Your 40 Day Guide to Lent (+50 Thing to Give Up for Lent That Aren’t Chocolate)

Lent is full of mystery and confusion. We wonder how and we wonder why and often, spend days fumbling through wondering if we’re doing it right. But Lent doesn’t have to be complicated. I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by your faith. That’s why I designed a workbook to simplify your Lent by helping you determine how to practically live out your faith and by providing daily accountability.  Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. See my sidebar for my full disclosure.  40 Days to the Cross is a Lenten workbook designed to provide guidance and accountability on your journey to the foot of the Cross through the 40 days of Lent. If you’re ready to dig deeper into your faith this Lent, join me this season by utilizing this workbook to embrace the practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as the Church has for generations. If you’re ready to take your faith to the next level, 40 Days to the Cross is for you.  Looking for the physical copy of 40 Days to the Cross? You can find it here on Amazon! One of the common practices of Lent is fasting. Fasting is seen in a variety of forms but is an important part of the Christian life that is often neglected. It can be overwhelming to think of what to fast from, or give up, for Lent.  Here are 50 things (besides chocolate) to give up for Lent and 10 focus on seeing this Lenten season: Note: Please talk with your doctor before beginning any fasting program. Food Meat Coffee Bread Animal Products (Meat, Dairy, Honey, etc.) Alcohol  Deserts Soda Pasta Food You Didn’t Cook (i.e. Fast Food) Butter Habits Throwing Away Leftovers  Leaving Things Untidy Thinking of Your Needs First Unwholesome Speech Eating More Than You Need Shopping for Wants, Not Needs Embracing the Path of Least Resistance  Seeking Instant Gratification Constantly Turning on Background Noise Snacking Between Meals Mindsets Greed Selfishness Gluttony Sloth Anger Lust Jealousy  Superiority Unforgiveness Pride Things (To Give Up or Donate) Clothes You No Longer Wear (Someone Else Can Use Them) Single-Use Plastic Books Everything in Your “Someday I Might Need It” Closet Online Shopping Excessive Amounts of Shoes, T-Shirts, etc.  Accessories You Haven’t Worn Recently Old Electronics Promotional Items Someone Gave You for Free but You Never Use One Item for Each of the 40 Days of Lent  Luxuries…

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10 Principles for the Modern Proverbs 31 Woman to Apply to Her Work

That pesky Proverbs 31 woman is back at it again. We read about her—her industry, family, and fear of the Lord— and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. How do we even begin to live like a modern Proverbs 31 woman?  Honestly? Reading through Proverbs 31can be quite intimidating. Especially when we factor in cultural difference and start talking about purple linen and keeping your hand to the distaff.  But Proverbs 31 is mainstream for a reason. There is so much wisdom about Christian life that can be seen if we slow down, look past the cultural principles to the heart of the message and apply the wisdom to our own lives. Specifically, there is a lot about how Christian women should work and relate to the world. Let’s look at Proverbs 31, not as a list of areas we’re falling short, but as a list of guidelines that we can apply to whatever the Lord has called us to do with our lives.  Here are 10 principles from Proverbs 31 Christian women should apply to their work:  1. Work Hard and Don’t Resent It  She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. – Proverbs 31:13, ESV Don’t resent the work God has given you to do, seek after it and embrace it. The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t shy away from work or see it as a curse but recognize it is part of the life-giving purpose God has created her to fulfill. Instead of seeing our work as simply a burden to check off, let’s embrace our ability to mirror God as He worked in the 6 days He created the world. While our work may be harder because of the Fall, it is still beautiful and life-giving. We should embrace it as such.  2. Get to Work, Don’t Let it Get to You She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. – Proverbs 31:15, ESV Wake up early. (I’m mostly writing to myself here.) When you rise early, you have an opportunity to get ahead of the day and get on top of your work before it gets on top of you. Rise (earlier than you need to) and make sure that everything needed for the day is prepared. Take time to prepare your heart by spending time in prayer and Scripture. Look over your planner or to-do list and…

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5 (More) Remarkable Women of the Bible Who Prayed

