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Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross: Day 1

Suppressing Alleluia

by

Today's Text: Genesis 3:1-19, Romans 3:9-26, Job 42:1-6

I stood on the street corner this time last year, at the intersection of 5th and Main—head bowed, backpack on, tears streaming down my face.

Minutes earlier I was walking from my car to my favorite coffee shop with plans for a productive Wednesday morning, when I noticed two priests up ahead of me (a site which would have been normal in my Chicago days, but was a first for me in little Franklin, Tennessee). The priests were from the Episcopal church about a block away. One was holding a small bowl of ashes from the burnt palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday service, and the other held a small stack of papers in his hands. I greeted them and they greeted me, and they explained why they were there:

“We know not everyone can make it to an early morning Ash Wednesday service, so we’re meeting them here, in the middle of their lives, because we believe that’s exactly where Jesus meets us.”

They asked me if they could pray for me. Yes, please do.

One priest gave me one of his papers and I followed along with an Ash Wednesday prayer on the page as he prayed it over me:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wickedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

We exchanged a few quiet words, then with his thumb he solemnly smudged an ashen cross on my forehead, saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

I was stopped in my tracks. Tears flowed while traffic carried on in the background, and I stood in stillness with my God and wept for the sins that separated me from Christ.

At the age of 31, it was the first time I’d observed Ash Wednesday in this traditionally Roman Catholic way. What had once seemed ritualistic to this protestant girl became a vehicle the Holy Spirit used to bring me to repent and believe anew.

This is Lent. It’s a time to stop—wherever we’re going and whatever we’re coming from. Whether we’ve been anticipating this season since Christmas, or it’s stopping us cold on our way to where we think we need to be—here we are.

Lent is a pause button. It is a quiet unlike any other time of year. Lent is a season to close our eyes as the busy world buzzes around us, to consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity. We came from dust, and to dust we will return.

Have you ever heard the phrase “suppressing alleluia”? I hadn’t until just this year. (See? We get to learn new things, even as adults!) It was a practice introduced somewhere around the 7th or 8th century where congregants would sing the liturgical “Alleluia” loudly on the day before Ash Wednesday, then put the joyful word aside until Easter. The suppression of “Alleluia” was thought to increase the anticipation of Easter Sunday and the excitement of proclaiming Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It’s another one of those rituals, like ashen crosses on our foreheads, that feels like a tangible act of an inward posture.

Let’s be honest: rituals are attractive. We are people who love visuals and search for tangible acts that allow us to experience God. But what these rituals are not is measurable. Bearing ashes or avoiding words will not purge us of our sins. These acts alone will not draw us nearer to God. But oftentimes Church traditions—when we understand their origin and the intent behind them—can serve as tools to remind us of the very real reality of the Gospel in our lives.

Whether you carry the ashen cross on your forehead or not, know that Ash Wednesday is for remembering our sin and humanity—for reflecting on our fallen state and our gaping need for a Savior. Let today stop you in your tracks to “lament and acknowledge your wickedness”, knowing that the King of Alleluias has already done all that needs to be done to grant you “perfect remission and forgiveness.”

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  • Abigail Thompson

    this is such a great and humbling reminder. for God does not nor ever has needed us, people at all. yet he still gave up his life, public humility to remind us of how much we need a savior. thank you Jesus

  • ashhartjones

    After reading this passage I can visualize God with arms outstretched offering us the free gift of salvation, forgiveness, freedom. All He wants is for us to reach out and accept the sacrifice He made for us.

  • Traci Wilhelm

    Oh Heavenly Father, Thank you for your love, mercy & grace that is new everyday. Lord, I humble myself before you to ask for forgiveness for my sins. In Jesus name ~Amen

  • Teresa Johnson

    Great bible study! God forgive me for my sins! Thank Him for saving us from ourselves! He’s so merciful to us all! I’m so grateful for His Grace!!!!!

  • Makenzie Smith

    Oh God, please forgive me for my sins. I return to them time and time again seeking relief and finding only heartache and shame. I have messed up over and over…yet You made provision for me through Jesus. Through grace, I have been saved. Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me to heal me and set me free. I am able to approach the throne of God myself because You took on my sins. Please deliver me from these thoughts and impulses…You are able to do more than I could ever ask for. Thank you for this app that has been created to meet us where we are in life. You are a good good God. Please bless the creators and give them the wisdom they need to go forward.

    In Your name and in faith I say Amen.

  • I used to be really bothered with the rituals and traditions my home church practiced. Mainly bc I was an angsty PK but also because it felt people where so caught up in the display. I now know that I didn’t have a deep enough understanding. I’m so excited to continue this series.

    • Tricia

      I love this admission. It’s amazing when you see things differently after only seeing them one way for so long.

  • Great devotional.

  • Amen.

  • Brittany

    Looking forward to sharing lent in a whole new way this year <3

  • Ashley Zertuche

    Good devotion

  • Amen. Even though Christmas is approaching, this Lenten message aligned well with Advent for me. It helps me acknowledge my sinfulness and need for the Savior. It reminds me of the hope, love, joy and peace that can only be found in Christ. Alleluia!

  • Valerie Bautista

    I could not have stumbled across this new app at a more perfect time in life! Thank you Jesus for knowing what I needed and providing at the right season. Repentance is the perfect place to start.

  • Caitlin Starr

    Just reminds us that God is always there for and always will be there for us we just have to put trust an faith in him

  • Caitlin Starr

    This is a great devo!

  • Erika Forester

    I loved this. Praise God for His faithfulness and meeting us where we are at but not leaving us there.

  • I love thiss

  • Awesome!

  • EmileeJill

    Very inspiring!

  • Kristen Shaw

    Very good!

  • There is so much peace in this daily portion of the whole devotion. I’ve been struggling so much with lust, selfishness, but most importantly with wanting nothing to do with God himself. I struggle with constantly doubting my salvation, fearing the rapture, and thinking back on sins… after doing them time and time again still. I loved the phrase “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
    It makes me think on my own struggles.. I look on them as rituals that aren’t pleasing to God. I try to experience Christ in all I do, but I wonder if I’m even doing it for the right reason. I love Jesus, genuinely. My heart cries for him..but my body and mind tells me to not. I just want to live the true reality of the Gospel and as a Child of the one true king.

    • Abigail

      I feel the same! I have “prayed the prayer” countless times in fear that the last time wasn’t good enough.

    • Jessica

      My pastor just preached on this… Ecclesiastes such a good book

    • Whitney Weight

      Wow. This is exactly how I’m feeling. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the struggle to remain devoted and wanting of The Lord. I even go to a Bible College and it’s still not easy to stay focused. My heart wants to focus solely on God, but my mind and body seem to have other plans. Often times, it makes me doubt my salvation, even though I know and have tasted of the saving grace of Christ. Thank you for your openness and honesty. It truly has made a difference to me.

    • Bethany

      Thank you for being so transparent and real! It is so good to hear that I am not alone in my struggles. May you continue to draw near to the Lord

    • Meredith

      I was just looking back at this post and the comments. I struggled with assurance of my salvation this past couple of years, and wanted to encourage you thst I’m praying for you as a fellow struggler! You can cry out to Him for the assurance He wants us to have, though I know it comes in a different way and time than what we might expect, so if you don’t see and answer how or when you want one, just ask Him to give you trust in Him and His ways and timing. ❤️ It’s not about the strength of your faith or prayer, but the immutable strength and promise of the One to Whom you are praying. It’s great to seek assurance, but I found that shifting my gaze and goal to seeking Jesus Himself was more helpful, and I believe a growing assurance (though slowly and over time) comes as we fix our eyes on Him instead of our salvation in and of itself. After all, He is our salvation! ❤️ After all, the goal of salvation is not assurance alone, but to know Jesus and be like Him, and He wants that for you! I’m praying for you!! ❤️❤️❤️ You are never ever alone.

  • Thank you

  • I like what this says about rituals. I think a lot of times we are afraid to do rituals because we don’t want to go through the motions or feel superficial. However, if we focus on the intent of the ritual, we can remember key things (ie our humanity) and grow closer to God through them. The rituals themselves are not important, it is the idea behind them. Good reminder.

  • Love this! Catholicism + Protestantism are two polar opposites. Regardless of the opinions on both, there are aspects of both that everyone can learn from.

    It is personal experiences like these with other brothers and sisters that the Lord blesses us with occasionally to draw us closer to Him and teach us a lesson.

    Blessed that shereadstruth was able to share this uplifting story with me + everyone else.

    God bless y’all! Thanks for the UPLIFTING word!

  • Nadine Ras

    Great post! So happy to see all these comments. Being a busy student isn’t easy in this world full of sin. Thanks to this wonderful app, hope it’s helping me the way up to the Lord. X

  • Lea Asia Epps

    Greatttt Day 1 post. I look forward to the rest !

  • Can you all please pray for me? I’ve been going through some hard things with myself. 2yrs ago I’ve been addicted to doing something (not drugs) but it’s been hard and I try to stop but I just keep being reminded of my past and it continues to haunt me. if I could be kept in your prayers that would be amazing. God Bless all❤️

  • Domonique

    Wow first time reading and it’s just what I need to hear.

  • BrittneyJune

    All of a sudden I’ve felt Frozen. Almost afraid to do anything because I didn’t want to do the wrong thing. Feeling like I’m not good enough for God and all I could see were my mistakes. Thankful for a forgiving God who has such a big love for me, loves me so much that He takes my burdens and His Grace lifts me up again. Moving forward and accepting the fresh start and r

    • Hope M

      Hey Brittney! He definitely does care for you and His grace is sufficient for you! I have struggled with similar feelings before so I know what you’re going through! ;) Something that has really helped me is reading the book “Graceful” by Emily P. Freeman. She also has another book called “Grace for the Good Girl” and both books are all about God’s grace and breaking out of the pressured, disciplined life and into His loving grace. And if books aren’t your thing, she has videos online that are also great tools. (Just search for “Letting go of the try hard life” and it should show up.) I will be praying for you as you go through this time that you will know that His love reaches you right where you are and He loves you even in the imperfections. I will pray that you would truly witness His grace and know that He is enough. I am reminded of 2 Cor. 12:9, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” He’s got you in His arms and He loves you right where you are, girl! And He’s going to work in you to do amazing things through His power.

  • Finally getting back on track with my walk, coming out of a difficult season and so excited for the fresh starts God gives us.

  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WEt1eWbCW5g watch this video. Nit even kidding

  • I really want to come back and start spending time with God. Being a college student it’s easy for me to say I do not have time and go on with my day but I really want to be close with God and be aware of his presence every day.

    • Gabby

      You are not alone girl! I may not know you but I’m very happy to see your initiative keep going and don’t stop! Things will get tough specially with classes, papers, and test. But he is with you. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬ ESV)

  • These comments are really interesting for me. Being born and raised Catholic, I “knew” a lot of these traditions for lent and Ash Wednesday, but I’ve never really put too much into it. It really opens my eyes at how new this is to some people, and helps me put things into perspective, so they become new to me, too. I love this.

  • Mackenzie

    I’m a little younger than you guys ^^^^^^ but I agree. I try hard to remember that I am Gods creation and he thinks I’m perfect. But it’s hard to think you are perfect when you have sinned SO many times. This devotion really helped me understand that I am forgiven by the grace of God.

  • Indigosunchild_

    Being 16 I feel like it’s easy to drift in the wrong direction and today is my first day using this (referenced by my wonderful youth leader) & it’s defiantly a reminder that life is longer than high school and God will be there for me through it all, so I should be focused on him.

    • Emily

      ^^^^^^ thank you!!! I too and a teen who sometimes finds it difficult to remember the important things in life. I feel like at this age we just get caught up in ourselves and forget that Jesus came to save us from the very things we fight against. I hope this devotional will help to keep me on the right track with God.

