One of the things I have greatly benefited from over the past few years is attempting to observe the Christian season of Lent. I don’t recommend it for everyone, but for me, it’s a great time for spiritual renewal, self-examination, intentionality and holy experimentation.
So here is my plan for the next 40-ish days.
1) Pray the hours. In other words, I am trying (for the first time) “fixed-hours prayer”. This means three times per day: morning, midday and vespers. To do this I am using Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours, and splitting my prayer list between the three times. Prayer has been rather difficult lately, and I am hoping that learning to pray in this new way can breathe some life into me.
2) Eat strict paleo. Since our paleo experiment about a year ago, we have tried to eat a basic paleo diet, but we definitely “cheat” more often than we should. So we are returning to strict paleo for the Lenten Season, which means giving up processed food, refined sugar and grains, and dairy. We can eat vegetables, lean meats, fruits, seeds and nuts. Still undecided about whether we will eat paleo on Sunday however (Sunday is a feast day, not a fast day, but is Paleo really a fast? hmmmm…)
That’s it for me, although there are some other things we are doing through our ministry!
If you are looking for ways to build intentionality into this season, I’d recommend Rachel Held Evans’ excellent post “40 ideas for Lent”.