today is Ash Wednesday. today marks day one of many people “giving up” something for the next 40 days and a lot of people will also be heading to a Wednesday night service to highlight this day. i have gone back and forth with this day – one year i tried to give up soda and another year i did chocolate. i made it 40 days just fine but the problem was i don’t even like soda or chocolate so it was TOO easy for me. i also went to an Ash Wednesday service in college once but it is not something i ever celebrated growing up. this year, Naptime Diaries came out with their lent journal and i was intrigued. i received it last week and started right away (because it is an undated journal and i was way too excited!) i am loving it and i am so blessed by this journey! i encouraged you to grab the Naptime Diaries lent journal and spend 40 days with Jesus 🙂
today i want to start the conversation! the community, the accountability, and the joy! some of you are starting your journal today, some of you are still waiting on yours to arrive, some of you have already started your 40 days, and some of you do not own the journal. no matter which one you are, i want to invite you to link up with your first thoughts, dreams, hopes, and goals for these next forty days! the Wednesday after Easter (April 23rd) we will link up again to talk about how the 40 days went! this link up will be open for TWO weeks! so create your post and link-up when you get your journal! I AM EXCITED!!
“As you read these passages, our prayer is that you’d search for the real origin of hope. What happens when our hope is in something fleeting? What are we really hoping in? Can we believe that we will not always be where we are today, in the same circumstances? Hope is daring and trusting, but we know that when it’s in the right thing we will not be let down ” – the Naptime Diaries journal
the first ten days are on hope. i am already finished with those 10 days and starting to move into the ten days on follow. but i enjoyed waking up and spending the last days digging into scripture and reflecting on the hope we have. in fact, it has been key with getting me up in the morning early enough to spend time in the word – i know what i am hoping in and it is REAL. He is WORTH IT!
so what do i hope in? do i hope in Him or am i placing my hope into earthly things? maybe comfort, financial stability, certain circumstances. i know that sometimes i find myself investing my hope in earthy and fleeting things – like one day we will finish the basement and everything will be perfect OR when we have more money (everything will be perfect), new chairs (everything will be perfect), when i have my dream job (everything will be perfect, or even sometimes when we have a family of our own (everything will be perfect). but reality is NOTHING will be perfect on this side of Heaven. but our hope is in Him who has won the battles of this world. in Him we are able to find joy even in imperfect circumstances.
my prayer is that you dig into our HOPE these next 10 days. i pray that you will see the Lord in a new way and have a renewed hope that is in things to come. i pray that you will deal with that thing that is holding you back from truly believing and placing your hope in the Lord – don’t let satan lie to you any longer. i am looking forward to hearing your heart!