Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent Challenge Day 1 and Explaination


I've never been one who participated in lent, as it was simply never a part of the Baptist tradition to do so.  However, given the great opportunity and surroundings, this year I decided it was not only something I wanted to participate in, but something I NEEDED to participate in.

Over the last few weeks, I've been growing closer to God than I have been in a very long time. While this is exciting, it's brought its challenges. I've also been making an effort to make a better me- a new years goal more than resolution, but this means taking care of myself better and getting into good shape so that I can live a long and healthy life, not one cut off by preventable illnesses. There's also lots of ideas of what the future looks like twirling around this head of mine, so I figured, I should certainly participate in the fasting during Lent and see what comes of it, as I'm sure God is going to bless the time.

I won't mention everything here, but the biggest change for me is that I will NOT be using Facebook. I have deactivated my account(I will re-activate on Easter). Facebook has been one of the greatest tools for me to keep in touch with my dear friends at home and all of you, of course. However, it's also become a huge stumbling block. I've found myself countless times in front of the computer checking up on people and facebook 'stalking' people rather than doing what I need to be doing with my day. It's become a time sucker, and not what it was originally intended to be- a point of contact. I was also finding myself divulging more information about my personal life than one maybe should be at any given moment- I'm a very spontaneous thinker and emotional person... this can be dangerous on facebook. Therefore, it's out of my life for the next 40 days. If you want to talk to me, please feel free to email me at I'd love to hear from you, see your pictures, and participate in your lives still- just not through Facebook.

I've also taken on a few things I'm 'giving up' to focus on getting rid of some of my bad eating habits (no fizzy drinks(as they call them here) or extra sugars- natural sugars are allowed but nothing with extras.... we'll see how this one goes. I've been told you may pick 1 day where you're 'off the hook' and I won't ever be off the hook on the facebook one, but this one... I will. My birthday is smack dab in the middle of Lent- March 9th.... so I decided I may enjoy my foods on that day, but then go right back to it the next day.

I've also made a few personal challenges that I won't share, but I'm excited to see how God grows me through them.

Blogging was my last challenge to myself... 40 days.... I want to write 40 days of blessings I have in my life... so this is where we will begin...

Blessings Day 1: My Mom

Now, I'm fairly certain the way my mom loves to love people is through gifts.

As you may or may not know, the youth pastor from my home church is currently on board. Now, he was not my youth pastor, but the one right after and has done some really great things for our church community. He wanted to see what Mercy Ships is all about, and we figured now would be great because my mom would be on board and help show him around,etc. However, plans changed a few months ago. My mom needed to pull out due to work-related issues, which in turn became a HUGE blessing because then my nephew James was born on the 11th, when she was SUPPOSED to be here.

I picked up Ryan from a friend of Mercy Ships' home... long story... and he said 'this is your bag'. I was like 'um... what?' The things I had ordered for myself were small and should've taken up no space at all, so I was confused when I saw this duffel about 1/2 full of items. I opened it up and it TRULY felt like Christmas.... I had tapped into my savings ordered myself as a treat some goodies for me to enjoy during the rest of my time here- books, a new Itouch, etc. I had also requested a few other things (Taebo dvds, toothpaste)... just a few things. I open the bag and I'm beyond myself- I see valentines candies and more valentines  candies- and wait- MORE valentines candies, as well as my favorite cake mix(no doubt for my birthday), and another cool cake mix, which I'm sure was intended for Valentines day, but I may save until after lent so I can try one- Pink Lemonade cake mix and icing- who knew? I also plan on saving some of the valentines candies for myself later as well;)

In that moment, I was full of joy.... I realized in that moment something I had kinda known my whole life but was confirmed in this moment- I'm certain my mom's main love language(at least in giving) is gifts. She doesn't love getting them(merely for the attention I supposed), but LOVES showering them on us- especially when I'm so far away and there's a way to..... for that I feel extremely BLESSED today- Thanks mommy!! I love you and miss you.

With about 3 months left on this journey... I'm excited that about 1/2 of that time will be me spending it focusing more on God and the Great things he has done for me.

<3 M

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