I was well aware of the fact that today was the first day of Lent, but as I dove into some of my favorite blogs, I found that the way other people described it and how they felt about it brought me to tears. (I am also well aware of the fact that I've been quite "tender" emotionally, so the tears weren't that surprising...)
If using the period of Lent to sacrifice "something" as a means of refocusing or identifying with Christ is something new to you, Edie has wonderful decriptive post on the concept here.
This quote from Tara at between you & me describes exactly why I've chosen to give something up during Lent for the last several years:
There is a clarity that comes when you sacrifice the things that you run to for comfort.
I'm amazed at the things that I run to that I don't even realize I run to until I'm not running to them during Lent.
Since the very beginning of time we have all been wanderers.
We are the sheep and he is our shepherd.
Sheep are in constant need of being redirected to the right path, and we are just like them.
We can be walking right along, focused & determined not to stray, and then we find ourselves
distracted by some bright and shiny object off in the distance.
Christine at coffeeanddaisies added this beautiful verse as she reflected on Ash Wednesday:
"Come back to the Lord with all your heart;
leave the past in ashes,
and turn to God with tears and fasting,
for he is slow to anger and ready to forgive. "
(Joel 2:13)Reading Lysa Tykerst's book "Made to Crave" has caused me to think a lot about sacrifice and what I would be willing to give up for the sake of not everything being beneficial (though everything is permissable). see 1 Corinthians 10:23. Her blog post today took the words right out of my mouth!
And as I sit and listen to Kari Jobe sing her song "Beloved" (a love song from the Lord to his child) and can't help but wonder, if I really believe this is how the Lord feels about me ~zephaniah 3:17~ what wouldn't I give up for Him?