Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent 2013. Husband and I are taking the Lenten journey by doing a modified Daniel fast, since we wanted to agree upon a fast to which we could remain committed. In all of the discussion about what was allowed and what wasn't, I nearly fell into the habit that most of us do- focusing more on what we are giving up than on what we are taking up.
In addition to this fast, I know there are quite a few things I need to take up. To start, I definitely need to take up early morning prayer (which in my house means 7am), daily reading and exegetical study of the Word (as a preacher, this should have already been happening consistently), and journaling daily (the overflow of which you no doubt will experience on this blog). While all this sounds deeply spiritual, there are some very tangible and everyday things I also need to take up. I need to take up reclaiming parts of my house from clutter, cooking and serving dinner BEFORE most normal people's bedtime, and thoughtfully looking at my schedule in advance so that I can prepare accordingly instead of running around every morning like a crazy woman. Those last few activities may not sound "spiritual" but believe me, they are. There's nothing like trying to get dressed, decide on dinner, walk the dog, blend Husband's smoothie and get him out the door all while searching for car keys, iPad, iPhone, and stilettos so that you can make it to a 10am meeting halfway on time to make you realize that you need God in the everyday things too. Oh yeah and being on time... also spiritual.
At the end of this year's Lenten journey, I pray that the combination of what I'm giving up and taking up results in me having more wisdom, direction, focus, and clarity for the direction of my life, my work, and my ministry. Yet I also hope that I am more thoughtful and intentional about the days, hours, and minutes of my life resulting in me being in less of a hurry all the time- literally and figuratively. What are you giving up/taking up this year for Lent?