  • Meredith James

    My current boyfriend has thankfully pulled my back to Christ and this devotional was perfect. I get so caught up in what I think my life is supposed to be and forget that God has the perfect plan for me. I need a pause button and this path back to a christ driven life is what I need.

  • Steffanie Bullis

    Sometimes it takes a little tap on the shoulder (aka reading a devotional ) to bring us back into listening to the Holy Spirit. It is only through Christ that we can be set free from the burden of sin.

  • I have been a Christian believer for a long time I’ve lost my faith over the past few years. I’m excited to know God and Jesus again have them in my life

    • SheReadsTruth

      Welcome to our community, Rachel! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Aniya Smith

    Conviction is a beautiful thing … At times when you want to just turn your back on God it can annoy you that you still have a conscience but then it kind of flutters your heart to know that God still matters to you as much as you matter to him. It’s time to get right and stop letting the weights of the world be your testimony. Cry out to God and run for your LIFE. Thank you Jesus for renewal and repentance.

  • Ami Adams

    This is beautiful and convicting at the same time.

  • I didn’t realize until I just got done reading this how far I have fallen away from Christ. It was an eye-opener that I need to take more time and get back with the lord. And hit the pause button on the world to get right with Jesus

  • <3 what a great reminder.

  • This is beautiful and a reminder I needed.

  • Wow. I’m so I need of pushing the pause button and being still. Christ meets us in our stillness.

  • Courtney

    Beautiful, all glory is His. In this time and always.

  • Kim Oates

    This was a wonderful overview of lent and how it can allow a fresh work of the Spirit in our lives.

  • What a great reminder to slow down in the business of life and hit the pause button. I know I often times think my work is more important than it really is and that I am more important than I really am. But I am dust, and to dust I shall return. It’s time I remember my sin and fallen humanity.

  • The pause button. The stillness. The desire to know abba more and be ever so thankful for the gift of forgiveness and redemption.
    God bless you. x

  • Wow I love every bit of this. So beautiful. I gave up all social media today for fifty days and downloaded this app. I am a nineteen year old girl who has struggled with depression the last two years and I am in the midst of complete and utter repentance. Because my depression was strictly environmental causes, I decided to finally take on this “sickness” head first and rely solely on Him and His word. It seems as though everybody around me wants me to just go see some doctor and take some magic pill, but I refuse. Thank you for this. Dust I am and to dust I shall return. Hallelujah.

    • Mandy

      Hey jeany, encouraged by your bravery. Press in to know Jesus , mercy comes in the morning. praying for you, sister.

    • Brittaney

      He’s got you, Joany! This is a great reminder for us all to sit with Jesus and let him wrap His arms around you. He loves you. Lifting you up and praying for His perfect and everlasting healing over you.

  • Sydney Giles

    I am facing trails in my life right now. Some of those are just hardships of growing up. I am a freshman in college. When I graduated high school I had my whole life together. I felt like I was on top of the world, but I began to take credit for these things rather than giving God the glory. I am struggling now with temptations and stress that all I can do is lean on him. These words dust to dust remind me that I can’t do this without him. God gets all the glory !!

    • Sharon

      I too have faced trails in my life and I just lift everything up to our Lord. Trusting in him that he will see me through. The Lord gives us challenges sometimes not to see us fail but to get us right were he needs to be so that he shape and guide is to were he wants us too. I can personally speak from experience that The Lord has truly blessed me with the challenges and has led me to a better place and a stronger trust and relationship with him. Even when you feel he is not there know he is and that’s when he is working the most in your life.

  • Great

  • Just started today and already excited about what this community will bring. Thankful to know that even though we are dust, which may be seen as insignificant, God sees us as worthy of so much!

  • Kaitlin Kinslow

    I love this

  • Beautiful!

  • Rosaroma

    Starting this study a bit late but glad to be here. Looking forward to learning more. I wish I’d started on Ash Wednesday.

  • London Willis

    Thank you for this.

  • Jessica Sharp

    I agree. Beautiful message!

  • Beautifully put!

  • Such wonderful devotional thank you, Praise his name

  • Thank you for this

  • It was not the nails that kept Jesus on the cross, it was his love for us.

    • Julie

      Beautiful Debra! Makes me think of our vaporness and frailty…yet he entered that. He entered the meaninglessness and made meaning again! His love breathed life into the ashes again!

  • Rianne Addo

    Great devotional. Thank you x

  • Naomi Gillean

    This was a first for me. I’ve always seen Ash Wednesday as a catholic tradition and never put any thought into it. Thank you for changing my view on that I now have a new heart towards the actual meaning.

  • Deborah Biddle

    Thank you Lord for time to pause and reflect on my failings and time to remember and acknowledge that your grace is greater than all my sin. Praise God!

  • VanessaK

    I really never knew the meaning behind or purpose of Ash Wednesday and Lent. This was really insightful. But most of all this helped me realize that I need to take this time to reflect on the Grace of God and the gift of His Son, dying on the cross for my sins. Create in me a new heart Lord Jesus! Thank you for this devotion.

  • It’s nice to be able to pause.

  • Jessica Lee

    Let today stop you in your tracks to “lament and acknowledge your wickedness”, knowing that the King of Alleluias has already done all that needs to be done to grant you “perfect remission and forgiveness.”
    So thankful that the price has been paid! #amazinggrace

    • Steph

      Sure is. Appointed times and seasons to remember and zone in on crucial elements of our faith. Take a moment to remember who we are and who God is!

  • Stephanie

    I’m not catholic but in the last few years I have started recognizing lent as a time where I looked at my life and decided to make a change or sacrifice something so everytime I wanted that thing that I was used to.. I remembered why God was so much better! I’m a little late starting the Lent reading plan but I’m so excited to read the words SheReadsTruth has to share!

  • I stumbled across this app when lent began- deciding I want to quit reading my emails first thing in the morning in bed on my phone and instead draw closer to God. I can honestly say that was the best decision I have made. I crave getting on to this app. Thank you, thank you.

  • So eye opening to have a fresh perspective on Lent.

  • I have never observed lent either but now I’m happy to have read this. I have a better understanding of it.

  • amazing!

  • Jennifer

    Just started reading. Very encouraging. I never observed the lent season. This brings a new perspective!

  • That was great!!

  • As an Episcopalian/Anglican I'm so glad you were able to experience how we do things. I hope that the message carries through the season.

  • Just started on this, my very first shereadstruth post. I cannot believe I’ve been missing out! It resonates so deeply within me as God has spoken to me about this year and has simply told me to listen. I never saw the significance behind the ritual, and now I find appreciation for the purpose behind it. So, so thankful that He invites us to come and listen, so He will speak. So thankful for all that He is.:)

  • This is the best I’ve ever seen it explained. Beautiful.

  • Courtney.S

    I was brought up Catholic, and I think your reflection on the Ash Wednesday ritual is absolutely beautiful xxxx

  • Kristina N

    The Lenten season is my favorite season for a lot of reasons. The author mentions how it’s a quiet season of reflection and it really is a time for me to step back and look on my life and really feel the weight that Jesus had to bear for all of us. My favorite scripture is read during Ash Wednesday which mentions to pray out of the way and quietly, it reminds me that my relationship with God is so intimate that I need to focus on it solely during this time, to strengthen it and grow with it.

  • Stephanie

    This year was the first where I experienced “Ashes on the Go” on my way to work on Ash Wednesday. The mention and the author’s emotional reaction in the devotional really struck a chord with me. I was overwhelmed with emotion, too! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  • Taylor Perry

    Beautiful. Jesus changed everything. Thankful for the grace and unending mercy He poured out on that cross.

  • I loved this reading today. I’ve never practiced or really learned about Lent until recently. I began to weep because I am in bondage, a stronghold in my life. I want this to be broken so that it no longer separates me from the Lord Jesus. I will spend time fasting and praying over this stronghold.

    • Shan

      JJ, please know that I just finished praying for you, that God would work wonders in your heart!

    • Steph

      Praying for you too JJ! That every chain would be broken in Jesus name!

  • This morning I am thankful for the redemption that we have in Christ. That we are called to set aside our former ways and be reconciled in him. I am thankful that we serve a father that wants us to experience his goodness and gives freely his grace and mercy.

  • Thank you God for loving me so much! I was buried in unrepented sin & bitterness for an illness that uprooted my life. I made excuses like Adam & Eve. I hid from God & turned to a new age online grp that promised tools to free me (tho it wasn’t free). When they envoked false Gods, I quit relieved but empty. I forgot my precious Savior..the blameless Lamb sent by God to pay the price for me, rebellious & without any good apart from Him. A FB friend posted SRT. I’m starting late, Lent is new to me. What a gift! I returned & am home, repentant & absorbing the Word. I’m giving up Twitter to focus on our King. BTW, He healed my debilitating illness! He is Mighty and Loving! My last big Alleluia until Easter:)

    • Donna

      How good is God, that he would wait on you to come back to him. I pray you find the peace you need this Easter.

  • I’m starting this devotional late (I was reading one from somewhere else that I was having trouble connecting to) but this has enriched me already. How often have I practiced Lent traditions without truly remembering and understanding? Probably too many times to count. Thank you for the reminder. I’m now stopping and remembering!

  • Thank you God, thank you Raechel.

    To dust shall I return. It puts a real perspective on how much I stress and worry about the trivial things like completing my never-ending to-do list, how much I stress and worry about the big things like getting God's purpose for my life right. Where in fact, my focus should be on the eternal, on the cross, and how Jesus saved me, in spite of me.

  • Alexandra

    Talking about visuals, this really placed lent into a language I could understand. Honestly, I’ve been a Christian pretty much my entire life. And as a twenty something woman, I never stopped to look into what lent actually meant. The ashen crosses on foreheads was always so bizarre to me, and I always saw it as one of those outward, Pharisee practices. So I really admired that you addressed the common thought of lent being what it is as the underlying foundation to this season. I’m a bit behind but this past week has been a lot of reflection on how I ought to approach lent. And I wanted to really commit to a plan, such as this, to bring me back to the cross daily. Thank you for this!

  • This really puts lent into perspective for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Thank you for that story. Thank you. It was just what I needed

  • Amen

  • Repentance is such a relief! The weight of the world crumbles at my feet when I visit with my father. Sin is constantly tapping me on the shoulder. The only way to overcome it is through prayer. Amen!

  • Elisabeth

    Just received my study guide yesterday and have started with the words/message on this day 1. The package is beautiful and the words and thoughts even more…thank you for helping me to pause and know God is near.

  • Mary Anne

    I’m just starting this today…I really love this app
    My dad is dying and I’m going to need to rely on Jesus so much….I pause and am reminded that I came from dust and I will return to dust ….

  • Kasey Tuggle

    Amen! Loved this!! Good reminder to help get me in the right mind frame focused on humbling myself and living for Christ! He is the reason to live every moment of every day!

  • This Protestant girl is thankful to be observing her first Lenten season. I always thought of it as a Roman Catholic ritual…no more. Thank you for these precious words of encouragement.

  • I loved this! I have never really practiced or observed Lent. This is a good start

  • I do find myself angry at the way things are today. I miss the old even though I’m not old per se….same old arguments over finances, time, etc. I don’t know what I’m suppose to give up, take up,. I know I am sinful and sin has consequences..I want to run crying to Jesus to show me what he wants…until I get the neon sign I’m going to keep reading and praying. I’m so looking forward to the spring thaw!

  • Georgie Mallins

    such a good message!!

  • amycook1939

    I am so excited to use this season of lent as a time for reflection and to get closer with God. I am so grateful to have such a great study that makes it convenient no matter where I am I can turn to Him, read His word and feel renewed.

  • mamacain

    My horse voice is evidence today of my constant need for a savior. thankful for the reminder that Jesus has already paid it all. taking a deep breath and praying for the holy spirit to empower me to continue this day in the awareness of his unending grace.

