Restart Your 2019

Some of us kick started our year out on the right foot, but some of us on the other hand… not so much. We had good intentions going into the new year, but we could honestly just use a fresh start already!

Some of you may even feel like this guy (PS: literally makes me laugh so much): https://www.facebook.com/cohmedy/videos/461390491063959/?t=4

Well, thank goodness for March because it is going to be a life-saver for us all! It just so happens to be one of the best times of the year for personal growth: Lent.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was little and Lent rolled around, my parents always asked me, “What are you going to give up this year?” My response would tend to be something along the lines of: chocolate, pop, TV, video games or vegetables - oh wait, I don’t think that last one ever counted. Now, as a college student, I’m kind of leaning toward this...

Just kidding! But it wasn’t until maybe half way through senior year that my parents started presenting Lent to me as a growth opportunity. My initial reaction was, “I’m going to finally be over 5 feet tall?!” No such luck. What it ended up meaning, however, was actually even better; growth as a person, especially in my faith.

I say growth as a person in a general way because you don’t have to follow a religion to make yourself a better person. Lent is a good time to set goals almost like a new year’s resolution, but starting in March instead!

This renewed focus can be crucial because we have an opportunity to reflect on our lives and do something to enhance it. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I’ll do it next week” or “I’ll just wait for a good time.” Next week never comes and, as we should all know by now, there’s never a “good time” for anything really - except now!

 

Lent began Wednesday, March 6th, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start your weekend off right with setting goals for your growth this Lenten season! Here are some different ideas to make yourself the best you can be or grow in your faith:

 

1) Healthy Living

Instead of giving up your favorite food, why not just eat healthier in general? And as the cherry on top, see if you can make it to the gym here and there. Once you get into the swing of things, it won’t seem so bad, especially if it becomes part of your daily routine. These will be better chances at making a difference in your life that may even be lasting post-Easter!

life running GIF by SLOTHILDA

 

2) Social Media Cleanse

Setting your phone aside while you hang out with friends or deleting all (or a few) of your social media apps can do wonders for you. It honestly causes me more stress than it relieves because you always feel like people are wanting to get in contact with you or that you are missing out on something somewhere. Even if it’s just a couple days a week, set those mini goals and try to make some sort of change in the direction you are hoping. It makes it so that you have to be present in the moments surrounding you instead of worrying about what’s going on in the virtual world.

Curb Your Enthusiasm season 7 hbo ocean oh no GIF

3) Radiate Positivity

You could make your goal to look on the bright side and treat everyone with kindness. Spreading joy and happiness can make such a difference. Even forcing yourself to smile for 10 seconds can make your day better! If you’re having a good day, you can help to rub that off on others around you, too :)

happy amy poehler GIF by Disney Pixar

 

4) Daily Time with Scripture

This one sounds so easy, but I manage to never make time for it and it’s going to be my big thing on my Lent checklist. I am always wanting God to give me help and guidance and one day someone said something to me that really hit home. They said, “How can you expect God to help you if you aren’t giving Him the chance to?” This made me realize that every time I do read His word, I find a way to apply it to my life and it makes me feel better. I always leave bible study feeling re-energized and ready to take on the week!

Note: Bridge Bible Study meets Tuesday nights from 8:30-9:30 pm in the Chapel gathering space. 10/10 would recommend!

5) Daily Prayer

Whether it is for you or someone else, daily prayer is good for the soul. It is also good to say quick prayers throughout the day just for little things you are thankful for. Think about it this way - what if you only had what you thanked God for? What would you be left with? How does that make you feel?

Note: Something you can think about attending is the Antioch retreat for the Spring semester. This will take place the weekend of April 5th. Details to sign up will be out soon and can be found in your emails from Fr. Thom or on the table in the Chapel gathering space!

6) Bee Good to Yourself

    My big emphasis is that Lent doesn’t have to be about giving something up. It can definitely be about making more time for yourself. The big man upstairs has to come first, but prioritizing yourself every once in a while doesn’t hurt. He wants us to spend time relaxing, reading a good book, taking a nap, doing a face mask or watching a movie with friends. Whatever sounds appealing to you, open up a little space in your schedule and just do it!

happy kick back GIF by The Secret Life Of Pets

 

Also, if you’re interested in a bit of light, but meaningful, reading, you can check out reflections on the stations of the cross done by our very own Ambrose students here!

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6