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10 Ideas for a Lenten Fast | Not Quite Amish

10 Ideas for a Lenten Fast

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The party in N’Awlins starts in NINE days! Who is going??? Maybe you aren’t making the trip to the wild and crazy shindig, but you could have your very own Fat Tuesday, February 12th, events planned. My mom always made a huge pancake breakfast for dinner on Fat Tuesday. It is one of my most beloved traditions growing up.

Do you know that the reason for “the party” or the binging on food and using up all the fat and sugar in the house comes from an ancient practice of clearing the pantry for a forty-day observance of Lent? Lent is the season when Christians focus on simple living and prayer to deepen their relationships with God. For forty days, except Sundays (which are always a day of celebration), Christians often do special things to focus their thoughts to God. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13th, this year, with a service including the imposition of ashes made from burning the palm branches left from Palm Sunday last year. The ashes are meant to help us recognize our mortality (dust to dust, ashes to ashes) and recognize our life as a gift from God.

The season of Lent begins with the story of John the Baptist meeting Jesus at the river and the voice of God declaring Jesus his beloved son. Afterwards, Jesus went into the desert for forty days where he fasted and prayed, was tempted by Satan, and grew ready to begin his ministry. We emulate this time with God during Lent, finding ways to return our focus and strengthen our ministry and service. Lent is a time to repent—to “turn around and walk the other way,” which is what repent means. Christians have many ways to choose to help them concentrate their vision. Some fast, start a journal, set a time for intentional prayer. Growing up I always gave something up (usually frozen yogurt) and took something new on. Whatever you do, don’t walk around mourning and droopy, announcing to the world that you “gave up xyz” and are therefore suffering untold pain. Offer your sacrifice with joy and let it grow in you with praise.

A few ideas for your Lenten fast could be:
1. Fast from your absolute favorite food.
2. Fast from your beloved Starbucks drink.
3. Fast from your time on facebook.
4. Fast from your favorite TV show.
5. Fast from spending money on any “extras”.

Ideas of things you could take on during Lent:
1. Send a note of encouragement to someone every morning. It could be an email, tweet, or text.
2. Read one Psalm every day.
3. Choose to pay it forward once a week. Buy a strangers meal, drink, or gasoline.
4. Journal your morning thoughts every day in Lent.
5. Turn off your radio or TV in the car and have conversation or pray.

I would love to hear your ideas! What ideas for fasting or taking something new on during Lent can you offer?

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Carey Bailey (29 Posts)

Carey Bailey‘s husband describes her as a woman who loves to dance around the living room in her pj’s, loves Blue Bell Pralines and Cream ice cream, loves her kids, and loves Jesus! This fun-loving mother of two also has a passion for helping fellow women discover ways to create a powerful relationship with Christ. She is the author of Cravings, an innovative 40 day devotional for busy moms that allows them to draw closer to the Lord in the midst of busyness. And the bonus is that is comes with a zero calorie cupcake.


Comments

  1. I’ve never participated in Lent before, but now I kind of want to!

  2. I gave up candy as a kid every year. But I really like the switch to taking something on. It’s a better practice for me, more positive. I liked your pay it forward suggestions. I think that’s what I’ll do this year. Thank you for the reminder it’s time to slow down and prepare.

  3. I finally found it! I knew I read this post last week, but then couldn’t remember where I read it! Thanks for explaining lent this way and reminding us it’s about adding Him to our lives and not what we are having to subtract 🙂

  4. Melissa I. says:

    In the past I’ve usually given up chocolate for Lent which as a chocolate lover, it was tough. This year during the 40 day period of Lent I’ve chosen to run 40 miles. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been able to call myself a “runner” but having wanted to get back into running I thought that running 40 miles “for Jesus” was the very least I could do for Him following all He’s done for me. I’m shy of nine miles in completing my goal and we are 18 days away from Easter.

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