Creator God, thank you for creating me.
May you make something beautiful out of the messy times in my life.
May I discover freedom from my own expectations and cling only to you.
May I feel beautiful within myself - body and spirit.
May I meet you in these 40 days to come.
May you remind me you are always near.
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Help us open our eyes and our hearts this day to notice you.
We long to sense your goodness amidst the ashes and the despair of this world.
It isn't easy to slow down long enough to hear your whisper in the wind, notice your goodness in the buds on the trees, or glimpse your face in the smile of another.
Allow us to move away from what is easy through the noise, distraction, and overwhelm of this world.
Instead, remind us to lean into your presence around us through praise, quiet prayer, and contemplation this Lenten season.
The ashes remain but we can find your beauty amidst them, if we look.
The Lenten season is upon us and I don't know about you but I am admittedly tired of giving up!
The past two years have been filled with "giving up" things, not by choice, that drew me closer to my Creator (like travel, for example). Oops, see number 5 below.
But this invitation of "giving up" for Lent need not be about letting go for the sake of letting go or letting go with remorse. We are invited to let go of things that get in our way of connecting with God and make room for more time with our God in these 40 days leading up to Easter.
So I am pondering things beyond the standard list I've chosen to give up in the past (like chocolate and wine). I'm pondering things (actions/habits) that will give me a more peace-filled, embodied, and connected journey to God if I let them go - once and for all! Below is a list of a dozen things I am "giving up" this year.
12 Things I Am Giving Up
Ouch, huh?! Does one jump out to you more than another? Once you have found your place to start, take a deep breath and let it soak in a bit. Will you choose to practice letting it go and give it up - for Lent and even beyond!?
Without this (or these) in your life, there's more room to listen and draw nearer to God. There's space to be a world changer and a difference maker. Practice letting go and you'll walk into Easter better knowing a Christ who lived without these 12!
Giving up also gives us room to lean in a bit more. Do you need help along the way to stay connected with your whole self and listen to your Creator (not that other stuff)? If you have your copy of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit on your shelf, it's the perfect 40 day companion to make room for more trust, community, peace, healing, love, joy, wisdom, connection, and hope in your life with Christ. Consider picking it up and begin again your time of holy listening with God.
How will you choose to journey through these 40 days towards Easter? What will you give up this year (or maybe even for good)? What will you pick up?
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC