitter for a. posted. tweeted.huffingtonpost. I totally get the fasting from social media thing . I thought Skye Jethani had some great thoughts on how social media has affected our appreciation for silence. and echo chamber effect). In the privacy of prayer I discover that my life really does matter--not because someone read it. year. I notice a huge difference in my state of mind when I intentionally cut off internet time (at a certain time of day. ". I've never fasted from it for Lent. or displayed... He wrote. All the more reason why we need to recapture the discipline of secrecy in order to foster our trust that God is indeed with us and witnessing every thought and reflection. (with its 24-hour accessibility. published. It is not so much the giving up of social media. but because God is my witness.

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 BrettG 5 days ago in reply to Mark Baker-Wright 
 Absolutely." I find that's true of so MANY things that Christians talk about "giving up" for Lent. "if it's really not good for you. I take the opportunity not to be distracted by the doings of my community and sharpen my focus on the silence. The idea in all Christian fasting is that we give up things that are good for that which is better. as if it were itself a bad thing. is to have a season or two a year in which to turn my focus to the God Within rather than the God in Community. rather than altogether?" Blessings to you in your time of focus. I continue to blog during Lent as a means of articulating some of the inchoate wisdom I find in the silence. Life is a gift from God alone. as it is about. why only give it up for Lent. What I do want. itself.certainly would never want to cut myself off from that community. It's not that meat or food or social media is bad: it's that we need the reminder that even these good gifts from God do not give life. a bad thing. As someone else I read elsewhere put it. however.. Like Reply 
 
 
 Mark Baker-Wright 5 days ago in reply to Sandra ChristianHeretic 
 I like how you articulate the issue: "It is not so much the giving up of social media. 
 
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 1 person liked this. They make it sound like the thing being "stepped back from" is. .

Never followed up with any of my friends as to why they gave up certain things and if they made it to 40 days. Son of God. despondency. . God bless. humility. As Church. Thy servant. Ephrem's prayer is the perfect Lenten prayer: O Lord and Master of my life. St. take from me the spirit of sloth. lust for power and idle talk. a spirit of chastity (integrity). just try again. dont worry about setting up for failure! When you fail. I never realized. As for forgiving enemies. we must be big believers in baby steps and second chance. patience and love.
 
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 Dcanales12 1 day ago 
 I have never practiced lent but of course know many people who have. 
 
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 Tiffany 
 dancingcrane 5 days ago 
 First thing. as you will. just remember the Publican. that people who practice lent put a lot of thought into it. But grant unto me. have mercy on me. contributions and comments. Thank you all for your suggestions. or could tell. a sinner" will remind you that your own failings are what God wants you to open up to His healing first. After receiving this blog from a very dear friend and reading all the comments I'm now very motivated to try this experience for a closer walk with our Lord. "Lord Jesus Christ.

Yea. grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. local offerings rather than factory farmed food. For blessed art Thou unto the ages. But I drag my feet. I've been saying for a while that I mean to be more mindful about consuming less meat AND to buy sustainably raised. O Lord and King. 
 
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 Rachel Held Evans and 2 
 Stephanie Ivy 4 days ago 
 I'm giving up meat. 
 
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 Nicholas 4 days ago in reply to Stephanie Ivy . Like Reply 
 
 
 Danae Hudson 5 days ago 
 My church has lost a lot of funding for our food programs. Since I already don't eat dairy (due to intolerance issues). so we're going to eat as our clients at our food programs (community lunch and food pantry eat) with either $35 for a week or a bag of groceries and ask for people to sponsor us to raise money. So. Amen.. I'm hoping that this will help hit the reset button on my habits. 
 
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 3 people liked this.I will say that I failed miserably.. Both for health and environmental reasons. this should be an interesting challenge. I tried to eat rice for dinner for 40 days last year because I had seen Oxfam America said that 50% of people in the world only eat rice.