  • Okay, so I’m 22 and I’ve always been brought up in church since I was little. But as I gotten older I kind of veered off wouldn’t read or nothing. But last October I witnessed the murder of my uncle and brother. God Humbled me enough that I would be able to go through this heart ache and he the only one that can heal me. I’ve cam across this app and I want to get fed with the word as much as I can. That night has thought me a lot and really put my faith to the test but can someone explain to me what today’s reading is about please ? My email is [email protected]

  • Growing up in a Hispanic family it always strikes me as odd how little does people celebrate Lent as seen through the eyes of a Catholic raised girl who has always loved the traditions of this season. From covering mirrors, to not eating meat and no playing of music– these are things I grew up with during Lent. But what I didn’t have that I do now (probably because I’m not rebellious against God anymore and have accepted Him into my life which I didn’t back then) was a deeper understanding of the connection you create with God during this time. So I am looking forward to this study and the opportunity to fellowship with you ladies as we reflect on the biggest sacrifice ever made.

    PS. Sorry I’m a few days behind but was finishing Esther. :)

  • Elizabeth Foss

    I'm Catholic and so this post felt so familiar to me. I've been thinking about it since Wednesday. Thank you! –for reaching out and crossing what is sometimes a wide divide. I love She Reads Truth and this post made me feel welcome here in a way you probably can't imagine. I thought you might like to see a tangible way for our family "suppress the Alleluia." We do this we every year with our kids and it's a highlight of the season. http://www.elizabethfoss.com/journal/reallearning

  • Christy I too have experienced the same on the go Christianity. I’m ready to grow.

  • Through the years of following Christ, somehow I’ve stopped practicing the external representation of the inward heart posture. Praying on the go, everything on the go, has resulted in a shallow connection with Jesus. Hoping for change in this, this Lent.

  • Amanda
    You have nailed it! I am constantly trying to get to the place where I have this deep mental or physical connection, Where I can truly feel His presence. I do know he is there, present in my daily life, but I feel homesick. A longing I can’t explain. I keep looking for it in my marriage,with family and friends but it’s just out of reach..ugh

  • Rosemary

    Can’t believe I started this journey dealing with Lent on the day after Lent!! So looking forward to this journey!

  • Excited to read and learn more as this season of Lent continues. This stood out to me from the reading of Romans 3:21-26. My interpretation: Jesus will testify on my behalf, He will intercede to the Father – saying, ” I declare her righteous because of her faith in me.” Praise the Lord!

  • Thank you Jesus! This is the first plan that I have begun with the She Reads Truth app. I am overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. I too am crying in the midst of my day (Thursday, though it’s be). No priest, no ash, but a clear picture of what God had been speaking to me over the last couple of weeks. I have no doubt that the next few weeks will bring even more words from The Lord, cleansing, and healing. God is the Faithful One.

  • Thesethreekings

    I need this so much in my life right now. I’m in such a hard season and I have forgotten the Lord in so many ways! Please pray for me and with me that a God would be my all and I will live unashamedly

    • Susan

      Me too. Depression big time. Just found this site an hour ago. I’m going to give it a try. Gotta take that first step, right ? I’ll pray for you. I promise.

  • trying to get standing on firm ground with God again. This study has grabbed my attention and I’m so blessed to be a part of it!

  • About a month ago I felt led to do kind of a “40 days in the wilderness” thing where for forty days I would get off social media and unnecessary technology and use all that time to really press into God during that time but I didn’t do it. Then yesterday I saw some people talking about lent so out of curiosity I looked it up to see when it started and it was yesterday and lasted 40 days. Okay, God, I get it. then stumbled across this app and study. Excited to press into this and go on this journey with Him.

  • “We know not everyone can make it to an early morning Ash Wednesday service, so we’re meeting them here, in the middle of their lives, because we believe that’s exactly where Jesus meets us.” Wow. So powerful, and such a reminder that as we make this season intentional for drawing near Jesus, look at how near he already is <3

  • Teacblee

    I love the truth that is flowing through this process of the 47 days. It has been interesting to learn Lent not as a denominational process but rather a drawing in to my Lord.

  • Amanda, Amanda, we apparently have some telepathy going! This is so me, only for me it is more often than not that I don’t feel the warm fuzzier. I never considered it was that I was not going whole heartedly. I will have to ponder/pray over this one. I have often blamed it on the fact that I have never not known Christ. When your southern roots run deep usually it includes parents that raised you in the church and dealt with your salvation. I knew when my time to take over my salvation was at hand and was confirmed. (Methodist). SRT has been a fresh air/prospective that I profoundly thank you all for.

  • Wait, you have to buy it to participate? Ugh. Wish I could. So so bad. Hope everyone else gets closer to Jesus.

    • Elaine

      Becky- you can follow along on the website free of charge. It is a grace to walk through Lent with this online community. In their app, for easier access, there is a charge to have the series “more conveniently”.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi Becky! No! All of the devotional content is available for free at SheReadsTruth.com! Yay! I hope you will join us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • This is the first year I will be participating in Lent. I gave up Facebook, like really gave it up cold turkey for 40days. I want to draw nearer to God through his word and I am so glad I found this ap. thank you for being with me on the journey.

  • Samantha Clarke

    I am a Nazarene and we don't observe Lent. I feel compelled to take part in Lent. I asked God to create a hunger and a thirst for Him and His word in my life. I don't know where this will lead, but I want to be near the cross.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Samantha, we are so glad you joined us today! Excited to see what God teaches us this season. Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • I grew up Catholic and giving up things for Lent because that’s what you did. Now, I know that I do not have to give things up so much as spend time with God. This Lent season I will strive to spend time reading His word each day and give up my time for Him.

  • Like many others here, I’ve never participated in Lent before. I’ve never even thought of it. But yesterday I saw a woman with Ash on her forehead. I’ve seen it a bunch of times before, but for some reason it was like time was in slow motion. I watched her for a long time. I don’t know what it was about her, but I googled Ash Wednesday and lent when I got home. I felt overwhelmingly that I was to participate in lent. Then I found this study that a FB friend is doing!!! As a Christian, I don’t grieve over my sin and I want to. So I look forward to fasting and seeing how God will become ever more real in my life. I am encouraged that I’m not alone.

  • Raechel, I cannot tell you how much this post means to me! My breath caught when I read "Franklin" and then again at "Episcopal". I currently am buried in 7 feet of snow in Boston, MA, and missing my southern roots. My husband and I moved here over a year ago for his new job as a Community Life Pastor for a CMA church. We have experienced and been a part of so many denominations over the years, and I love the different encounters with God I have found through each one. But I grew up in the Episcopal church. Ash Wednesday is dear to my heart, with it's tradition, and quiet contemplation in preparation for Lent. I wasn't able to experience it this year, but as I read your post, I felt like I could experience it through you. I could come to that contemplative place.

    The connections that sparked in my heart is the possibility that the very priest who crossed your forehead and prayed over you may have been the same priest (Rev. Cowperthwaite) from St. Paul's that married my husband and I in Franklin almost 7 years ago. I know the corner and the coffee shop. It created such a vivid picture for me! I just so appreciate the connection to home and tradition that the Lord brought me through you. Thank you for sharing!

  • Wow, that was powerful, I’m not familiar with those practices, but I’m appreciating them now. As long as they rnt taken out of concept there is a lot we can learn from them

  • I grew up catholic so I am very familiar with these traditions. I really did love them growing up and continue to admire them from afar now that I am an evangelical Christian. It is so important to realize why they are done. Not just for the ritual which can be empty and meaningless if it is done just to be done- but as reminders to ourselves of who we are and who God is.

  • Beautiful reminder to stop and meditate in this season.

  • Being a busy college student I find myself absorbed with my day to day tasks. Have to do this assignment, exam Thursday, blah, blah, blah. On top of all of that i have systemic lupus erythramatosus..it’s an autoimmune disease that makes everyday living kind of difficult. Body aches, huge rashes, fatigue, no ability to have higher critical thinking, etc. Sometimes , especially recently after dealing with a massive flare up that caused me to get some pretty bad exam grades, I just felt so alone. Like no one understood. But God has been showing me that no matter what he knows my struggle. He is with me always. His eye is on the sparrow, and I am (as every woman also is) worth more than a thousand sparrows. Why not me?!? Why not us?! I’m really opening myself up to be renewed by God. Instead of dwelling in my problems I want to rejoice in his grace. I’m so excited and appreciative of this site for devotionals. It’s been such a miracle at just the right time.

    • Karla

      Carly
      You are so much stronger and braver than you know! I applaud you for keeping up the battle. School is so difficult especially when you don’t feel well. So glad you are setting this time aside to see all the blessing our father has laid out just for you! Keep going. I got sick when I was in college years ago.. I made it through and I have never forgotten how Jesus intervened on my behalf.

  • Thank you for those inspiring words of truth. The study clearly laid out the reason for lent. I am so ready to pause and reflect. My co workers were trying to understand lent. They said it was another man made thing! Oh how they are missing out on the most wonderful time of the year. A time set aside to grow closer to my God in a world that is falling farther away from him. In this hectic and busy world of mine I need desperately to pause and reflect. I am so glad to have found this study.

  • I grew up Church of Christ and am now Baptist, so I have never observed Lent or Ash Wednesday. I’ve always known them to be Catholic traditions–most of which I’ve never really had a grasp or understanding of. A couple of my girlfriends told me about this app and study, so I’m excited to get started. God has been wrecking my world this past couple weeks, and I’m excited to press pause on the things that have been keeping me from dealing with the things God wants me to purge right now.

  • Meredith Pavey

    *pretense = presence!

  • Meredith Pavey

    I’ve never personally participated in Lent myself, however pressing PAUSE on my crazy busy and wonderful life is very appealing. I’m a newlywed (4 months tomorrow), who’s loving every second of being married but I find that it’s hard to STOP and keep King Jesus first. I’m so thankful for the reminder that JESUS absolutely will meet us wherever we are (He’s already there!) but my acknowledgement of His pretense surely must make Him smile!!

    “Hi Poppa! It’s sooo good to spend time with You! Thank you for blessing these women from around the globe with your truths! May they seep deep into our marrow and fill us with a renewed sense of peace, patience, gentleness, mercy and wisdom as we tackle our every day life. May we be a light unto the dark places and consistently be Your witness! Bless these warriors today and always!”

  • Pagrpack mama

    I stopped participating in Lent a couple of years ago as I discovered that what I was giving up, I was giving up for the purpose of benefiting myself. For instance, I would give up sugar in hopes that, yes, I would pray every time I craved it, but in the end I really wanted to lose weight. I felt like my motives were not genuine. I lost sight of the purpose, which is truly to draw nearer to Christ. This year I am trying again, I want to give up my time, and give Christ time each day to spend time in His word, to memorize His word and meditate on his word. I am excited to join this community and am looking forward to what God has prepared for me during these next few weeks.

  • This is my first time observing Lent and I have given up social media – except my one business page which is already limited. I can’t tell you how much relief I already feel from cutting out the unnecessary distractions…knowing it’s just me and my Jesus for the next few weeks. It has to be spiritual because it doesn’t make sense in human terms. He continues to amaze me.

  • Aime Maze

    This is my first real Lent. I am giving up bread, meat and scavenger seafood. Seems like nothing compared to what we get in return. I’m so excited to be sharing this time with you all. It’s great to have so much support! I have never read the bible and I am following the 365 reading plan. Thank you for making this a memorable and enjoyable time for me. I’ve never felt so connect to our Lord!

  • It’s hard for me to really think of something to “give up”. I plan on just making more time in the business of my day to pause and have a moment in prayer or reading the Word. So many times I get overwhelmed with work or times when I have down time , I don’t use it like I could. Love She Reads Truth

  • I love the idea of lent being a pause button. In all the busyness I consume myself with I consistently feel exhausted. I think this Lenten season will force me to slow down and see the areas in my life causing that exhaustion because I am trying to hide them from God.

