Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lent Lessons

I've spent the past 40 days off of Facebook for personal use as my sacrifice for Lent.
Disclaimer: I totally used it for Tastefully Simple stuff and PWOC Bible study stuff.  God and I worked it out.  No biggie.

The idea was that I was giving up something that I rely on and waste a lot of time on to show God that I don't need it because He is all I need.  Because, really, do I need Facebook in my life?  Not really.  I mean, sure there are times where it's convenient to have, especially now that we've become a society where everything is shared, announced, and updated in milliseconds on the social network.  But by giving up Facebook and worshiping God by showing Him that He is more important than Facebook, He showed me a lot of things and opened a lot of new doors.

I spent the beginning of Lent hanging out with my sister and her fiance who came up to visit.  Instead of sitting on the couch on my phone/laptop checking Facebook, I actually interacted with Mindy and Clay and enjoyed all of our time together, present in the moment.  We cooked dinner together, had sister time, game night, and just truly enjoyed being together for the long weekend.  For the first time in a while, I actually felt like I was present in the moment instead of distracted by my phone.

I also got to spend a weekend with my beautiful sisters in Christ in Washington DC at the Global Prayer Gathering for the International Justice Mission.  I spent 3 days deep in God' presence as He opened my eyes and my heart to injustice going on all over the world.  From forced labor to sex slavery, so many of God's children are stuck in the dark, and it was incredible to be surrounded by 1200 other believers lifting up these mission workers and enslaved people together in His name.  God called me to get out of my comfort zone and showed me some areas of my life He's calling to, but that's for another blog post.  He also answered a long-standing prayer for more Godly women to build friendships with, which was amazing.

I had the opportunity to reunite with two of my absolute best friends from Ohio during this 40 days, and to just enjoy being together for the first time in almost 2 years!  We laughed, we reminisced, we ate junk food, and we enjoyed every minute of our time together.  It gave me a chance to show them around Drum and Syracuse, to introduce them to some of my Army family up here, and to finally share this chapter of my life with them.  I absolutely loved having them here, and was so sad when they had to leave, but it was such a blessing that God worked out that they could be up here for almost 5 whole days with me!

God also opened a new door in terms of a job for the summer.  I've been praying and very worried about what I would do when the school year ended and I couldn't sub anymore.  With graduation coming in August and my loans coming out of deferment, I knew I needed something and I just kept praying that God would provide.  Boy did He ever!  A friend in PWOC introduced me to one of her wonderful neighbors and her 4-year-old son.  She was in desperate need of full-time childcare for her son in their house, and after a 2-hour interview we realized that so many of our thoughts on children and development are on the same page.  I start at the end of this month spending Monday through Friday with this sweet little boy who just needs some boundaries and love, and God has truly come through more than I could have ever hoped in terms of providing for our finances. 

Lent also saw the end of another grad school semester, the completion (and passing) of my Master's thesis paper, and some more weight loss - woo hoo!

But the best part about Lent this year?   That I have developed a deeper and strengthened relationship with God.  As we're into Easter weekend at this point, the sacrifice and love that Christ showed to all of us has never been more apparent to me, and I'm so thankful for His grace and mercies, which I don't deserve but which are always enough!

So happy Easter to you and your family.  May you spend tomorrow surrounded with people you love, celebrating God's love however you see fit.  No matter what you do, though, don't forget to take a moment to sit in peace, surrounded by His presence, and thank Him for His undeserved but immeasurable love.

He is risen!

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