.com/watch?v.youtube. Last year I observed Lent for the first time. 
 AT TA C H E D F I L E S 
 
 
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 Ben Carmack 5 days ago 
 As cliche as this may sound. going the old school route has its benefits. and gave up meat. I felt weak and felt low on energy.. On Fridays. At first.
 This might be helpful: http://www. I had fish. but eventually got .

is a great exercise. Also be sure your diet is rich in a variety of fruits and veggies. It's not for everyone but that's my two cents. Be sure that you are still eating other sources of protein like beans... yogurt. I might challenge you or anyone else who chooses to give up meat for Lent to add to their fast some reading on this subject. nuts. I have found the connection between my eating practices and my spiritual life to be much deeper than I expected when I first stopped eating meat.used to it. even for a short period of time. Taking time to remember the poor and reflecting on the way our consumer practices impact the Lord's creation is a wonderful Lenten discipline. who often lack the protein in their diets that we have in abundance here. "Why am I doing this again? O right. and because my stomach was involved. As Americans. we consume inordinate amounts of meat. 
 
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 . and leafy greens. not just starches or grains. Thanks for sharing this idea.") As a side note. cheese. Like Reply 
 
 
 JBW 4 days ago in reply to Ben Carmack 
 Giving up meat. (I recommend Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma. at least not for very long. It gave me sympathy for vegetarians. eggs. I also wanted to say that a healthy vegetarian diet shouldn't make you feel weak. 
 
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 2 people liked this. As a committed vegetarian." It's also a way to experience some solidarity with the poor. I constantly had stuff on my mind like.

theres no meat to cook. we eat WAY too much meat in the West. my sympathy is reserved for those for whom an overly high-protien diet robs them of calcium (ever wonder why the US . on grounds of living compassionately. (not specifically for lent per. We still eat meat if we're at friends & family and thats what they are having.. Which I love. either). So when we're home.. It means we appreciate the meat much more when we have it too. and we buy alot more veg and plant matter. beans etc. show more 
 
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 Graham Wellington 4 days ago in reply to Ben Carmack 
 This is always something that comes up for me— a full-time vegetarian (who. So if a full vegetarian diet isn't for you but you'd like to cut back on meat that's an option to change things up.. isn't rich. What we decided to do was not buy meat at the supermarket. because as has been mentioned. pasta) + meat + vegetables optional'. or if we go out to a restaurant and want it. frankly. and increased the amount of plant matter we eat. (we don't go out to eat more than once a week). It gets you out the rut of thinking of dinner as 'one staple (eg.
 Tiffany Taylor 12 hours ago in reply to JBW 
 I'll add to this discussion (not to your post specifically JBW I'm just piggy backing) my husband and I decided sometime last year to cut back on our meat intake in general. I haven't felt as good in my entire life as I do since giving up meat. So this hugely reduced the amount of meat we eat.

There is something very powerful to this time of year. but Jesus got a whole lot more real once I stopped to think for a minute where I fit into what I was doing.has some of the highest osteoporosis rates in the world despite also one of the highest dairy consumption rates?) As part of an intentional look at how one might fundamentally shift their perspectives toward compassion and gentleness. it was a way to live more healthy. rather. My study and blogging will be on "seeking" as Christ sought in the desert. I am drawn to Lent each year." i gave up desserts and other unhealthy foods. instead of a usual "I'm not doing x. It's always interesting to me. giving up meat (or. focusing on other foods) sounds like a great idea for lent. Meditations from Zion at http://irmgardebrown. and some of your ideas as well :) 
 
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 2 people liked this.y. You might come to a different conclusion that I did. or z. and bring people together to share in what i was making. Like Reply 
 
 
 adam 5 days ago 
 one year. UNLESS I made them for myself and enough to share with others. i might try it again this year. am motivated to do something special for Lent this year. I. Like Reply 
 
 
 Irm Brown 2 days ago 
 Thanks for this post. too.com . 
 
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 3 people liked this. learn more recipes. although I do not practice my faith in a liturgical environment.

but the chapter(s) on Lent are great. Alexander Schmemann highly recommended for in and outside Lent to understand the Liturgical Tradition of the Church." 
 