The Women of the Old Testament have been inspiring me greatly. Reading the stories of their faith and God’s faithfulness fills my heart with hope in the goodness of the One who heard each word they offered up to Him.  God has given us many women in the Bible to look to as examples of great faith in the midst of a slew of situations. Some of their circumstances are easily identifiable as struggles I also face. Others require such dramatic faith that I can only imagine the supernatural grace it took to respond with the faith that women of the Bible displayed.  Last week, I shared with you 5 prayers from incredible women in the Old Testament, this week, I want to share with you from women who saw the fulfillment of the long-awaited Messiah. Some spent years praying to see God’s goodness, some had bold faith that Jesus was exactly who He said He was. All of these women give us encouragement that we should follow in our Christian life.  Here are 5 Prayers from women of the Bible to inspire your faith: 1. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Elizabeth had spent years carrying the shame of infertility. In her culture, those around her saw infertility as an ignominy, an indicator of a hidden sin or disfavor in God’s eyes. But Elizabeth and her husband carried on faithfully in the service of the Lord and saw His blessing in their old age. They conceived a son, years after children seemed like an impossibility, and gave birth to the prophesied one who would prepare the people for the arrival of the Messiah.  After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,“Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” – Luke 1: 24-25, ESV When Elizabeth became pregnant, she hid herself, overwhelmed with God’s goodness towards her. She didn’t need a parade of people exclaiming over her miracle, it was simply enough to know that her God saw her. May we, like Elizabeth, recognize God’s goodness and seek His recognition above our own. 2. Mary, Mother of Christ Mary, the young virgin who found herself pregnant with the Son of God, was given reason for both joy and trepidation. But Mary did not fear what people would do, because…

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On The Anniversary of Roe v Wade

Today is the 46th anniversary of Roe v Wade. The anniversary of Roe v Wade has always been a sad day but in recent years, it’s been an even more bitter pill to swallow. For forty-six years, the unalienable rights of the unborn to live their lives have been trampled under the guise of progress. But there is nothing progressive about the injustices that today brings to the forefront of my mind. The injustice of life being torn away from the innocent before they even breathe their first breath by medical professionals, by their own parents, by people who should be protecting them. The injustice of a society that makes a woman feel like the loss of her child is the only way she can move forward. The injustice of a world where life is discarded by some and is the only prayer of others. There is something heartbreaking about a society that does not protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. There is a breakdown when those who should instinctively protect, those who have sworn to do no harm, harm the most innocent among us. As Christians, we believe that God created each one of us with purpose and dignity. The first person to recognize Jesus was John the Baptist, in utero. Before he was born, before he could form words to respond in praise, John leapt for joy in his mother’s womb. Unborn children are not cells, are not inconsequential lives, they are lives that matter deeply to our God. Injustice carried out against them should shake us to our core. There is also something deeply disturbing about a society that would force a woman into a situation where her only position was to take the life of her child. Especially as believers, we should be working not only to protect life, but to come alongside those who are in difficult situations as the hands and feet of Christ. In Genesis, Tamar found herself pregnant and alone. She was widowed and victimized by her father-in-law, Judah. The people of the town called for her execution when they discovered she was pregnant. But, when God convicted Judah of his sin, Tamar was spared. And not just spared, but God gave her a place of dignity as a direct ancestor of Christ. As believers, we should be willing to overlook what we may not understand to come alongside…

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5 Prayers Incredible Women of the Old Testament Prayed

Praying the prayers of those who have gone before us can be an amazing way to strengthen our own prayer lives. As we look to the great heroes of the faith, it is easy to feel intimidated by their displays of faith. Esther going before the king despite the threat of death, Mary saying yes and trusting in God to do the impossible, the women who came after Jesus, begging Him for miracles and believe in His power, they all stand apart as larger than life example of obedience to God. Examples that we could never possibly live up to.  But looking at their prayers reignites my faith and fills me with hope. The prayers of these incredible women of the Old Testament give us insight into their spiritual lives and demonstrate the hope that they carried with them.  Closely examining their prayers, asking God to give me faith to follow in their footsteps, and taking their words and praying them myself strengthens my own walk with the Lord and makes the examples He’s given me seem a little more attainable.  These 5 women of the Old Testament all prayed prayers that we should carefully study and implement in our own lives.  1. Miriam, Sister of Moses: Miriam, the little girl who followed her infant brother Moses as he journeyed down the Nile, grew to be a woman of remarkable faith.  For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in he midst of the sea. Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of  Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. And Miriam sang to them:      “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.” -Exodus 15:19-21 Miriam had been through many trials in her life. Born into slavery and being in the family that, while working to free God’s people from said slavery caused them to suffer more for a short time was no doubt a heavy load to carry. But instead of lamenting over the trials, she sought out the areas of joy. When God destroyed their oppressors with the Red Sea but allowed them to walk on dry…

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