  • Molli Forbes

    So I too participated in my first Ash Wednesday service tonight. Growing up Protestant, I never truly was able to embrace this tradition and I found it to really bring me back to the basics and meditate on what this season is really about. It’s just taking a step closer to Jesus, being able to listen to him, and tune out some distractions that draw us away from Him.

  • BELOVED_YE

    Though I'm a Baptist who has observed Lent most of my life. This is my first time using this amazing site. I'm not on Facebook for many of the same reasons some have posted for limiting it during this Lenten season. I did however give up the 4 virtual games I've overplayed this year as well as sweets and knew I'd need something on my iPad to click or swipe so I was grateful for the email from Lifeway that included this link. One of the things that I want to train myself to do is to dig into (or at least click) the TRUTH of the WORD before I read the devotional below. It's so tempting to read (or fill up on the desserts of) what someone has written about God's word and skip over the Bible references like they"re chicken bones when they are the meat! Be blessed and remember YE are BELOVED!

  • The power of tradition to recognize generations of faithfulness. Faithful believers, faithful love and a faithful Saviour. What a powerful first day to a powerful season.

  • I love the idea of getting closer to Jesus than ever before. But I actually must pause my life and make priority the One who makes it all possible. I’m still thinking about what to give up…but it may be my social media checks in the morning when I should be communing with The Lord.

  • The Methodist church I attend celebrated Ash Wednesday tonight & read Psalm 51. It’s fitting for the Lenten season and pairs well with Day 1’s lesson. Give it a read!

  • I love the idea that if we will just
    ‘stop’ Jesus will meet us in the midst of our everyday life.

  • I love the idea of Lent being a STOP. I just had a whole entire conversation with my husband about where are we going after his fellowship is over in June. It’s all I can think about. I want to know so I can be settled. Yet this season is about stopping. “Wherever we are going or wherever we’ve come from.” Wow. I need to stop and focus on God. The answers and future will come all I have to do is draw near to him.

    • Molly Davidson

      I love this so much. I worry about post residency moves and that’s four years from now. What more can I add by worrying?! Praise the LORD for this time to stop. To be still. And to listen.

  • Day 1 and I already feel so refreshed and I know this is going to help me grow in my walk with Jesus!! I’m 15 and I go to a Church of God (Pentecostal) so I have never observed Lent until last year. I felt a tug to actually give something up and so I gave my sodas, which I still have not had to this day! This Lenten season I’m giving up french fries, because I love them so much (it’s bad) and I have them so often. It’s all about giving up something you love for God! It’s going to be so worth it. I’m so excited for the rest of this plan! Thank you for this!

  • Sarah Wiginton

    Amen!

  • Elizabeth

    I needed the reminder it is ok to SLOW down. Life gets busy and I forget. Looking forward to this Lenten season.

  • Chelsea Powers

    I love this. I’ve been feeling very dry in my walk with the lord and wanted to learn to experience God again like I did when I was “on fire” for him. I’ve felt like there has been a lot lately separating me from him; my own sin. This is a great time to get a new refreshing perspective and begin experiencing Him again in a new and amazing way. I’m looking forward to this season & this study to help me through it!

  • I am a Protestant who has always loved Lent and observed it, but I got to attend my first Ash Wednesday service tonight (at my Baptist church no less!) and it was wonderful. So looking forward to this “pause” of Lent and making the journey to the cross.

  • Ashley S.

    I’m grateful to be apart of this Lenten study and to draw my heart closer to God. I’ve never really observed Lent besides the “giving up” portion but I feel that it’s more to it than that. I want to be able to say at the end of Lent that my heart is closer to God more than ever before! I especially LOVE the verse “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” It makes me want to be more in tune with nature & God.

  • Anna Buchanan

    I don’t usually participate in Lent. I have grown up in a Presbyterian church and it’s just not a thing. But this year my dad, sister and I decided to give up sweets. Then my friend recommended this study. I look forward to a pause. It’s hard to reflect and look deeply at my sin. It’s messy and scary and gross and overwhelming. Thank God Jesus meets us where we are just like the two priests with Ash on the subway.

  • It’s more than a coincidence that you mentioned the story of getting ashes even though you are not Catholic- I had the day off and felt the need to have something tangible to mark the start of lent. I (a “Protestant” girl) went to a Catholic service to get them.

  • Beautiful. As a Southern Baptist, I’ve never observed Lent. I never really knew anything about it either. I’ve always thought it was just a Catholic tradition. I’m excited to see how I can use this study and this time before Easter to learn and grow closer to the Lord. Still trying to decide what I’m giving up, but I know this experience is going to be amazing.

  • foreverchichi

    I just came home from church about 2 hours ago from our Ash Wednesday service. It was short and sweet. During our service the members who, gathered talked about ways grace has been shared in their lives. It was so amazing to see and hear all of the good things he has done. To top it off I received my Ash and decided to give up all of my social media to really focus on what’s more important and that’s God. I’m really look forward to more readings in the study. Thinking of Lent as a “pause” is something new to me. :)

  • Jessica Northern

    This site and devotional came out of nowhere but is exactly what I need in this season of my life. I’ve never observed or took the time to understand what Lent is yet alone celebrate Ash Wednesday. I have also decided to give up something: non- Christian music as I pause, reflect, and make time for God. I’m looking forward to all that God has in store during this time!

  • This was a beautiful post. I wanted a Lenten study and I’m glad I found it here. Looking forward to the pause that is Lent.

  • Excited to join this study!

  • Caitlyn Richardson

    I am a seventh day adventist and we are not ones to acknowledge lent. However I’m always open to devotion and learning as much about our God and scripture as possible. So I’m here to stay, and learn, and grow through Christ, for Christ.

  • First time actually observing Ash Wednesday and giving something up. I decided to give up non Christian music. It’s so scary to think sometimes we can sing a song and not really know the words we are actually singing! Praising our father during this time of repentance and worship is not only better for myself but for my relationship with Christ. Praying for you all who are giving up something this lent season!

  • Need this. Need a fresh dose of Jesus and a chance to journey purposefully through Easter…

  • Whether you carry the ashen cross on your forehead or not, know that Ash Wednesday is for remembering our sin and humanity—for reflecting on our fallen state and our gaping need for a Savior. Let today stop you in your tracks to “lament and acknowledge your wickedness”, knowing that the King of Alleluias has already done all that needs to be done to grant you “perfect remission and forgiveness.”

    I am truly looking forward to starting this study. Growing up Catholic and Methodist I remember going to Ash Wednesday services. Being non denominational now, I don’t physically observe it anymore but I am truly feeling blessed to have this study to draw closer to the Lord.

  • Understanding the tradition behind the ritual is something new to me and I am very much looking forward to this study to learn more!

  • I also grew up Baptist and never really knew what Lent was until SRT's study last year. I love the meaning of it and that it is a pause. Just time to be still in His presence and reflect, renew, and refocus. It's all about Him!!

  • After a busy day of working (for the church as a youth minister), I had almost forgotten about digging into my devotional. So the idea of Lent being a "pause button" really struck a cord with me because I honestly would have checked off today as just another work day. But going forward, I will start to value my alone prayer time a lot more as I begin to reflect on the things I would "much rather forget". Thank you SRT for this beautiful devotional…

  • lissabrackett

    Grateful for the opportunity to pause, reflect, and repent.

  • KaraJade

    I just came from a beautiful Ash Wednesday service.
    A beloved member of my church has cancer in his body, and it will truly be a miracle if he sees another Ash Wednesday. And yet he still comes to church and faithfully serves and loves and cries out to God. He came tonight, to a service where we reflect on our mortality and our sin in light of the cross. He received ashes with the reminder that “to dust he shall return”. And he still praises Jesus, knowing that even in the midst of sin and sadness and shame and death, there is joy in Christ. Even in the ashes that represent sorrow and death, there is the cross. His faithfulness and bravery have been a blessing to me and many in the congregation. Would you join me in lifting him in prayer?

    • suznk

      I will pray for this inspiring brother and for those who love him. God is faithful!

  • Antimony

    Romans 3:20 “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin”. All the Law can do is show people their need for Redemption. Their need for God. It can never save.

  • Ashley Johnson

    this is my first time participating in Lent. A coworker educated me on this app. I am looking to become closer to God and strengthen my religion .I learned a lot from this first day

  • Coming to Him in repentance. Grieving about how far I fall short. And finding hope in His never ending love and compassion.

    13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
    14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103

  • Megan Shoe

    Amanda, I never thought of it as a pause either. I’m praying that during this Lent season I am constantly reminded of how my sins are covered by the grace and mercy of our amazing God.

  • Cassie Watson

    I love the note about suppressing alleluia! Never heard that before.

  • Lutherangal

    Lent has always been my favorite season of the Church year. I even love those hymns in the minor key.

  • Charlotte

    This study will be life changing! Cannot wait to soak in the truth of the Word and grow closer to God!

  • So looking forward to taking time to acknowledge all my sins and praise my God for giving His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins.

  • alyssaclarisse

    This is so good, so SO good!

  • Pam Kinser

    Love these words.

  • Amanda Lange

    I’ve never thought of lent as a time to “pause”. I love the idea of pausing and reflecting on my sins in the shadow of the cross. Too often I want to run from my son which makes me run from Him at the same time. I know this will be a great time for me to pause and look to Him again.

  • I know lent is a time for giving up or taking a break from but The Lord put it on my heart to not retreat from things but to go on more with Him. Spend more time in the word, in prayer and reflection of His truths. This is where I know change will happen. As I spend more time with Him those other things will naturally decrease as He becomes more prominent in my life! At least that is my prayer!

  • Rosemary Sanchez

    I don’t understand at all. Ash Wednesday ??? I though that was a catholic ritual ???

    • Jennifer

      It may be. But any christian can observe Lent and use it as a time to repent. To remember what Jesus sacrificed while fasting for 40 days by giving up something you desire. It can be used to refuel your worship with Christ. Just remember, it’s not the rituals it’s the relationship. But the ritual can be used as a vehicle for the Holy Spirit

    • Emily

      It's actually a church ritual that goes back before Catholics or Protestants, and many protestants have celebrated it through out history.

    • Emily

      I should clarify and say that my (Baptist) church "does" Ash Wednesday, Lent, Advent, etc. It's just a way to mark the passing of the seasons with a mind turned towards Jesus.

  • This year is a time for us as a family to simplify. I pray this time of lent (first time I’ve ever observed it as a Christian) will help me refocus and reprioritise. I am giving up spending money on anything that is non essential to running our home so will stay out of the stores and online shops too. no more coffees while I’m out alone, no more cute notebooks, no more ‘they might need it because it’s on special’ new clothes for the kids etc. My time is better spent.

  • I pray that God will give you courage to go to church. Do you have someone that would go with you? Remember God loves you!!

  • Awesome. Let’s all embrace and cherish the gift of ecumenism during this season. There is so much we can learn from each other. Can’t wait to dig deeper into this study!

  • LaurenC_

    These words spoke deeply to me today:

    "For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely." R.M. M'Cheyne
    "He must increase. I must decrease." John 3:30
    "What then? Are we any better? Not at all! There is no one righteous, not even one. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. " from Romans 3:9,10,23,24.
    "Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know." Job 42:3

    "Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
    Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
    Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
    Can rid me of this dark unrest, and set my spirit free."

    "I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
    He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
    'Tis He Who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
    I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives." from the hymn "Not What My Hands Have Done"

    Please help me, Lord, to love as you love. Amen.

  • Beautiful story of your encounter with the priests; thanks for sharing this. Thankful for this season.