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 orthonorm 4 days ago in reply to Karl 
 _Great Lent_ by Fr. From the Amazon description: "Following the framework of the Orthodox calendar . Like Reply 
 
 
 Karl 5 days ago 
 I would recommend reading "Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy" by Frederica Matthewes-Green. 
 
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 Nicholas 5 days ago in reply to Karl 
 It should really be done with the corresponding services. from Vespers to feasts to fasts . The whole book is a great introduction to the church calendar and liturgical/sacramental worship within Orthodoxy.from Lent to Pascha to Nativity. I'm not Eastern Orthodox.
 
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 1 person liked this. It's about more than just Lent. it enriched my faith and made me hungry for more liturgy and sacrament in my own worship experience. but I loved the book.Mathewes-Green chronicles a year in the life of her small Orthodox mission church. .

.. pizza. 
 
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 ... week old chicken. donuts. 
 
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 2 people liked this. . should be interesting. we'll see how me & my low blood sugar does with that! I've never fasted before.org/r.brianmclaren. Like Reply 
 
 
 Andrea 3 days ago 
 Thanks for the great post Rachel..net/ar.) 
 
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 Ciara Barsotti 5 days ago 
 For this year's Lent I decided to fast for one meal daily (except Sundays) and pray for victims of human trafficking. with Not For Sale's "Fast For Freedom" guided devotional (found here: http://www... Some wonderful ideas for observing Lent. Like Reply 
 
 
 kb 4 days ago 
 Eat and drink like the poor for 40 days.freedomsunday.. but have you seen this prayer for your enemies? http://www.. and cheap beer? No thsnks:) 
 
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 Mary 
 Clairezip 4 days ago 
 I didn't read through the comments.though.

so I have been on the lookout for visual symbols to be part of our home this year during Lent. Broughton 5 days ago 
 Great list! I'm compiling resources as I teach evangelical teens about the reasons and benefits of observing Lent. On our dining table. Like Reply 
 
 
 Danae Hudson 5 days ago 
 P. and also a way to discuss what habits/thought patterns might need to "die" in our own lives to give way to more Christ-like character. Glad I don't have to reinvent the wheel.A. we have three flower pots--one for each person in our family-and this morning we planted beans in the soil. 
 
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 Lindsey Watson 5 hours ago 
 Our little one is two. We talked with our daughter about how a seed has to die to grow into a plant.S. I love that prayer by Merton. I have it at my bed.. 
 
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 1 person liked this. Thanks for your work and sharing of this. but can simply find several 'wheels' around the interwebs. I also am using Noel Piper's idea about having candles for each week and doing a "reverse advent" wreath..
 D. I plan to print out major sections of this article to hand out to each one. It's a picture of death and resurrection.beginning Lent with all the .

but whose ex has now adopted it and wants our kids to observe it. Lent always sneaks up on me. Thank you. too -. simplifying care of the body. etc. I love these suggestions. especially the questions to ask yourself. 
 
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 Greg 4 days ago 
 As a guy who did not grow up with this tradition -. 
 
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 Ann Smith 1 day ago 
 Thanks for this list. Rachel.candles lit and extinguishing one each week until Easter. And all my IRL buddies don't really think about it. Every week has a specific focus (simplifying space. when all the Light returns! 
 
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 Brett 11 hours ago 
 Being a solid non-denominational guy (who came from a Lutheran and Episcopal background).do you think it is of value? I tend to dislike and discount anything that is done only because of tradition.) and each day has a meditation and a practice. I love Thomas Merton's A Book of Hours. Some of the practices have been included in your post and in the comments. I can already tell by leafing through the book that some of these will be more challenging than others. and that they reveal obsessions I didn't realize were obsessions of mine! I am considering blogging about each day's activity and it's impact on me. and I'm not sure if I should encourage my . For Lent. I am reading Simplifying the Soul by Paula Huston.

