Lessons from Lent

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This may be old hat for you or not. I’m not sure. But stop me if you’ve heard some or all of this before: last year, I gave up only Facebook for Lent. This year, I decided to give up all social media. It turned out to be one of my best decisions ever. Although if I’m honest, I was being obedient to what I felt God was calling me to do. It really wasn’t my decision at all.

I don’t regret for one single second going without social media for those 46 days. I got in more prayer time, I read my Bible more, I read more books in general. Plus, I had a greater sense of peace from not being tied down to Facebook or Twitter.

I think sometimes in order to appreciate something more, you need to step away from it for a while. That was the case for me. I did sometimes feel out of the loop after missing all the news from Facebook. But I can always catch up on that.

Lent is more than just giving up. It’s replacing it with something better. It’s no good to give up social media if you’re going to fill up the time with television. Hopefully, you spend your extra free time in learning to hear God’s voice and hear His heartbeat and feel His love for you. Obviously, the best way to do that is through His Word.

I don’t claim that I was anywhere near perfect in that regard. I wasted too much of the time I had away from social media. But I’m not beating myself up about it. Instead I choose to focus on the fact that I was more discipline in regard to prayer and Bible reading than I’ve been in a long time.

I hope to be able to participate in Lent again next year. I hope that I can be free enough to walk away from anything that enslaves me and takes my eyes off Jesus, whether that be social media or TV or anything else.

Like I said before, it’s really not about giving up stuff or sacrificing what you love. More than that, it’s about prioritizing your life and making sure that Jesus and His Kingdom really and truly are first. Then everything else will line up and fall into proper place.

Fitness Progress Report #1

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I’m starting the second week of my new fitness plan. And I get that I need to come up with a better name than “my new fitness plan.”

So far, my goals are to exercise at least six times a week, eat healthier, i.e. way less sweets, carbs, red meats, etc., and to take those extra small steps that add up to overall better fitness.

By that, I mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Intentionally parking farther away from the store to get those extra few steps in. Drinking water instead of tea for meals. Only eating out once a week.

So far, so good. I don’t say perfect. I could have done better. But this is not about beating myself up if I don’t get it exactly right every time. It’s about doing it better than the last time. After all, every little bit helps and every step counts.

It’s good to have friends who will encourage you and hold you accountable. I have one of those. It’s helped me during those times when I was feeling unmotivated or just plain lazy.

I’m not expecting to drop 50 pounds in one week. For one, that’s unrealistic. Also, if I lost 50 pounds, I’d look funny.

This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle change.

There will be more of these progress reports to come.

Just remember that God loves you no matter what body type you are or whether you love or hate your own body. God loves you regardless of whether you fit the traditional mold of what’s considered beautiful or not. He made you just like you are and think’s you’re to die for.

I just wanted to throw that out there.