Friend, I’m curious about something. I’d like to know what, if anything, you are considering giving up for Lent? What might you release for 40 days? Maybe it’s chocolate, time spent on social media, persistent bad habits, or trying to limit those things you might be hooked on. Because self-denial and fasting from things we love are usually how we mark the pathway to the Cross.
How might it look to approach this season differently? To focus on gain as well as loss? Instead of fasting alone, perhaps we could also feast our way through Lent by adopting specific soul care practices that help build us up.
Fast from criticism, and feast on praise.
Fast from self-pity, and feast on joy.
Fast from ill-temper, and feast on peace.
Fast from resentment, and feast on contentment.
Fast from jealousy, and feast on love.
Fast from pride, and feast on humility.
Fast from selfishness, and feast on service.
Fast from fear, and feast on faith.
The above is a quote from Arthur Lichtenberger in Morning, Noon and Night: Poems and Prayers by Mothers’ Union Members in the Norwich Diocese to commemorate their centenary, 1876-1976.
A more comprehensive fast from, feast on poem can be found here. As I pondered what I might need to release to God, these thoughts came in prayer.
Prayer Whisper: Release
“Re-lease your life into My care. You are not your own. For you were bought with the price of My redeeming love and sacrificial blood. I paid the price to set you free so you could learn to fully become all I intend you to be.
Surrender the weight of guilt, sin and shame, the turmoil of anger, resentment and unforgiveness. Holding on to those things poisons your body, mind and heart.
Unleash your hopes, dreams and desires so they can be sifted and purified. Right motive and purpose will be given to you as you submit to My will.
Discharge the past, present and future into My hands. As Alpha and Omega, I see the end from the beginning. Trust Me to take care of it all, and to pave the way for you to walk steadily with Me, moment by moment.
Release all that chains and tethers you to earth. My desire is to create beauty out of ashes, bring hope out of despair and birth joy from adversity. Let loose all that prevents you from living freely in body and in mind.
Hand over all that you are, have been and will be. You are no surprise to Me. I know you inside out, and will provide the best way for you to become mature and grow strong in faith and love.
As you release, you will find true freedom because I give back to you only those things that fit who you are in Christ. Allow Me to prepare you for My purpose. All that brings true joy, soul rest, peace and ease will be yours because you trust in Me.”
Resources for Lent to help you release and receive
Would you like to simplify how you approach Lent and view it with fewer distractions? Then the 40 day ‘Undistracted’ series which Lisa at Simple and Soul blog is offering could be just the ticket. Also, the Godspacelight blog has suggestions for seeing Lent through new lenses. Giving ourselves a fresh perspective on Lent, and adopting new practices, can help put the season into sharper focus.
Most of all, I hope you will release yourself from other people’s expectations, and your own. Try taking a break from obligation, ought and should, so you can prioritise rest and listening to God. I know how challenging it can be to rest, but it’s worth it. You are worth it.
Consider how to nurture your soul during Lent, with author and blogger Bonnie Gray as your gentle guide, in her Whispers of Rest Lent series. May these resources enable you to savour this special time with God and to grow in your faith practices as well. 🙂 xo
Thank you for these beautiful words today. I love the thoughts of fasting from those things that hold us back, and then feasting on more of Jesus in our lives. But the prayer whisper that the Lord spoke through your pen was so much what I needed today. I read this early today when my hands would not let me type. So when I came back this evening as my hands felt some relief, it was a true joy reading those words of God’s blessings again. Truly He does purify and sift our dreams and desires and hopes as we release them to HIM. And what fun coming to see your updated “home” here. Everything looks so alive and vibrant! Blessings, love, and hugs to you, my Dear Friend!
Dear Bettie, yes, it does help to view Lent as “feasting on more of Jesus” rather than seeing it as an extended period of penance. I’m glad the prayer whisper spoke to you and that your hands were giving you less bother than before. In the surrender which chronic illness requires of us we begin to get a fuller sense of just how much we need to release to God. Thank you for your kind encouragement. It’s an added bonus to know the change of décor here has been uplifting for you. Blessings, love, hugs, and healing prayers for greater pain relief to come to you soon, dear friend! xoxo 💜
I, too, love the thoughts of fasting from what holds us back, and feasting on more of Jesus. I love the photos! They refresh my spirit and inspire me to release what is holding me back from flying free in Jesus. As do your words and God’s whispers. I really do need to release other people’s and my own expectations of myself and rest in and live in the truth of who God says I am. Thank you for these nurturing reflections, Joy! Love and blessings to you!
It’s good to hear you’ve been inspired and refreshed here, Trudy. A visual reminder of the freedom we have in Christ has the power to recharge our faith. And I think it helps to view ourselves as works in progress so we don’t get discouraged by comparing ourselves to others. Every person is working on something. Maybe an area of weakness, a besetting sin or overcoming a painful past, even if they seem to have it all together. May we both learn to accept where we are at and enjoy the journey towards all we are becoming by God’s grace. I like the sound of resting and living “in the truth of who God says I am.” Thank you for your insightful thoughts and sweet encouragement. Love and blessings to you, dear friend! xo 💜