I made my family chicken soup on Ash Wednesday. I don’t know what I was thinking – except that it was freezing cold outside and homemade soup sounded like a good idea. But it was Ash Wednesday. The very first day of Lent and I had already screwed up. I typically don’t pay much attention to the requirement to abstain from meat because I don’t eat meat anyway. But I do cook it for my family. #LentenFail
So what’s a mother to do when she’s gotten off to such an imperfect start? As W.C. Fields says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
I admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had a “perfect Lent” – one in which I stuck to my promise of sacrifice or prayer without faltering. In fact, I shared my story with Inc. magazine this week when they profiled three entrepreneurs who use Lent to form highly effective habits. (By the way…Can you believe a popular mainstream business publication is writing about Lent? I’m honored God has used me to evangelize in this way!) But anyway, if you read closely, you’ll see me confess that I didn’t quite make it through 40 days of my Lenten practice last year. So I’m convicted to making it go better this year! Although, I’ve come to realize it will never be a perfect process.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows we make mistakes. That’s why he sent his beloved son to save us from our sins. The only thing God expects is that when we fail, we try again. So here I am…trying again.
If you’ve “given up” on Lent, I want to encourage you to try again with me. Don’t beat yourself up about whatever it is that you consider your failure. Just open your heart and ask the Lord to guide you in selecting a sacrifice or habit you can develop this Lent. It doesn’t have to be anything remarkable – just something that will help you live more like Christ.
If you need some inspiration, try one of these seven unusual ideas to shake things up for Lent.
Or, if you want to join me in journaling your way through Lent, start with these Christian journal writing prompts.
And if you want me to guide you step-by-step through a six-week journal writing experience that will deepen your relationship with God, try the Write to Christ program. It will change the way you pray and give you the tools you need to develop a spiritual journal writing practice you can use all year long.
Most importantly, when you stumble along your Lenten journey, please know that I’m right there with you. Together, we’ll offer up our #LentenFail and start over again. Sound like a plan?
© Theresa Ceniccola, International Christian Mompreneur Network, 2015
Image Source: Theresa Ceniccola. All rights reserved.