My plans for Lent

February 17, 2010 | 15 comments

The main point of this post is just to make this announcement:

I will only be doing 7 Quick Takes Friday posts during Lent. I’ll resume regular posting after Easter (April 4).

If you have any interest in the backstory, here it is:

One lesson I learned earlier this year was the importance of discerning the difference between the life changes you want to make vs. the changes you feel called to make. I was reminded of that lesson around January 5th, when I had already dropped the ball on pretty much every New Year’s resolution I’d made. I was left scratching my head, wondering why this year was such an epic fail when I’d actually had a lot of success in the New Year’s resolutions department in the past few years. Then I realized: I’d made a list of what I wanted to do, and spent little to no time discerning what God wanted me to do.

Last week, I caught myself making that same mistake when I thought about Lent.

I kept thinking about what sacrifices I felt like I should make, or what things would be nice to do, all without putting so much as ten seconds of focused prayer into it. When I actually carved out some time for silence to try to discern what I was led to do during Lent, I had an entirely different vision of what the next 40 days should look like for me.

Interestingly, through prayer I discerned that I should sacrifice less than I’d been planning to. I was left with a much more calm resolution to give up a couple of small things rather than an anxious, overzealous drive to become St. Clare by Friday.

I’m planning to give up a food item, set limits on my recreational internet use time, and increase my prayer time. I’ll finish the fantastic Severe Mercy soon and bought Peter Kreeft’s Jesus-Shock on a whim as my main Lenten reading.

The other thing I feel “called” to do (to use the term loosely) is to put some serious thought, prayer and effort into the book. I hesitate to say that because I don’t want it to sound like a “GOD TOLD ME TO WRITE THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT’S SOOOOOO IMPORTANT” kind of statement. I just have a feeling that this Lent is going to be a time of great inspiration in that department, and I think I should take a little time to give it some intense focus.

That means, as you can guess from the beginning of the post, that I’ll need to spend less time doing other things I love, like blogging. I will still do Quick Takes since those posts are so fun and easy to write, but I won’t be writing regular posts. It’s a little painful since I enjoy writing posts so much, but I think it’s the right thing to do.

Blessed Ash Wednesday!


  1. That Married Couple

    We'll miss you, but blessings to you, too!

  2. Anne Marie

    God bless your Lenten journey.

    May we all grow closer to Jesus these 40 days.

  3. Therese Z

    "St. Clare by Friday" – might make a good chapter title for the book….

  4. Laurie

    Thank you. This hit the spot.

  5. BusyNothings

    I love A Severe Mercy. I'm also planning to limit my internet usage. Off to a poor start!

  6. MemeGRL

    Thank you for this. I'm glad you are finding Severe Mercy (book and spirit!) as amazing as I did. I read it in college, in my 20s, and in my 30s and learned so much from it each time.
    And I too was feeling like the "answer" I kept getting when I thought about Lent was not "do less" but "refine and solidify the current course." Which of course sets off my "I'm not doing enough!" meters but sometimes keeping on is the better part of valor.
    See you Fridays!

  7. :-)

    Ironically enough, I was called to do just the opposite as far as blogging is concerned. Over at A Smile of a Thousand Secrets I was called to use my blog strictly for Christ this Lenten season and since my Penance this season is daily mass, I will be breaking down parts of the Mass each day and talking about it!! I hope to get as many comments as possible and hopefully create some dialogue and answer questions!! I pray your Lenten sacrifice daily brings you closer to Christ!! Blessings! You're awesome!!

  8. Karen

    I ordered Jesus Shock on a whim, too! I'd been looking at it for a month or so, and something moved me to pull the trigger on it yesterday. I love Kreeft; I have high hopes for this one.

  9. catherine

    I pray that your time during Lent is fruitful and blessed. Your writing is a continual blessing in my life, and I thank you for that. You have wisdom beyond your years.
    I will look forward to your Friday posts!

  10. Lisa V.

    Will miss you! I know your lent time will be fruitful and blessed. Can't wait to hear all about it.

  11. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

    I wasn't sure whether to email or comment, but I'll go this way. I'm a fairly new regular reader, and I'm eagerly watching your book writing process, hoping to be doing the same someday! 😉

    I have been compiling a list of Catholic blogging mamas on email, and the first two brainstorms I coordinated were a linky for Lenten posts (I think we learn so much and are often challenged by hearing what others are doing for Lent) and one for meatless meals. It would be a blessing if you'd like to include this post in the Lenten linky, which I'll leave open a few more days. Also, dash me an email if you're willing to be on the Catholic mamas email list (I won't overwhelm your bankrupt inbox, promise!).

    May God and Mary be with you this Lent,

    Lenten link-up:
    Meatless meals:

  12. Genny

    I think this is wonderful, Jennifer. I wish you the best on everything. I have a period of less posting or maybe running re-runs on my blog coming up as well; my middle grade manuscript is in the hands of my writing critique group and I'll be working on a last round of edits after I get their feedback.

    Have a blessed time away. I'll still look forward to your 7 Quick Takes, as I love participating in that.


  13. Miłość

    Bravo! I too am trying to use the computer less this Lent (I gave up facebook… it's very hard for me) and it was all inspired by that comptuer fast you did. I'm trying to only use my computer for schoolwork and things that will help me grow in God 🙂 I feel loads better already, and I got so much done yesterday (also there's the fact that I was fasting, so I didn't have to make dinner or anything that would consume time).

    Anyway, God Bless, and thanks for being so inpirational!! :)t

  14. jay

    I happened to come across an important chaplet for these days and thought it wise to share it with all,and those whose blogs I could find on the net. The link is given,and so kindly spare a moment and check it out.

    by jay williams.

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