I told you yesterday that one of my biggest struggles is seeking unity and reconciliation. But lately, Jesus has opened my eyes to a greater truth, a greater way I am supposed to live, and He is calling me out of my complacency and into a life lived in complete unity.
So, through prayer and direction from Him, I have decided that for Lent this year, (my first real Lent) to give up listening to music in the car while I am by myself. But Lent is about more than giving something up, it’s about focusing the attention that would be spent on that one thing back on Christ. So starting this morning, it’s no more car radio, and prayer instead. I spend a countless amount of time in the car by myself, and I can’t help but imagine what that time could turn into if I used it for something good, for something Kingdom centered.
I compiled 40 things I want to be praying for (many of them prayers of unity and reconciliation) onto notecards, and put those 40 notecards onto a binder ring. For the next 40 days, whenever I drive to school or to the grocery store or wherever I am going, I will pray over one of those prayers. I think that God can do something really big with this, and my hope is that this would go far beyond just the time of Lent, and that deep, intentional prayer would weave its way into the depths of my heart and my life.
You guys know I also love books and I love pretty things and I love Bible studies. I am using two different studies for this time, and I think you will love them just as much as I do!
Follow: Watching + Walking + Wonder
I’ve told y’all about Naptime Diaries before. They are wonderful people and I was thrilled to be able to partner with them for a giveaway during my launch week. They are back to doing great things with this Lent devotional. The book is divided into eight sections: Deny Yourself, Seek the Kingdom, Humility, Faith, Compassion, Prayer, Leadership, and Raised to Life. Each of these eight devotionals are written by different people, women whom I love and admire, like Jess Connolly, Lara Casey, and Jamie Ivey, among others. (I also think there is one male writer, let me hear ya holla for gender equality)
These books are sold out, which is actually fine because how could you get one in time to start today anyway?! But thankfully there is a printable edition still available in the NTD shop! You can order that here.
Near the Cross
She Reads Truth (remember the John study I talked about?) also has a beautiful new Lent study for 2015, and of course, I ordered it as soon as I could. She Reads Truth makes beautiful studies all the time, but what I love most about the Lent book is that, similar to their Advent study, it is an actual book- 142 beautifully crafted and illustrated pages. Actually, I think it is so beautiful that I am not going to write in it so I can use it again next year. This book is full of scripture, snippets of wisdom, lyrics, and prints that I will probably cut out and frame. It will follow along with the online study, as usual. This book is sold out as well, but you can still order the beautiful prints, and you can follow along online, 100% free of cost. (or you can download the study via the SRT app for $1.99)
However you observe Lent this year, whether it be with She Reads Truth and Naptime Diaries or with nothing but a pencil stub and a tattered, worn Bible, I pray that it will be a fruitful time of rededication to the Lord. In the words of Preston Yancey, who opened my eyes to the beauty of the liturgical calendar through his book Tables in the Wilderness, “Lent is not an occasion for us to feel bad and then throw our hands up and say, “But Jesus, am I right?” It’s a chance for us, yearly, to enter into the posture of a people who take seriously the significance of their redemption, the cost, and ultimately the great joy.”