  • This is the first year I will participate in lent. Last year I decided to do it and just wasn’t focused. This year I am giving up facebook! I am finding that I spend too much time worrying about what everyone else is doing and not enough time just sitting with my kids or talking with my husband. The phone is always in hand. I am so happy to be part of this study and also to have the encouragement of others to draw closer to God.

  • Wow! I am so excited to have found this awesome resource to connect with ladies who have a heart for God! This will be my first time participating in lent. I just want an awakening in me to exhibit the heart of God and draw me closer, so those that I have influence on will want to draw closer!

  • Melissa Richert

    I’m stopping today, and asking God to prepared my heart from distraction. The robber of joy. To cast down the root of my distraction, idols. Praying Jeremiah 29:12-13 for this Lent. I believe.

  • Amber :)

    I have participated in Lent for many years but had lost the heart of why I participate. God has used many things including this devotional and community to remind me of the heart of what I am doing. I am excited to see how God uses this short season and I pray that the heart of Lent and the things that are learned during this time will be carried out and deepened even after the season is over.

  • I want to go to ash wednesday, but I am too scared to go to church. I don't know where to go. I wish something like the coffee shop would happen to me.

    • Heather Stelpstra

      Why are you too scared to go to Church if I might ask? I think you Will be surprised how welcoming they are!

    • Melissa Richert

      I’m praying for your encounter with Him right now.

    • Darlene

      I pray that God will give you the courage to go to church. Do you have someone that would go with you? Remember God loves you!

    • Emily

      Praying for you Hal. Why are you scared to go to church, if you don't mind me asking? I have NO idea where you live, but if you are anywhere near me I'd be happy to go to church with you. :)

  • Olivia Bello

    I love that she compared lent to a pause button. I am in nursing school and involved in so many things around me, but having the chance to slow down and know that God is with me in all that I do and that he has these amazing plans for me is amazing. It’s as if he is showing me that it is ok to take a breath and slow for a second because he will be right there to keep me going.

  • “Let today stop you in your tracks to “lament and acknowledge your wickedness”, knowing that the King of Alleluias has already done all that needs to be done to grant you “perfect remission and forgiveness.” ” I’m stopping and reflecting. WOW. Power in these words.

  • Analogizing Lent as a Pause button hit home with me. In what seems to be the most chaotic time in this 26 year old’s life thus far, God has reminded me to take the time for what is important and join Him in this journey. I too, will be giving up distractions and working toward a more “eternal focus.”

  • mrsnoellefrantz

    I woke up this morning wanting to take advantage of this season to fully acknowledge and be thankful for the sacrifice Christ has made for me. I’ve never observed lent or given up anything until this year. I pray that I will allow the Lord and his spirit to lead me and make previous the time that I so often fritter away doing lesser things. Thank you for this study. I’m excited to walk through it with all of you!

  • This so spoke to my heart. I am 32 and this is the first time I am acknowledging and honoring Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. I am thankful to have found such a wonderful study guide is SRT.

  • Samantha Roush

    This has really opened my eyes ♡

  • This will be the third study I do with SRT, as I did the last two- Esther and Hymns II– and really, really enjoyed soaking them in! I ordered my Lent books a few weeks ago, and have been gazing at them each and every day anticipating this very day! I woke up this morning almost feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. I grew up Catholic, and remember Ash Wednesday, but as a child, I never grasped the concept. My husband and I are now non-denominational, and Lent is not something I've truly thought about in several years. I am so excited to be embarking upon this study and dive deeper into the meanings of this season. We've gone the more untraditional route and given up our snooze buttons for Lent. :) We're committing during this journey to go to bed earlier, wake up before sunrise, and enjoy a devotional over coffee and prayers together each morning, hoping that it becomes a regular part of our mornings following Lent. This morning being the first morning of this commitment, is now such a peaceful reflection throughout the rest of my day. I am grateful to take a pause during these next several weeks, and refocus our hearts towards the Cross, and our Savior!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Tess, you added joy to my morning! Excited to hear what God will teach you during this season! So glad we get to observe Lent together!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Rachel Higgins

    Looking for some healing and growth during this Lenten season. Being a burnt out mom of 4 and a wife that is not happily married right now gives me reason for leaning on God. He gives me new hope each day. I am looking forward to coming through this season victorious.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Sister, I admire your vulnerability! You are not alone and you are seen by a Father who knows and loves you. We\’re in this together, friend! Praying for you today.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • As I was reading the passage from Job, I was reminded of an amazing song by Ghost Ship that is written as a parallel to a few chapters in Job. It is called "Where Were You" and I find it as a daily reminder that we are human and have no right to question God's great authority, but we do it anyway. And God answers us and He challenges us. I encourage y'all to give this song a listen. I think it is an amazing song any time of the year, but especially during the season of Lent.

  • If you’re looking for a beautiful version of Jesus, keep me near the cross, go to YouTube and search for Near the Cross, Alison Krauss. The end includes the voice of the person recording the song, but that makes it even more beautiful.

  • I woke up this morning ,wow today starts Lent what do I need to be reminded of. As I’m reading I realized Our Lord really gave up everything to come in the flesh just to carry on his stricken body our sins. So for the next forty days I want to be reminded of how blessed we are . That he all though being God did not hesitate to become sin for us. I will try to wrap my head around this truth .

  • I feel like the Lord has been preparing my heart for this lent season. He has been showing me my sin and its complete ugliness. I repent of all of it Lord, and I trust you to shine your light and make my heart new. Amen.

  • I posted this today on my Facebook after reading your scripture devotional and seeing the Dust to Dust picture: "Breakin' Out: Dust In The Wind part 3: Imagine my surprise when I saw this today. I was not actively looking for it. My niece sent me a FB invitation to join a Bible reading group. It isn't something I normally do, follow someone else's scripture reading plan. Being a part of a Baptist Church, independent at that, for the past 30+ I know nothing of Lent except it starts on Ash Wed. with people wearing ashes on their foreheads and give stuff up for a few weeks before Easter. (I am not ridiculing anyone). If you have followed my previous "Dust In The Wind" break outs, you will know that this idea (Dust in the Wind) has captured my attention in the past several weeks.I am not into religious "rituals" but I read the following today from someone else who is observing Lent for the first time and I think it bears repeating.
    "Lent is a pause button. It is a quiet unlike any other time of year. Lent is a season to close our eyes as the busy world buzzes around us, to consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity. We came from dust, and to dust we will return." (from SheReadsTruth.com Day 1) It brings perspective to my life that I need continual reminding of.

  • Kristin S.

    I grew up observing Lent. Always find it to be a time to reconnect with the basic truth that without Christ, I would not be able to be in relationship with my Father. To examine what areas of my life need repentance. Today, using Strong's Concordance, I looked up REPENT. Here is the definition for the Hebrew word "nacham":

    To make a strong turning to a new course of action. The emphasis is on turning to a positive course of action, not on turning from a less desirable course.

    I love this! To make a strong turning to a new course of action. It has led me to pinpoint two areas in which I must take action. These will be my focus throughout Lent. And I look forward to walking through Lent here…with sisters in Christ.

  • Christina D.

    I love reading the comments today. Last night I was excited in anticipation of the beginning of Lent and this study. Today I just feel out of it and kind of blah. But reading the comments reinvigorated my desire to dig deep this season and to start by pausing. I’m giving up Instagram as I have felt very convicted of comparison in the last 2 years of my life. Becoming a mom this past year, I have allowed comparison to creep up in new ways. Yesterday and today I have felt so burdened to be free of this spirit of comparison in my life but also with my daughter (so many mommy blogs and pictures I see online of perfect moms and babies!). Praying that removing Insta will kick start this again for me. Praying that I will pause (which is difficult with a baby!) and listen to my Savior. Praying that He reveals to me not only my pitfalls of comparison but other temptations in my life. And above all, praying to learn the character of my Lord more through this season and draw closer to Him.

  • This came at a great time in my life. I’ve served God for years now but lately I’ve felt lost, and confused. My heart has been so full of hate and bitterness. I feel so far away from God…. I think this is just what I needed to return to my first love witch is Jesus Christ, and to remind me of what He did for me.

  • Alyssa Belk

    I am so at the end of myself. This has been the hardest year of my life and I’ve been trying to manage on my own. In my own strength. I’ve been aware of this but haven’t truly repented and turned back to Christ. I’m ready to lay my pride and self-sustaining spirit aside and humbly repent and allow the Lord to restore and redeem. Excited for this!

    • Melissa Ray

      Amen! I am right there with you Alyssa! God is good and He has given us this moment of true repentance so He can and WILL do His work in us.
      Thank you for your words and for Gods truth working in both of our hearts!

    • Cassye

      Thank you for sharing your heart. Your transparency gave “a name” to what I’ve been feeling lately but couldn’t identify what this BLAH is. I too am ready to lay down my pride and self sustaining spirit and humbly ask that God restore and redeem these broken pieces. Praying for you!

  • Today this really impacted me… So many thoughts ran through my mind this Morning and this really brought it into perspective !! Enjoy your blessing during this Lent season!! #Godissogood

  • Man oh man, I couldn't be more expectant of this season and what it is to hold for all us ladies. there is great power in repentance. Excited to trek through the valleys and mountaintops of this season with you all.

  • Loving these words and thoughts

  • mandy English

    thank you for this! for me this lent has come at a time of great change. so many things have been removed and I know this is to make way for new things but not sure what. God has hit the pause button! He has new stuff planned. Reading this has reminded me of what I need to do between now and easter – not rush into new things but stop and seek God and humble myself before him.

  • Just wanted to share this incase anyone is up for a challenge this lent time? 40 acts of generosity http://www.40acts.org.uk/the-challenge/starting-line x

  • “Lent is a pause button.” Such a beautiful and simple reminder. Throughout this Lent, I pray for the patience to continue pausing and listening and reflecting.

  • I was raised Catholic. I was married in the Catholic Church. My Husband enjoys attending mass, as do I.
    But growing up in my “religion,” brought judgement in my small, Southern town. Did I worship idols? (Yes, someone asked/accused me of this. I was flabbergasted. By the way, the answer is ‘no.’) Was I going to Heaven? Was I “saved”? According to local Non-Catholics the answer to these last two questions was doubtful. Now I write all this, not to judge other religions – as I have made peace over the hurt and accepted that people judge what they don’t understand, I’ve been guilty of this myself – but to acknowledge that God made His sweet gift of Redemption and Grace available to ALL of us. I have learned it has less to do with my “religion” (we can all worship God in a way that is special to us) AND everything to do with my heart/our hearts. Because God looks at the human heart not outward appearances… Or religious rituals or practices.
    Thank you SRT for shining a non-judgmental light on Catholicism. It warms my heart and makes me feel even more welcome. :)
    On this Ash Wednesday, as I receive my cross of ashes I will meditate more intently on my humanity and my sins. Because from dust I came and to dust I will return. As well as, repentance and forgiveness.
    Thank you, Jesus for saving this soul-weary heart of mine. Praying to draw ever-closer to You, Lord, as I pause now (and often) during this Lenten season.

  • brittansalisbury

    This first day of our new study has given my heart the exact posture I was hoping for. I'm praying that The Lord would humble me again and again and draw me closer to his sacrifice, something I "shift from" often. I'm excitedly praying for all of us!

    Also, putting it out in the world that I've given up refined sugar for this season. I tell myself I "deserve" dessert after a tough day or circumstance. I don't want to find comfort in sweets! I want comfort in Jesus. Anyone else doing this?

  • Ashley Amanda

    This Lent I'm not giving up anything in a material sense, but I'm devoting quiet time of a morning before the rest of my family wakes. I go day to day without having that quiet time and take the sacrifice made for us all for granted. This year my goal is to become closer to God.

    • Melissa Ray

      Amen! This is a great. I will also be delving into my quiet space with God during this season…
      For me giving up a material object or food item is still reflecting on the outward… I want my focus to be to serve God more in this time(and learn to do it more all year round). May God use our quiet moments to change our hearts to be more like His and give us greater vigor for our daily tasks.

