Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water…my soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.  
Psalm 63:1,8 (NKJV)

Like most holidays and seasons, the Lenten season is another one that quickly caught me off guard.  Did the rest of you know that today is Ash Wednesday,  marking the beginning of Lent?  For some who might not know, Lent is a forty day period in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter.  Often marked by prayer, fasting, and reflecting this time is a way to prepare our hearts for the Easter and the Resurrection of Christ. 

Many people choose to give something up, and use the time when they think about it, crave it, long for it, or even suffer from withdraw to turn their heart towards Christ.

I’ve also seen people elect to incorporate something into their days that draws their heart closer to the Lord.  For me, I’ve found this approach to prepare my heart more appropriately.  It intentionally draws my heart to the Lord, instead of searching for the spiritual meaning from withholding something like sweets (although I’m sure it’s there, but I found myself using that as a way to work on my bathing suit body come spring…I know, I’m horrible).   

Today I’m reminded of two years ago when we started this blog It began as a forty day Lenten challenge to pray each day for a heart that deepens in my love and desire for the Lord day after day.  It’s evolved through the two years, and even changed names and locations, but in some ways  I feel like we’re right back where we started.

In keeping with my desire to keep things simple, I’m longing to get back to that place.

This morning I read an excerpt from Celtic Daily Prayer that truly resonated with my heart:

“Why is there so little anxiety to get time to pray?

It is not in society–even Christian society–that the soul grows most rapidly and vigorously.  In one single quiet hour of prayer it will often make more progress than in days of company with others.  It is in the desert that dew falls freshest and the air is purest.  So with the soul.  It is when none but God is nigh; when His presence alone, like the desert air in which there is mingled no noxious breath of man, surrounds and pervades the soul; it is then that they eye gets the clearest, simplest view of eternal certainties; it is then that the soul gathers in wondrous refreshment and power and energy.  

  And so it is also in this way that we become truly useful to others.  It is when coming out of fresh communication with God that we go forth to do His work successfully.” 

                                                  Horatius Bonar, Words to Winners of Souls

After reading that, my soul was left craving for more of God’s presence.  I so desire to allot a daily time where the two of us commune together and God can meet me in a quiet and tangible way.  To carve out time for private encounters, where He refreshes my soul, reveals more of Himself to me, and draws my hearts closer to Him.  Just like quality time with a spouse or significant other, it is in this intentional time that our love for Him continues to deepen.  

If you resonate with this as well, I’d love for you to join me.  Let’s use these forty days to reflect on God’s incredible love for us, Christ’s humbling and unfathomable sacrifice, His mercies that are new each day, and the Glory that encompasses Christ’s resurrection.

And throughout this time, may we resolve to meet God in the secret, quiet places (even if it’s just ten minutes a day) and pray for our hearts to be awakened to a deeper love for our God.  

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Mark 1:35 (NIV)

PS:  I’m also giving up celebrity gossip websites, because I’m unhealthily addicted (so embarrassing to publicly admit).  But that doesn’t include Bachelor blogs, because there’s only ten days left until we know who Jake will choose to fly on the “wings of love” for all eternity and whose dreams of marrying an aviator will be shattered forever…that’s some quality reality TV folks!

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