All of these disciplines are helpful in pointing us to Christ and shaping us more into His image. So it certainly seems like it could be valuable for your kids to experience that. Some people give up food items because every time they crave that item. to pray. But I realize it could be a valuable discipline. or CSI -but only CSI Miami) while continuing to wallow in other sins that I'm pretty sure God would prefer they give up. it reminds them that they should crave Jesus Christ more than that. 
 
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 Leanne Penny 4 days ago 
 It used to terrify me to consider going to a monastery and immerse in reflection and silence. Now I have so much backed up thinking and processing to do I would jump at the chance. or even really understanding it. I didn't grow up observing it. or to show hospitality. it has become important to me to learn to discipline myself out of reverence for Christ. I try to give up things that interfere with my ability to draw closer to Him or that prevent me from showing mercy to others. Most people I've known who observed Lent gave up silly things (like gourmet coffee. But as I have gotten older.kids to observe it just because their mom is. I need feedback. Other people give up social media or video games or shopping just for fun and use their time or extra money to serve the poor. so I'm not sure what to do. Motherhood leaves less room for the disciplines but greater . but I can tell you that Lent has been a very formational time for me over the last few years. please! 
 
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 JBW 1 day ago in reply to Greg 
 Greg--I'm not sure I can speak to your exact situation.


 
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 Steve Martin 4 days ago 
 Not exactly on topic (but close).). But this is a great post.. but would be a great exercise for Lent and beyond. I shared it with my husband (who isn't much of a blog reader) and he's been inspired to join me in observing lent.. putting links up to amazing things like the Way of Light Wreath and then not giving me a way to actually get one (best I can tell. Thanks for your words! 
 
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 Adrian Waller 4 days ago 
 Maybe a little late. 
 
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 Rachel Held Evans 4 days ago in reply to Adrian Waller 
 Sounds like an interesting read. 
 
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 Jennet 4 days ago 
 Rachel! You're killing me. It definitely lasts longer than Lent... but I'm gonna toss "7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" by Jen Hatmaker into this conversation.here's a little (very short under 15 minute ) pre-Lenten sermon that will knock your socks off: . her son isn't making them anymore and I have no skills of my own.need for it.

you'll be glad you did.. 
 
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 orthonorm 4 days ago 
 Today at lunch I overheard a couple more "traditional" RCs discussing what they were giving up for Lent.but hang in there. giving up habitual patterns is a lot easier if there is something placed in their stead. As an Orthodox Christian there is a helluva sobering and humbling helpful grace knowing so many throughout the globe are engaging in shared ancient acts of self-denial and saying prayers uttered for centuries...co. This is why fasting is always.. Thank you..http://theoldadam. hopefully practiced within the context of a community attempting similar disciplines. be coupled with prayer and acts of mercy. Self-denial comes not just from not doing things but also in doing. millennia. It starts off a little scary. With the appropriate balance. . I think Rachel has made a great point about stressing what one is going TO DO as well as not.wordpress. giving up what we find so important is buffeted greatly by that which we typically balk in doing. or ought. Enjoy.. In general.


 
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 orthonorm 4 days ago 
 The Prayer of St. and look forward to it every year. Also have a Google+ page with the same name (Lenten Fast). but it's pretty challenging to do it.A joyful Fast to all. I mean. 
 
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 Josh Luukkonen 4 days ago 
 I'm following the Orthodox fast.wikipedia. so feel free to join the fun there. Nicholas. bro. Good luck everyone! Blessings to you! 
 
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 Nicholas 4 days ago in reply to Josh Luukkonen 
 Come on.. Ephrem: http://en. Less restrictive on certain days. I was confused. isn't that running a bit counter to the humility factor of lent? :P 
 
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 Josh Luukkonen 4 days ago in reply to Nicholas 
 Oh. Trying to collect discussions/ideas/help on Lent this year @lentenfast on Twitter. reading my email . it's you! lol.org/wiki/P. But I love it. which is basically a vegan diet for 40 days..

The more the merrier! http://dlmayfield. 
 
