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Lent is a time of renewal. Used to I would focus on what I was ‘giving up’, how difficult of a challenge and what result could I receive from it on the flip side of Easter. Over the past few years, though, I realized it isn’t so much about ‘giving up’ but embracing, ‘holding on to’ what matters most – my relationship with God.

IMG_8312I continue to fast from something I feel might bring about a weakness within, for instance, this year I’m going without alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic, I don’t need it to survive  a day and I rarely drink during the week but it has become somewhat of a main staple for our social life. Neal and I both decided to do this together and it’ll be interesting to see what difference it’ll make in what we choose to do, etc.

More importantly what I am embracing this Lenten season is the theme for this year – Mercy. I’m holding onto every day mercies – making an effort to recognize how I’ve been given mercy and who I can offer it to.

One of my daily devotionals for Lent is by Pope Francis “Living Lent with Mercy”, yesterday on Ash Wednesday, he encouraged:

The season of Lent during this Jubilee year should also be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy.

Misericordia Vultus, N. 17

Be intentional. That is the message God continues to give me. Be intentional about being with me. Listen to me. Make time for me. No excuses.

I pray you have a blessed Lenten experience – what is God asking of you this Lent season?