  • Chelsea Bass

    I so needed to reflect on this today. To weep for my sins. To remember why I do this whole “church thing.”

  • Sisters, this is such a great start Lent. I wish I had eloquent words to express the love of Christ and the weight of this upcoming season, but I don’t.

    To echo a few others, I’m praying for us ALL that this study will be a constant in our busy days as moms, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, and whatever other hat we’re required to wear. My day is so. much. better when it starts in God’s Word.

    I love yo all, purely because you love the same Savior as me.

  • In this day and age it is SO hard to stop moving. We are constantly doing and even when we are busy we look around and try to see what else we can grab on to. We want to fill our lives. We want to “live life to the fullest”. But lent, Ash Wednesday especially, is a season that reminds us that in order to live out our time in Earth to the fullest we must look up at the cross and remember that this is a gift. A gift from the Most High. Humbly we approach His throne. With gratitude we wake up each day and say “Thank you, Lord, for relentlessly pursuing me when I was walking towards darkness. Thank you for loving me so much you said ‘here, step into the light and I will take your place'” …it’s because of You, Lord, that we are able to be busy. I pray that our busy-ness is not simply a time filler, but a way to bring glory to Your name and build Your kingdom.

  • Nicole Contreras

    so wonderful to be reminded of what this season is truly about.

  • I’m so blessed to have this ritual all throughout my life! As a kid, I didn’t get it why we didn’t say Alleluia and confused why sometime we say Hallelujah.
    As the years go by…I savor more n more! I’ve done the giving up but now replacing it with enrichment and pausing this lent time. He has paid it all!

  • Amber Dick

    Repent, repent, repent. I want to repent, but I get discouraged when I think of all the times I’ve fallen for the same sin. I know Jesus has already conquered the world. If I cling to that maybe I can keep walking with Him.

  • “How is there any hope at all?” Jesus. Only Jesus. If it is in any way up to us, we are lost and without hope. Only at the end of ourselves can we find that hope. I’m so looking forward to pressing into this truth over the next 46 days.

  • Erinlovesbooks

    It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Bible study, but I’m looking forward to renewing my relationship with His Word. I loved what the author said in the passage about Lent being a pause button. I’m definitely going to use this time to slow things down, focus on my relationship with Jesus and try to be better about recognizing Him in the every day.

  • kaitlyn voges

    as I start this season of Lent, I look at how much I have fallen this past year. I used to be so in love with God that everyone around me could see tge joy radiating. but at some point, I fell apart. I gave up and quit trying. I left God. Yet, here I am. Apparently wanting more, so please be in prayer that I would encounter God in miraculous ways and repent from my sin.

    • Marissa

      I am in the same boat as you friend. I let insecurities pull me away from the Lord instead of running harder towards him. I will be praying for you that His word may relight the fire in your heart during this Lent season!

      • Emily

        We are all in this together! I am in the same boat too! I have been praying for women like us to be renewed this season.

    • Nancy

      Praying for our great God to do miraculous things in your life as you repent & return to Him Kaitlyn!

  • kentjulia

    I am so excited to join the She Reads Truth community this Lent! Sadly I find myself very alone in Canada, without Christian peers to share my faith with. I can't wait to meet and engage with like-minded Christians online!

    • Amalie

      I’m up here in Canada too. Praying for you from Hamilton, Ontario

      • kentjulia

        Yay! I'm a 20-something in Ottawa (but from Halifax) and I get the distinct impression there are far fewer Christians up here, when compared to the US… at least very few my age and in my social circles! Thanks for reaching out Amalie :)

        • Amalie

          My husband was born near Ottawa and has some family there. His grown nieces are there and they are Christians if you would ever like to plug into a like minded community!

    • A.Wilson

      I'm also from Ontario Canada, I have a friend who is a pastor at http://greenbeltbaptist.com/ if you need a place to get plugged in. Getting plugged in with a local community is a challenge and I pray for you as you explore your new community.

  • I’ve grown up going to a baptist church and only within the last 2 and half years have I considered myself nondenominational. We never formally observed Lent in my church I grew up in but to me it’s not about what denominations do or don’t do. It’s about what God is calling me to do. And I strongly feel Him calling me to observe Lent this year for the first time in my life. I pray that I grasp the fullness of it because I’m still a little unsure of what it all means.

  • Julia Kent

    Lovely, and the best way to start Lent! Can’t wait to read along for the next 47 days with you all.

  • Patti Carollo

    AWESOME!

  • Deborah Ruth

    This is exactly where I need to be. It’s easy to kind of “brush aside” sin…and I’m really wanting to make my sin “real” and acknowledge it before my Lord…and repent of it…not in a fleeting way, but truly see it for what it is. I am looking forward to seeing God work in my life throughout this study…This app has been a huge blessing in my life.

  • My prayer for the next 47 days. I'll be lifting you all up in prayer–that we all hold fast to Christ!

    Lord may I come before You naked.
    May EVERYTHING be exposed;
    Not one tiny sin left hidden in a fold of my flesh.

    When I have learned anew to RETURN to You in a way that is pleasing. . .
    When I have REPENTED of my sins,
    And when I have REMEMBERED the cost You paid at the cross—
    Then and only then may You cover up my stripped body.

    Do not let me move out of this uncomfortableness too quickly.
    Let my pause be long.
    Let me ponder my life without You. . .
    Until I can’t stand it and cry out for—MORE of You!

    Then may I receive the
    REFRESHMENT of Your covering over me.

  • I'm a protestant and I have never participated in the rituals of lent or ash wednesday. I loved this devotional this morning, because it brought me back to the reason we celebrate this day and the upcoming days. I can't wait to experience it all. Thanks

  • “Lent is a time to pause.” I have never thought of Lent in this context before and I love it. We spend so much of our lives running around from one thing to the next, not stopping for too long to really appreciate God. We get in a routine where our devotional/quiet time and Scripture reading is just something we do so we can put a check next to that box on our to-do list. Spending time with God, meditating on His word, and reflecting on His blessings and promises are not to-do list items! They are things that we are blessed to be able to do! I pray that all of us make time everyday to pause and reflect on all that God is and all that he’s done for us.

  • I like what you said Melissa about heart felt sorrow over sin. I have been really convicted lately to be praying that God would make me more aware of the sin in my heart so that I can confess it to Him. It is so easy to justify my thoughts or actions, when God is calling it a sin. This is going to be my prayer focus over Lent (and beyond!) I am so looking foward to this study with you all

  • Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment and reminding us to hit pause. It is hard for me to admit to my humanity and die daily to myself.

  • What a great way to start our journey to the cross!! My college age daughter shared this sight with me and I feel so connected to her even though they miles separate us.

  • Yesterday I was looking forward. Forward to this study, forward to a possible way of changing my way of earning a income.
    This morning I feel empty. I feel mentally drained. Wondering if things in my life will ever change or is the way it’s always going to be.
    My husband has PTSD. I have been the object of his rage for most of my adult life. Only in the past 5 years has there been any acknowledgement that he has a problem.
    For years I tried to shield my children. Now as adults I see it didn’t work.
    Last evening was a rewind of him trying to humiliate me in front of company. The very reason we don’t have family over. They all know and it’s embarrassing. I was up most of the nite. What else do I say in prayer that l haven’t all ready said? How do I forgive someone who uses me as a verbal punching bag when he has a setback.
    So my hope for now is that The Lord will lift me up one more time. Because this time I just don’t feel like getting up
    I look forward to Easter.

    • Rachel Callahan

      Your reliance on God is inspiring. You are bringing him glory and that is all he wants from you!!! Keep going girl, he will lift you as many times as you need. He never fails.

    • Bridget

      Praying for you, Nana.

    • Annie

      Praying for you, Nana. I know that empty feeling all too well. I’ve been there. In those dark moments, remember God is with you. Entrust your soul to Him. During these hard times, God is working and shaping you. 1 Peter 5:6 says “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” Stay strong in your faith sister.

    • Beverly

      Oh, Nana C. My heart hurts for you. I understand (slightly) as my Mom was raised by a father with PTSD. Although my grandfather is no longer living, it has affected our family (and my upbringing) in more ways than we will ever admit.
      Praying for you today, Nana C. I know with all my heart that God will lift you up as many times as it takes. Praying also for your husband. Because with God all things are possible. Even the redemption of your situation. Trust God. He loves you. And He loves your husband. Don’t give up. Praying His love and grace would wrap you up today and every day.

  • EmilyDear

    So grateful for seasons. This particular season has never really meant much to me, however, since Advent I have been longing for another chance to observe Christ in such an intentional way. This app has helped me help myself by drawing near to the One I need. It is the tool I have been praying for. Thank you for all that you do and offer. It’s a gift beyond!

  • Lent is coming at a perfect time, to slow down and just rest in the now not the future. I've been fearing the future. About a week ago my life as I knew it seemed to turn upside down. Everything I once knew and hoped for was no longer. It's been a hard past few weeks, fighting sleep and fearing. In the past two days, I have only slept maybe an hour. This is not good for a girl who adores her sleep. I am barely making it through the days, but it's been by God's strength alone that I have been able to. I just pray for peaceful sleep and for a grateful heart to fully see and acknowledge my sin for what it really is and look to the hope of Jesus and eternity.

    • Darlene

      Praying for you for God's strength to help you not fear but to take one day at a time.

  • The aspect of a time to pause struck me. We have been snowed in here in NC since Monday night and more is forecast for today. The sun is shining so beautiful right now but the road is still covered in snow and ice. For me to pause is not always easy, but the Lord has made a way that I can do nothing but pause. What a gift from Him and a time to think on my heart, sinful nature, and selfishness. However because the victory is won through Christ I don't have to sit and wait
    In my laments! The King is my redeemer, giving me full forgiveness and restoration! Pause in Him and for Him and be blessed!

    • Liane

      What a wonderful way to look at being snowed in! God is always doing things for us, yet we don’t always see it if it isn’t right in front of us proclaiming loudly “God sent this for you!” Now that I think about it, some of my favorite and most meaningful times with God have come when I myself have been snowed in or laid up with an injury or illness. Those pauses are exactly what our soul needs from time to time.

  • Courtney

    First time to actually take one of these studies seriously. I felt joy, sorrow & all in between. This is what studying the Word is! About understanding where you are & striving to learn even more about our Heavenly Father through His Word. Such a sweet time with Jesus this morning. Thank you all for following His lead & creating this atmosphere that is centered around His truth, His love & our growth in knowing & understanding them! ❤️

  • I've been so blessed and awakened these current 2 days of SRT. I hope to make observing my need for the loving reality of Christ and His power stretch far beyond this season. My personal application will be giving up, finally releasing my former need, now revealed as desire, to make any impression be it in conversation, relationship or want of relationship. We are His and He is Our Lord, Savior and Rock. I am clinging to him now.

    With gratitude and anticipation of your heart-expressed work, dear contributors…

  • “My ear HAD heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Feeling pursued by God this Lent….I know I had heard Him….but I want to SEE him and know what his sacrifice means for me.

  • Jacque M.

    Being part of the Orthodox Church now as an adult, Lent is different than what I was familiar with growing up. I would hear my friends say they were giving up candy or talking on the phone a lot or giving up chocolate, but it never felt like that much of a sacrifice. In my church, we fast with no meat, eggs, or dairy. However, our priest said that if you’re fasting simply to fast and to show everyone you’re fasting, don’t do it. Don’t be a hypocrite. He said God would rather you devote your time to His Word and take the time to study it instead of fast. Give up your heart to the Lord and not wait for something you will receive. This is something I plan on practicing this Lent because it is the first one I am being a part of even though I have been a solo Christian for many years before getting married. This Lent will mark a fully new beginning for me and I am willing to give my heart to my God and have Him lead me where I need to go

  • So happy to be here to celebrate this penitential season with you all. I am Catholic, and when I receive my ashes at church today, I'll be praying for each of you, that you will draw nearer to Christ this Lent.

