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Ash Wednesday

So today is Ash Wednesday. Today starts some of us off into a 40 day journey into Lent.  Lent is when believers prepare themselves by self-denial, penance (did anyone have Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade go through their head just now?), repentance, and so on.  In preparation for Holy week and Easter.  Many, like me, think of something that would be a sacrifice (or fast) to give up in our daily lives and routines.  Many people do candy, soda, salt, bread. Some even go so far as to give up technology or social networks like Facebook. Many people also choose to add something they normally don't do or something that makes them stop and be aware and purposeful about their intentions.  Many add things like changing attitudes, meditation, read the Bible.  Or, like a relative of mine so eloquently put it," giving up laundry and dishes is what she would give up, seems like such a time suck".  Let me just say there is SO much truth in that! 
I have not participated in this observance for a few years and really felt the pull this year to do it.   So here we are, day one in the books.

I have decided that I will give up, or deny myself Peanut butter.  I know that sounds really, really me I do.  But if you know know I have this 'thing' with peanut butter.  Not just any brand, but JIF.  We go way back...unfortunately I think it's a genetic seems that my side of the family has this thing for peanut butter.  Anyway, in the process of thinking what I would be giving up I was stumped, until earlier this week when I was making Eli his lunch.  You have to understand how much we go through in just a month...a lot...probably 6-8lbs (so 2 really big jars of it...think big like Costco big) in a month.  So in the midst of making yet another sandwich for Eli that involved said product, I was thinking about just how much I loved it and that I even went out of my way to buy the brand I liked and not the generic version...I even went a step further and bought the natural version.  I knew then that would be what I would need to let go...for 40 days....we are on day 1 folks and it was already hard...not terribly but enough I noticed and I crave it ...bad!

 So bad that when I saw this picture it was like they were in my house taking a picture of me sneaking yet another spoonful of this stuff when everyone has gone to bed (because I have enough room in my day calorie wise I can do this...doesn't mean I should....but I do!).  Better yet the spoon has peanut butter on it with chocolate chips OR peanut butter and Nutella see the problem?
 Yet I digress.  In the other vein of Lent I have also chose to add at least 10 minutes of prayer to my day.  It doesn't have to be in one chunk but a total I suppose.  I am leaning on the face that the Lord will guide my heart and mind in this area as this is all new and things might need to be changed or tweaked.  I think I will be finding/making a prayer journal and writing things down there to help me focus.  It's not that I don't pray, but I could practice praying more and praying when things are good and not just when things are bad.  I want more in my prayers and I want to hear more and stay focused more...not fall asleep while praying in bed.  Pretty sure that's just not cutting it.
 Does this even happen to you while praying? It happens a lot to me and I know that's the devil working against me but man some days he wins.  So I want to learn in these 40 days to pray with as little distractions as possible or learn to pray during all those distractions. I tend to think the latter is what needs to happen. 

Because when I get easily distracted...

Things like this happen...
SO when that happens I want to remember to pray to God to help me through that distraction and to focus on something else. Perhaps praying for a situation or a person would be a better use of my time rather than thinking of what I can't have....besides a million dollars and peanut butter.
I am looking forward to learning something and/or testing myself during this journey, I think I have picked some good ways to challenge myself and to grow in my faith.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

       Daniel 9:3 - And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes
Oh Lord hear my prayers and search my heart


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