The first time that I ever implemented a Lenten discipline into my life was the year we got pregnant with Sweet One. Big Love and I decided to do The Book of Common Prayer's Morning Prayer together every morning. We were on a role and it really started to mean something. The only reason I didn't finish it was because I ended up on the other side of the continent caring for my elderly Grandfather who passed away while I was there.
The first time I heard of a Lenten discipline, despite being raised by a pastor, was during my second or third year of University. I attended a private University that at that time was a institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. I attended chapel services regularly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, as well as once in awhile on a Tuesday or Thursday right before supper. Quite honestly, the latter services always ended up going too long for me and I'd be sick from hunger each time so they were not a common occurrence for me. At some point in Lent the Chaplain told us his Lenten discipline that year was to walk to work every day and make sure that his path took him through the graveyard. He said that it gave him a time for reflection very different than other times in the day. Hearing his story about his walk has stayed with me for the past ten years. *
I believe that a Lenten Discipline is something that gives you time to reflect on your spirituality; developing a deeper understanding of God's presence in your daily life. It doesn't always have to be something that breaks you from addictions such as caffeine or chocolate, as those are some of the most common ones I've heard people mention. Giving up consumables is not the only option.
I do not remember the last time I went to church. Sweet One only wants to get to the front of the church and sit at the organ with her Daddy. I have struggled with my personal sense of spirituality since I moved to this town. I'm giving up sleep on a regular basis for Lent this year! Ha! I mean, I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant and will have this baby cut out of me in three weeks and a few days so my challenge is to do absolutely everything I can to keep myself together and be the best mom I can be. Stating my belief in what a Lenten Discipline is just my opinion and at this point it, unfortunately, is not an opinion that I put into practice.
*Hey T, were you there that day shadowing your Dad for "Take your kid to work day?" Or perhaps it was one of your older siblings.