  • Awesome way to start Lent!

  • I have wrestled with what to “give up” for lent. I have come to the conclusion that whatever you do for this season should be about intentionally seeking the Lord. I don’t want to go through the motions this year and spend time seeking a finish line of Easter or mindlessly exclude something from my life. This Lenten season I want purposeful seeking of Christ and mindfully embracing my brokenness. I will be in the word everyday and work to stop my complaints of my life or circumstances. Working to consider it all Joy this lent.

  • This is the first time I’ve participated in anything regarding Lent. I’m so curious and excited to learn more about this time of reflection.

  • So blessed this morning! Joining in for the first time and truly feeling God's spirit—thank you all for being part of this journey!

  • KatSmith1026

    My heart is ready for this season. Flipping ahead in my study pack this morning, tears started flowing the closer I got to the pages for Good Friday & Easter Sunday. This is such a beautiful, treasured time of the year for me, a sweet time of drawing close to my Savior, to intentionally put away distractions & focus solely on the Cross. Grateful for this season of intent, focus, pause, with this community.
    Below is a link to the hymn “Not What My Hands Have Done,” in our study pack for today. I pray it blesses you as it did me.
    http://youtu.be/h-VbUQdJy0Y

  • Sarah Jane

    What a cool moment. Growing up Lutheran and now Episcopalian, Lent is a known season. I’m thankful for this community of believers of various denominations and walks who come together. Blessings to you all this Lent.

  • I’m excited to journey through this study with you ladies as we are drawn closer to our Savior. Prayers.

  • Oh how I wish I would meet Priests walking the streets with ashes and prayers …

  • EllenaDaniel

    I was laying in bed last night, thinking about Lent. Asking myself, what is the true meaning? I was not sure. I had a simple idea. Give up something that you love so that you can pray every time you crave it or think about it….
    Then I was thinking, maybe I should give up something. So my mind went straight to foods. What could I give up that could also benefit me?
    What a selfish thought!
    How many times do we do this? Yes, Lord, but how can my personal benefit fit in here?
    I am praying for the Lord to reveal to me what I should give up for Lent.
    Or maybe He will reveal to me, not to give up anything for Lent.
    To just make an unbroken promise to be in the word daily, asking for forgiveness from my sins.
    To ask God to reveal to me my brokenness.
    So that I may be humbled.

  • I’m excited about this Lent study and ready to pause from the rest of the world and focus on Him!

  • Right on time! Recently we had a conflict with my MIL and at first I felt angry towards her, that she was being irrational and acting like a spoilt child, hurting everyone. But God then showed me my heart and my actions in a different light and I realized, it was me! I was hurting her, I was acting selfishly and actually felt proud for being nice towards them (passive aggression, anyone?). Yes, my heart is full of sin and I need this time of lent to see myself in true light and get back on track, looking at Jesus!

  • Lent. A time to return. To reflect. To give as it has been given to the capacity we are able. I recently read Jen Hatmakers book 7. In it she talks about Seven Sacred Pauses.

    Here is the layout:

    Seven sacred pauses.

    Night watch – in case you’re up in the night.
    Psalm 42 63 119:145-152

    The awakening (dawn)
    Psalm 19 95 & 147

    The blessing hour (mid morning). Psalm 67 84 121

    Hour of illumination – noon

    Psalm 24 33 34

    The wisdom hour (mid afternoon)
    Psalm 71 90 138

    The twilight hour (evening)

    Psalm 34 139 145

    The Great Silence (bedtime) Psalm 23 91 134

    Meet Him Here….in the middle of your life… He beckons. Now more than ever I need to lay it all at the cross and pause.

  • Antimony

    “Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made”. So many times I feel like He must hate me. That He wants to discard me like so much worthless trash. That He looks at my sin and rebellion and fear and just gives up on me. How can He not hate me? If He is good and holy and righteous? How is there any hope at all?

  • 2011-2012 was a tragic year for my family. We lost our twin boys, my newborn daughter fought for her life the first two weeks after she was born and then my brother and my sweet aunt lost their cancer battles a week apart. I was bruised, broken and feeling lost in the faith I have had since childhood. In the Lenten season following all of that Ann Voskamp publish a blog post about Lent. Through college I would “try” to give up something but it never stuck. I had NO clue what Lent was or what it could mean…until Ann’s post and it happened to come when I needed it most.

    She said “Don’t think of lent as about working your way to salvation. Think of it as working out your salvation.”
    And
    “It is an irrefutable law: one needs to be dispossessed of the possessions that possess — before one can be possessed of God.”

    God used these words and Lent to begin a healing process in my life that has now completely changed me. I NEEDED God in that season because I was in a dark pit but I also needed to see my own sin. I remember writing in my journal….Lord if or when I mess up please give me a soul heavy conviction that points me to my savior.
    Every year since then Lent has become such a beautiful and molding time in my life. I’m excited to join this SRT community to put aside the things that possess me so I can be possessed by God!

  • “We know not everyone can make it to an early morning Ash Wednesday service, so we’re meeting them here, in the middle of their lives, because we believe that’s exactly where Jesus meets us.” This says it all for me. This Lenten season am I willing to let God meet me in the middle of my life? Not just meet me but really transform me into who He wants me to be? To allow Him to really be the potter? It might be painful, but I pray that the answer is yes.

    • Sharon

      I’m so blessed to have this ritual all throughout my life! As a kid, I didn’t get it why we didn’t say Alleluia and confused why sometime we say Hallelujah.
      As the years go by…I savor more n more! I’ve done the giving up but now replacing it with enrichment and pausing this lent time. He has paid it all!

  • Sonja Cox

    Romans 3:10

  • I began practicing lent while studying at a Christian college 10 years ago. I vary my sacrifice each year based on what I have been convicted of. This year I’m giving up work on Sundays, which is to say that I’ll be observing a sabbath. as a school teacher with many other side projects this is going to be difficult but I know that my hard work does not bring me closer to Christmas and that He has called us to rest in Him. I’m grateful for this community as we support each other during this season.

  • VictoriousOne

    Lord draw me nearer, nearer precious Lord to the cross where thou hast died…nearer precious Lord to thou precious bleeding side

  • Sonja Cox

    So thankful to join #SRT for this Lent series! Hitting the pause button and remembering my sin . Romans 3:9 there is no one righteous, not even one.
    JESUS keep me near the Cross

  • Lent is something I’ve always “failed” at. I have good intentions to give up something sweet, but fail. The great thing is- I know it’s ok because of God’s grace, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done it for the right reasons. I’m looking forward to learning this year. To realizing what Jesus did this year. To deepen my relationship with Him through learning. To pray. To focus. I love the idea of suppressing Alleluia. I also wish we lived in a time where something this “drastic” was a common thing among our communities. So whether giving something up is a fail in 2015 or not, my main goal is to see my Jesus in a deeper way. That is worth more than anything.

    • Emily

      Isn't it amazing that even in our failure, we can learn something in lent? If we succeed in our efforts to fast from something, we've felt where our hearts love the world more than Jesus, and we draw closer to him. If we "fail" we are reminded of our utter inability to be righteous and earn our way to heaven, and see our need for a savior, and draw close to Jesus. It's a win-win!

      I wish someone would have explained that to me as a child. I always chose to give up things that were easy so I wouldn't "fail." If only I'd known the real heart behind it all!

  • This is exactly where I need to be! So grateful for helping point me back to him.

  • I have read these passages for years and again this morning. Today, after prayer and seeking new understanding of who I am in Jesus, I feel more ready, more eager to return to the Cross than ever before. Thank you for this study and I am enjoying using the workbook to press deeper into my soul and draw nearer. Have a blessed day.

  • Katharine

    I am thankful to be here, in this space, longing to see the Lord and be seen. Thank you She Reads Truth for helping to bring me back to the word.

  • For the past few weeks I’ve had this tugging at my heart for some ‘breathing room’. I found myself feeling anxious and floundering and trying to get my focus back…grasping to try and find my time with Jesus that I know He so deserves. I knew what I had to do…be committed to this study and separately from this I knew that I had to pull away during this season from the things that are slowly overtaking my focus…social media…Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So, I have been looking forward to this study because I knew I was giving something up, but it was more emptying of myself so that He can pour into me….so that I can be in position to receive. Blessings to all my sisters that are starting a life changing journey today.

  • I grew up in a UCC church and attended Catholic HS so the rituals of Lent was something I knew of since childhood. My church always fasted collectively (although my family never did) and the priests and sisters at my school always encouraged us to give up something as a sacrifice (I continued this practice into adulthood). However growing in my relationship with Christ, I’ve learned more of the deeper meanings of the observation of Lent. I got so excited for this season, moreso than Thanksgiving and Christmas. This season is truly an amazing season to connect with our Father. I’m fasting from meat/animal protein (strict vegetarian diet) and no sweets. And I’m disciplining myself to wake up early every morning to spend time with Christ and study the Lent devo. I’m so excited for this time that we’ll share together Ladies!

  • I did Lent last year with my sisters and was introduced to it through the Village church, a Protestant church that Matt Chandler pastors. They have a Lenten guide that we go through and we give up something different each week(food, sleep, caffeine and sweets, social media, tv and movies, etc.). Doing something different each week also helps us recognize what might be idols in our lives.

  • This app is such a blessing! I have struggled to find a good devotional in the past and there’s nothing easier than being able to read it from your phone. Like many of you ladies, I’ve never observed Lent before either. I’m going to give up junk food and drastically reduce my time on Facebook. I’m looking forward to this experience and to draw closer to God right now. I’ve put Him on the back burner lately. And I realize that’s the last place He should be. God Bless all of you! ❤️

  • I’ve observed Lent in the past but it was alway just on the surface, giving something up since all my friends were. This year, however, I want to be intentional and really focus on what was accomplished at the Cross. I’m so excited for this series here at SRT; in fact, I woke up so excited this morning and get to study the first day! I’m looking forward to learning and growing with you ladies over the next 46 days. :)

    God bless

    • Kelli

      Love the idea of lent as a pause button. So looking forward to this study as it seems to be just the right thing at just the right time for me

  • What a beautiful post today. Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.

  • Love your commentary. I am Catholic and it’s nice when Christians everywhere have more of an understanding of our traditions and what they’ve meant to us all along. While many go through the motions for most of our lives, myself included, you eventually have an awakening and you get it and you want it and need it and I needed this today. Thank you!! God bless.

  • "Did God really say…?"

    Reminds me this morning that the whisper that God is not good and not for us is at the root of everything Satan does.

    I absolutely love the prayer and the "Lent To Go" service! Makes me want to hug those priests.

    • Angela

      Anna, I agree with you about the priests. It is a great picture of God meeting us where we are.

  • Looking forward to this Lent like never before. Less of me and more of Him! I have never done Ashes but truly see that we need to look at others and see that they are forgiven just as much as we are. Sometimes it can be just about us but like Paul says in 1 Tim 1:15-16….. He was the worst of sinners (like me) but was forgiven not only for himself but your others to see! God can display His immeasurable patience to those who would believe on Him and have eternal life.
    I look forward to the day of Alleluia!

  • This year I am giving up makeup for Lent, as well as meat. I think the makeup will be harder, but it will also remind me more often of God and why I am observing this season. I hope it will bring me closer to Him.

  • I’m excited for this season to remember and repent. I was raised in the Methodist church practicing this tradition but now attend a less formal church though this season continues to be one of my favorites. Easter is a time my heart looks forward too even more than Christmas!

