Today marks the first day of the season of Lent. It is Ash Wednesday, which may or may not mean anything to you. For me, it is just what I said, day one of Lent. The day I begin my reflection, repentance, and sacrifice for the next forty days and nights leading up to Easter (That's not counting Sundays for anyone who was thinking, wait-that's forty five days ;)
I've written and re-written this post countless times now. My main problem is that I go on and on about this topic. I'm a religious person, and I love God, I read the Bible to my children (although not as often as I used to) and I attend church (again not as often as I used to). So, when I talk about anything related to God, I tend to get a bit wordy. I want to keep this post informative, and yet not lengthy.
Lent is a confusing subject for many people. Those who don't participate in it, don't understand the point. All they see is someone giving up chocolate(or whatever other things people give up for Lent). They don't get the meaning behind it. Lent is about sacrifice. We give up something that is difficult to give up because we are making that sacrifice. I'm not Catholic, I'm Episcopalian, so anything I say is based off how I was raised-as an Episcopalian. During the forty days of Lent we give up something that is difficult, something we will miss, something that we will struggle to do without. (OR we make some sort of a lifestyle change that is difficult) Jesus went into the desert and spent 40 days and nights with nothing. He resisted three temptations from Satan, and came back to preach to his people. This was not the only time Jesus made a sacrifice, but it is where Lent comes from.
The point (from my POV) is that if Jesus can make sacrifices and resist the temptations, why can't I? I mean, I'm only doing it for 40days, he did it much longer. Lent is a time to reflect and renew. We take this time to have an outside view of our lives, and determine how to better ourselves. Making sacrifices that will aid us in life. It's not such a difficult thing to accomplish, if we are truly committed. This year, I've had trouble determining exactly what I should give up. It's an issue I've never had. But everything I think of, is just too simple. It's all stuff I don't care enough about to really matter-I could easily resist any of the things I've thought of giving up.
So, I'm going to "give up" things that I know will be a challenge. Things that I will have to work at to do. It will be more of a lifestyle change than actually giving up something. But it's still going to be a sacrifice.
I'm going to put more focus into my wrterly things: my MS (I will have revisions done by the end of Lent), my blog (I will decide what I want to do with each day, I will get it done), my critiquing (I will stop procrastinating when it comes to my weekly crits and my crits that don't have a weekly time-frame) and new WIP (I will get my first draft completed and possibly my second draft as well), my synopsis (I will get it written) and query (same as synopsis). I'm going to renew my commitment to everything in my writer life. In addition to this, I'm going to spend more real quality time with my kids. We do a lot together, but I want to find even more to do together. I'm going to go back to the nightly ritual of reading them the Bible. We eat dinner together, but I tend to keep thinking of my book(s) while we are eating. That's family time, and I'm going to make sure I keep it that way. I'm going to find more activities we can do as a family (I'll probably be exploring this site (Kids Play) much more).and we will do them.
That's one hell of a list, but I will do it. I know I still made this a long post, but for the life of me, I just couldn't shorten it. I'm excited that Lent is here, and I'm excited with my choice for what I will do to better myself this Lent season.
Happy Ash Wednesday! :)