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 Eleanorjane 5 days ago 
 I've recently moved to another country. 
 
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 Mike Schutz 5 days ago 
 I encourage our folks not just to "give up. :) And though you're joking (I think!).co. Our small Bible study group at home kind of died a death (amicably) a few months before we left. or makes us feel good about ourselves? A good question. Hopefully it'll be a good way to meet new people (potential friends) as well as giving me new insights and focus on God. halfway around the world. so it's nice to spend some grounding time with Him. 
 
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 Nicholas liked this Like 
 D. so I'm looking forward to getting into some kind of weekly Bible study group at a new church. I suppose it IS a good thing to consider: are we doing things for Lent because it makes us look good. Mayfield 5 days ago 
 So exciting! I created a little Lent Experiment based off of the new book by Jen Hatmaker (7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess).notification of the comment." but also to "open up. to teach .L... I feel very unsettled indeed.wordpress." My daughter is preparing to move to Mongolia for a year.

It's a three minute read. saving the money I usually spend on iced coffee to help with the ministry.but oh boy. I just posted on my blog 15 Lenten Practices.. 
 
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 Jean Wise 5 days ago 
 I have been prayerfully considering what to do this year.wordpress.. Thanks for sharing yours 
 
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 Steve Martin 5 days ago 
 Great post! Thank you! Here's another good post titled. if we could just give up a couple of these things: http://theoldadam.000 hits in the last 3 years. I am giving up my trips ( far too frequent) to Dunkin Donuts.and serve. Enjoy.. I kept your list from last year and am excited to see some new update this year. 
 
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 Ed_Cyzewski 5 days ago .co. but also opening up my heart and mind in prayer for the people she will be serving. This post has had over 8. '9 Things to Give Up During Lent'..

I've given up things for Lent before that didn't really lead me to a closer relationship with Christ. The idea is to explore how our culture uproots us and to provide a simple practice each day that helps us become grounded again so that we can go deeper with God.co. I like the idea of focusing on what I gain or an area in which I'm growing that would otherwise be inhibited by the thing I'm giving up. too. helping us slow down so we can actually experience God's voice.youthspecialties. and it's always moving: http://www. It makes me feel more excited and ready to be self-disciplined than just grumpy at what I'm about to be missing out on. 
 
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 suzannah {ShoutLaughLove} 5 days ago 
 i LOVE that bread and wine reader. I plan to link here! I'm writing/editing a series of 40 posts for my church called Taking Root that I'll also share at my blog.. Nice reframing of the idea of fasting. i've hosted this interactive. My pastor calls it a Christian version of Zen Habits. 
 
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 .
 What a great list. 
 
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 Jessica 5 days ago 
 I love your focus on how you'll be different Easter morning. participatory stations of the cross on good friday with students for my church and community for a number of years. and the advent one is great..

I incorporated your post into my daily quiet time today and have spent quite a while reflecting on what I need to give up. the link to Phyllis Tickle's book goes instead to the Lectio Divina book above it. 
 
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 Rachel Held Evans 5 days ago in reply to Sandra ChristianHeretic 
 Oops! I'll fix that. I've decided to give up those extra hours of sleep that I *think* I need . and joy that comes from that submission. Hard. 
 
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 . but worth it. why I need to give it up. etc. 
 
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 Rachel Held Evans 5 days ago in reply to Becca 
 Last year I gave up sleeping in and replaced it with prayer. As an aside. Your prompts got me on the right track and I'm looking forward to a time of refocusing and resubmitting to God's authority in my life and the peace.Becca 5 days ago 
 Thanks for this. hope. 
 
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 Sandra ChristianHeretic 5 days ago 
 Rachel.I know that's one thing that gets in the way of my spiritual disciplines. Rachel.

Aydan Selby 5 days ago 
 These are some really interesting ideas-. . avoiding expensive meat/milk replacements. and donating the money saved somewhere.thank you. I am considering going vegan for Lent (I am vegetarian). but I don't know if I can do it.. and I don't want to set myself up for failure..

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