Starting My Season of Lent

Photo by Stuart Miles

Today is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent. While not practiced in the denomination I belong to, I am going to participate in Lent this year. I’ve read a bit about Lent and what it means and I think it is a wonderful tradition among the people who practice it.

Lent is a period of time set aside for reflection on Jesus Christ, his life, death, burial, and resurrection. It is a time of fasting, repentance, moderation, and self-denial. As Christians, we are to focus on our Savior daily, but I like the idea of a special period of time where the Church worldwide is participating together in repentance and reflection on Jesus. It makes me feel a part of something big and important.

So after much thought and prayer, I’ve decided to give up something that will be extremely difficult for me. 

I am going to give up NEGATIVITY.

Right, you heard me. You thought I was going to say chocolate or TV or Facebook or Diet Dr. Pepper. Nope. While all of those things would be difficult for me, I have decided to do something that would really focus inward and hopefully transform my thought processes.

I’ve slipped into negativity in all areas of my life…work, home, play…I have become Debbie Downer. And I don’t even like me much of the time anymore. I’m sure those around me have struggled with my negativity as well. (I love you, John, for putting up with me.)

So today I embark on my season of Lent. I am giving up all forms of negativity…

  • Gossip
  • Complaining
  • Sarcasm (my particular favorite)
  • Whining
  • Glass half-empty thinking
  • ___________ ????
I won’t be perfect at it, but I am going to try. 
If you participate in Lent, what are you giving up? If you don’t, what would you give up if you did?

4 responses to “Starting My Season of Lent”

  1. What you are giving up is commendable. Perhaps to help, keep a small notebook for your 40 days (or beyond! 🙂 ). Each day, write down something, anything that was good that happened that day. (e.g. saw crocus peeping through the snow, a sign that this long winter will finally be over). On days where you slip back to negative thoughts, you can look back through your notebook and see all the good, positive things that helped your day. I started a good things journal at the beginning of the year to focus on the good and not the negative, too. Best wishes for your journey


  2. Oh CJ, that is a brilliant idea! Thank you! I am about to start The Documented Life Project ( and there is a lined page for each week with space for what you are suggesting! I think it is a fabulous idea!!!!


  3. Glad you like the idea. Not mine, but I got it from a colleague. I was coming back to add Be kind to yourself.


  4. Sherrinda, you picked a doozy of a commitment to give up for Lent! My prayers are with you through the whole season! Lent is a special time for me. Lutherans took “giving it up for Lent” very seriously back in the day : ) I remember one year our Pastor threw a wrench in the whole season by suggesting we “take on” an activity instead of giving something up. Maybe concentrate on helping people, praying for people.

    Even changing our state of minds. I love your commitment to tossing out the negative and I'll pray you into the POSITIVE : )


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