Wow! Thinking about what I wanted to write for this post made me realize that I’ve been blogging for over a year now. My very first post, was talking about learning how to trust God and NOT your fears. It’s something that I am constantly reminding myself of and continuing to push through, in addition to helping others to do the same. This past year, I’ve really come to understand that there are only two choices when it comes to facing fear head on: I can choose to Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. It’s so much easier to run away from the things that scare us or challenge us to get out of our comfort zones. But the older I get, the more I learn that the only person that gets hurt by “running” is usually me. This is one of the reasons I look forward to Lent every year (although it was a very different story when I was younger).
The start of lent, which is today, Ash Wednesday, is one part of the year that helps me to regain focus on what is truly important to me in life. Now that I’m older, I look at it as a time for me to reflect on my overall spiritual well being. Am I giving enough? Am I serving enough? Am I grateful enough? Am I taking the best care of myself? Do I exhibit the love for others that God has for me? Am I challenging myself to grow and learn? Or am I exhibiting ungratefulness, selfishness and laziness? Last year, I talked about giving my muscles a workout that I didn’t even realize needed one: my willpower muscles. Well I am happy to report that even after a year, I no longer have to stop at the bakery department or the cookie aisle every time I go to the grocery store. While sweets will always have a special place in my heart, my willpower muscles are diesel now and continue to get bench pressed! But I’ve also learned to apply this to other areas of my life as well. There are a lot of things I really want, but realize I don’t necessarily need. There are also some things I could/should do more of, but make excuses as to why I haven’t made time to do them. These are areas where my willpower muscles kick in.
So this year, I’ve decided to commit to spending more time reading. And no, this does not include articles that I come across online, or are forwarded to me through e-mail. I have at least ten books that I’ve purchased in the last 4-5 months or so that I’ve started and haven’t finished. So I’m commiting to finishing two of those books within the next 40 days. I already don’t watch a lot of T.V. but I do spend a lot of time on social media and the interwebs. So I’ll be cutting back on that. In addition to reading more, I’ve also decided to give up meat for the course of the Lenten season. Although my husband is vegan and I’ve been learning to cook a lot more vegan and vegetarian dishes, this one is going to be a big challenge for me. Heck, I still love me some Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwhiches, and Boston Market’s roasted chicken.
In addition to the things that I want to cut back on and do more of, today marks the day that I will re-commit to facing more of my fears, and taking a lot more bold and daring steps outside of my comfort zone.
So who’s with me? Even if you don’t celebrate Lent, what can you commit to doing (or not doing) in the next 40 days to make YOU a better person inside and out?