So…Sunday was Easter. I’m sure it was hard to miss the bunnies, flowers, candy and pastel in virtually every store you entered, so you probably already knew that.
But, I told you about my Lent fast and I’ve been reflecting on what I might have learned or otherwise gained spiritually and in daily disciplines in trying to do that coupled with the 7 challenge. If you’d like to read my original Lent post, you can do so here.
Lent for me this year was especially tough. Keeping in mind several different areas of “fasting”, it meant that I was constantly cognizant of the many areas in which I could fail, but also the areas in which I was in constant dependence of the Lord and in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice. Let me recap and share that the whole exercise was based on the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker and I took the seven different areas she describes in her book, chose one thing from each area, and then fasted from it or otherwise modified it to fit my purpose.
Food: My fast was from desserts. I was not completely successful and had a couple excused “cheats” if you will. This was an area that I definitely tried to not be too legalistic about. In the past I might have been reading labels, not allowed myself sweet cereal, etc., but I wanted it to be more about remembering the sacrifice of Christ even if I did indulge.
Clothing: I didn’t wear makeup. This was SUCH a challenge for me…at first. In the beginning I felt so terribly self conscious but within a couple weeks, I decided I didn’t care as much. The hard part of this fast was that it was hard to remember daily why I wasn’t wearing makeup instead of just rejoicing at the fact that my morning routine was significantly shortened.
Possessions: Didn’t actually get these donations in on time. I did go through my house however as I was doing our spring cleaning and I’m glad to say that I did get a nice little pile going. Part of the not getting it in on time has to do with how far away Goodwill is…not a good excuse, I know.
Media: I was allowed limited quantities of social media throughout Lent, which I did a really good job of maintaining for the first two thirds or so of the Lent season. The last third I failed miserably on primarily because of being sick.
Waste: YES! I feel like we did have a reduced amount of waste from our house because I was (and probably in the long term will adopt this) good about meal planning and using every last bit of leftovers. It made for some crazy food combinations, but our family endured for the sake of limiting our waste.
Spending: Another area where I was able to maintain my commitment for a majority of the time, however failed in a couple areas: mainly when we wanted to celebrate various things that happened during the fast.
Stress: I personally loved being able to meditate daily, and I did for a good portion of the fast, but towards the end, fell off the wagon. I think part of this had to do with me being so tired at the end of the day, I was falling asleep during my meditations (are they that good? Or was I just so tired?). So, by the end, I wasn’t even trying. I have however been using my meditation practice through all the false labor I’ve been having!
So, overall. I think I did ok. Not great. Really, I was only able to maintain two of these areas very strictly the entire time. And what does that really say other than maybe I bit off more than I could chew? Or maybe I should have taken one thing and completely stuck to it remaining absolutely committed? It was a good exercise though and as I think about it more, even in the areas that I wasn’t completely successful, I am glad that I attempted some sort of Lent fast. If anything, I’m more and more reminded of the immense love and grace that covers my inadequacies and failures, and that Jesus’ sacrifice is completely sufficient over my shortcomings.
Did you fast for Lent? How did your fast change your perspective or what did you learn?