Hey y'all! It's Christie here to talk about Lent coming up! Last year was the first time I really connected with this season. I always wanted to get more out of it, but never quite managed to live up to my half-baked expectations. Now I appreciate Lent with its similar sense of hopeful longing akin to Advent but with less of the commercial distractions. It’s such a beautiful time and similarly heart wrenching. The story of the Cross has so many layers and complexities -- how beautiful that we come to know Christ through the full range of human emotions. We cannot know Christ if we do not suffer. It’s integral to this story – to HIS story and ultimately ours as well. So let’s journey into the desert, my friends.
We’ve pulled together some awesome resources for y’all this Lenten season. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are people moving and shaking within the Church right now. Everywhere you look there are committed individuals and groups pumping out beautiful (and Catholic-specific) content to lead us towards Christ. The Church is very much alive. Let’s get started!
The Examen Journal, Creating to Love
Our sweet friend Mary created The Examen Journal this past year and it’s just so good. If you’re not familiar with the Examen, it’s a 500 year old prayer created by St. Ignatius to help you find God in all things -- great and small. By reflecting on each day, you have the opportunity to see how God was working in ways you may not have expected and it allows us to focus on Christ throughout the many distractions of the day. This journal is an approachable way to pick up this practice and a great way to spend more time with God during this Lenten season. (purchase HERE)
Above All Lenten Devotional, Take Up & Read
Led by Elizabeth Foss along with many other holy women, this beautiful devotional is a truly deep and meaningful way to enter into the Lenten season. Inside you will have opportunities to practice lectio divina and learn more about the history behind each bible passage. Oh, and I also happened to illustrate the cover and some of the inside pages. ;) Elizabeth reached out to me at the end of last year and asked if I would collaborate with them this year and I was excited to comply! Plus, they have generously offered to donate profits to Adore Ministries in my beloved hometown of Houston for ongoing hurricane relief after Harvey. (purchase HERE)
The Living Person / Lifeteen 1-1-1 Challenge
Sometimes with Lent we try to cram too many things in – removing every bad habit and adopting every good idea we’ve been meaning to integrate in our lives. Which ultimately leads to a lot of failed attempts. Jurell at The Living Person is great at simplifying and chunking personal spiritual goals. This year he is teaming up with Lifeteen for the 1-1-1 Challenge. It’s simple. Give up one habit, adopt one habit, and focus on one sin. So for me, I'm surrendering the snooze button in the morning, doing one specific thing for my health each day, and focusing on the sin of wasted time (and now this is public so I have to stick to it!). Read more about the challenge HERE and download your free printable challenge cards HERE.
Daily Email Lenten Reflections, uCatholic
Can it get much easier than this? Each day you will receive a Lenten reflection written by various leaders in the Catholic Church -- Ennie Hickman, Jenna Guizar, Leah Murphy and many more. All you have to do is get on their email list and you'll have some inspiration sent to your mailbox each morning -- and look out for the writer on March 3rd! (sign up HERE -- this one's also free, hooray!)
She Who Believed Lenten Journal, Blessed Is She
Once again, the ladies over at BIS have published another beautiful and quality product. Thoughtfully written by Laura Kelly Fanucci and lovingly designed by the ever-amazing Erica of Be A Heart, this study takes you through the lives of different women in Scripture. When I was in college I spent a semester learning about women of bible with my community group and I still think about it today. There are SO many unsung female heroes throughout the Old and New Testaments. Women that were holy, fearless, brave, sacrificial… the list goes on. So if you’re ready to learn about some radical women of the faith, then this will be your jam. (purchase HERE)
Sins Are Stones - John Mark McMillan
If you haven’t enjoyed moody and long car rides listening to John Mark McMillan then now is your time. The original writer of “How He Loves” (that was eventually made more popular by David Crowder), his consistently soulful music has made McMillan a true master and pioneer of creating unique Christian music that sidesteps many of the common features of its genre. His song, “Sins are Stones” was a big inspiration for the illustration I painted for Lent in our ESS journal. Simple and powerful, this song often stops me in my tracks when it comes up in my playlists. Although it's not an album specifically for Lent, I think it's a beautiful companion to the introspective nature of the season and a thoughtful meditation on the gravity of the cross and resurrection. Give it a listen (and the rest of the album while you're at it).
Every Sacred Sunday
Hey that’s us! Lent is a great opportunity to come back to the fountain of Scripture. If you want to slow down, be more intentional at Mass, and start the practice of putting pen to paper -- then the Every Sacred Sunday Mass journal is a great place for you to start. Even though we are a couple of months into the liturgical year there is still plenty of time left to use it -- and bonus point, we’re currently offering our lowest price yet PLUS free shipping for the rest of February (because we heart you)! So what are you waiting for? (purchase HERE)
This is just the tip of the (holy) iceberg in terms of how you can intentionally live out this Lenten season. It can feel overwhelming (and this was the short version of our list!) but really the overarching point is to sit at our Father's feet and press into His story.
Thanks for reading and we love you all dearly! xoxo