  • Morgan B

    I’m thankful for the “pause button” of Lent, but oh so grateful that we can fast forward and see all that the accomplished for us…for me!! How hopeless a thought to pause here in our sinfulness and humanity forever…BUT “the King of all Alleluias has already granted you perfect remission and forgiveness”. Beautiful day.

  • wiscogurl

    Lent is certainly a time to hit the pause button, and boy do I need it! In this time sisters, I looking forward to seeing God's mighty power transform me over these next 47 days. For the last several months, I've been in a dry season. I've been in my word but I haven't really been hearing from God in the way I used to. Have any of you been there before?

    Lord, I come to you with a humble heart and in expectation that the fire will be lit once again! With fasting and prayer during this season, Jesus keep me near the cross!

  • thelittlelaurents

    Since moving to Europe – 'the land of traditional Catholics' – this Baptist-raised-girl has participated and learned a lot about lent the past few years. I've grown to look forward to this 'pause' in the year. I've just recently moved to a new European city, however, (only for 18 months though) and can't help but feel like my life's been literally 'put on pause'. When today's author said: "Lent is a season to close our eyes as the busy world buzzes around us, to consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity.", it hit me that I need to embrace being temporarily far from my usual friends, family, and busy routine and enjoy being in a new place with far fewer friends and a much less busier routine. For the first time since arriving, I'm thankful for this "quiet". I've realized that God's done it purposefully and I'm suddenly looking forward to fully hearing His [normally-drowned-out] whispers over these next 40 days.

  • Brooke McGlothlin

    I was raised in the Baptist tradition, and had never even heard the word, "Lent" until just maybe 10 years ago. Now, I find such joy in anticipating Christ's sacrifice and triump over sin. I don't think we, the church, get excited enough about Jesus. Why not be bursting with anticipation? Why not be bubbling over with the need to scream, "Alleluiah!"

    The idea that it could be physically painful to not praise Jesus for a period of time is so foreign to most these days, and was to me for so long. "Lord, open our eyes to you! This Lenton season, let us fall so deeply in love with you that we're near bursting with "Alleluiah! by Easter."

  • LaurieEW

    Allieluia mean praise the Lord, express Praise to God. I am going to add this to my 40 days, can we do IG SRT challenge? Post one Alleuia a day. #SRTAlleuia. Sorry to those giving up social media.

  • Lent has always been my favorite season of the church… The beauty that comes from stripping things bare awaiting new life with Christ. I love what you said “Lent is a pause button” great visual

  • I have given up stuff for lent in the past – but this year I have been moved by the true meaning. I plan to reflect more – to USE this pause button more intentionally. Remembering that I am dust and that I will return to dust. Powerful.

  • Stephanie Volkmer

    Last night I was up late, in almost anticipation. This year will be the first year in quite some time that I am participating in Lent. And oh, I am so glad that we get met right in the middle of our busy lives, so glad for that. Praying that this season grows deep roots and fruit that will be not shaken in all who are participating.

  • Kelly_Smith

    "…consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity." I became so frustrated with my daughter yesterday when she refused to say "I'm sorry" after her error changed the course of my day. Then it hit me: that is me. Going on about my days as if my sins didn't send Christ to the cross. On one hand, I look forward to journeying through this lent season with SRT. On the other hand, I pause on the threshold knowing that I will have to face things I'd much rather forget.

    • Jenny Raymond

      Oh, Kelly, that is profound and I needed to hear that. Thank you. This is me as well.

    • Laura

      thank you for this..it is just what I need this season

      • Natasha

        I just started this plan a little behind but I well do the same pause and take time to listen to him and not forgetting his presence in everthing.

  • Kaela Bostic

    “We know not everyone can make it to an early morning Ash Wednesday service, so we’re meeting them here, in the middle of their lives, because we believe that’s exactly where Jesus meets us.”

    I think much like these priests, this SRT study was meant to do the same- meet people in the middle of their lives, because that’s where Jesus meets us. So many women had already shared how they have been met here this morning through day 1- may the presence of day 1 be fuel to continue onward during the coming days as we anticipate the surprising alleluia. Much like those above, this is my first season of Lent. May we all press pause and really seek and reflect upon the cross.

    • sheila

      I like this too because Jesus met people everyday, right where they were – at the well, in the temple, on the coast fishing, whereever!

  • This is also my first time observing Lent. I was brought up as a spanish pentecostal and am now non-denominational, so these kind of observations like Advent and Lent are quite new to me. But I am feeling the tug to participate because I am feeling far from God. I try my best to be faithful and spend morning time with Him, but I find myself drifting away as the day unfolds. By the evening all I want to do is not think at all!

    I want to be closer to God. After all He has done for me… what really woke me up to Lent was the martyrdom of those 21 Egyptian Christian men, who were willing to pay the price of their life for the Lord.

    I'm so happy this study is here and is helping us through this Lent season, especially someone like me who is doing this for the first time! I will be giving up Facebook and Instagram (I only say this for accountability purposes!)

    God bless you lovely ladies!

    • Ruth

      Hi Jessica! I too was brought up in a Hispanic Pentecostal tradition and so we never observed Lent. We shunned any and everything that was remotely "catholic". My husband and I left the pentecostal denomination a little over 4 years ago…..fast forward we are now Presbyterians and hold to the reformed faith.
      I know the feeling of "not wanting to think at all" by the time the evening comes. Meditate on God's work and speak to Him! He is close to you, always! There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more or less! Jesus died on the cross for your sins, He paid the price once and for all. You are not far from God, He is right where He's always been which is right by your side. All you need to do is acknowledge that.
      Jessica, I wanted to encourage you to continue the devotional- make it a priority to spend quiet time with your Savior- i guarantee you it will be just the fuel you need! ;) God bless!

  • stinav96

    Good morning, ladies! This will be my first full study with SRT for this year, although I followed every one of them last year. Last year's Open Your Bible is one reason I've gotten behind this year! I'm still working through John on a deeper level on my own! :)

    I had not planned to observe Lent this year. I, like several above, grew up in a tradition that did not even teach of Lent, but I sought to observe it for the first time a couple of years ago. But I've been so very distracted lately, even in my own personal study of John, that I believe a pause button is just what I need! I, too, am limiting my Facebook time. It is the only social media I use consistently. I will check it in the morning and evening for running and homeschool information (because it is where I get my information on these things!), and will put it away for the rest of the day. My goal is to turn to the Word for the comfort I seek from scrolling down a page of randomness. Thank you for this unique and important introduction into the confrontation of my own sin, my own great need, as I anticipate the coming of our much needed Savior!

  • Suppressing our alleluia — it definitely makes us stop in our tracks and really mull over the sacrifice of Christ.

    Although I haven’t traditionally celebrated Lent before, I do appreciate the solemn reverence for the Gospel that it brings to the lives of so many believers.

    May we keep in perspective this season the beautiful tension of the cost of our redemption, and the simultaneous reality that “He has done it!”

  • Karen Sue

    Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.=Lent

  • Thanks for bringing light to Lent and what it means. I am excited about being part of this study and I pray that God opens my eyes and heart to things I need to repent and change in my life. I have a really hard time being still and listening for God to speak to me.

  • "Lent is a pause button." How much we all need that. I am starting to feel the weight of all the unknowns in our life right now. If I dare to look months into the future, tears flow to my eyes as I become overwhelmed with burdens and as often as I turn them over, pray over them and remain hopeful … they are as persistent in their cling of me as the drip drip of a fresh leak in our roof. I KNOW there is Light and this will pass. I look forward to seeing God's work in it, but this little old human heart hurts sometimes and what worsens it for me, is that my husband is holding tight these loads of late. There is an underlying sadness in him because of the instability in our future. The constant frustrations of hard work and no physical fruit. I was immediately reminded of this life's aches in the Genisis scripture. I have been looking forward to Lent as a physical AND spiritual way that I can draw closer to Christ. Where I can forget about the hustle and bustle and continued hardships of this world and focus my eyes on the cross.

    Prayerful that regardless of these afflictions I will gaze upon Jesus, that my husband will feel a swell of hope in Christ and his heart will be lightened. Prayerful that as we enter Lent, we continually rejoice in and feel the love of our God, our Savior. That we remember while the world spins around us and so much is uncertain, we have One who is always steady, always certain, always there …. waiting to bare our burdens, to cover our sin … as a beautiful book I recently read pointed out, not asking "What have you done?" but instead, "Where are you?" Prayerful that I am drawn to a healthy conviction of my sin, areas where, just as Job did, I live on "crusts of hearsay and crumbs of rumors". Where in these seasons I live out with every breath and heartbeat Job's words – "I am convinced: You can do anything and everything. No one can upset your plans." In these words I will find pause. I will reset my thinking daily and use Lent as a time to not look too far forward, but to see only the day before me as I, each moment, picture Christ's scarred hands clasping my face, eye to eye, whispering lovely, refining and hope filled words to me.

    Happy Lent friends. ~ B

    • Candacejo

      I am taking time to pray for you and your husband this morning, B! I seriously understand what you are going through as it mirrors our own lives in many ways. I haven't handled adversity the way I have wanted to but am trying to focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. He is our Hope and always in control, that brings me comfort. I pray it does you today even when you can't see the promise. He IS the promise and we just trust Him explicitly. In Jesus' name. ♥

      • Onfaith

        Thank you N! I am sure you understand these seasons. It would be awesome if I could treat you to coffee and hear face to face your wisdom in these seasons. Thank you so much for your prayers. ~ B

    • Kelly_Smith

      Beauty in the midst of ashes, B. Praying that the God who redeems will be close, working every difficulty for your good and His glory. Praying that the chaos and uncertainty grows dim around you as you and your husband fix your eyes on Christ before you.

      • Onfaith

        Thank you Kelly! I am so grateful for your kind words and prayers in this season. I am also prayerful the "chaos dims"….love that. ~ B

    • Katie_K

      "I am convinced: You can do anything and everything. No one can upset your plans." I love that. So true and such a good thing to reflect upon during these difficult seasons of life.

      • Onfaith

        Katie – Hope all is well your way. Thank you for leaving a note. I loved the Message's version of the Job scripture. ~ B

    • Beverly

      “That we remember while the world spins around us and so much is uncertain, we have One who is always steady, always certain, always there …. waiting to bare our burdens, to cover our sin …”
      Thank you for sharing, B. My Husband and I are in a similar season of uncertainty and financial woes. I appreciate your hope & comfort in the midst of your own situation. Pausing this Lent to know that He is God and I am not. Trusting His goodness even when it is hard.
      Praying for your family, B.

      • Onfaith

        Beverly, I will be prayeful over your family as well. It's a blessing to have others, that although encountering similar circumstances, arm in arm with you in prayer. I hate that others endure this, but am not naive enough to believe I am the only one enduring. I am trusting His goodness as well. I will lean into that this season and look forward to seeing it ten fold. I will pray that for you as well! ~ B

    • Maxine

      Praying with you, I have just recently found myself in the same position, worrying about the future, God has surely been my provider this entire past year but for some reason I feel the uncertainty of life weighing down on my shoulders again. I always say this but I am so grateful for this community and all you wonderful ladies, diving into all your comments lets me know I am not alone, none of us are! I know that He will carry us through, we need only to fix our eyes on Him!
      Happy Lent! :)

      • Onfaith

        Maxine – Thank you for your prayers. I, too, am so gratefu for this community. For the wisdom it eeks both in the writing and scripture, as well as the wonderful women walking with me, with each other. I will be praying that you find peace over your future too. That you feel the weight being lifted and replaced with a profound peace and joy! ~ B

  • Kendall_S

    so struck Raechel by the words of the priest who prayed with you…..

    "remember you are dust and to dust you shall return"

    this made me stop and i think i even gulped when i read it. the depravity of my humanness. the gross and terrible weight of my sins.

    the costly consequences of my actions. the darkness of me compared to the holiness of our God.

    my fleeting life on earth compared to the eternity with our Sovereign God.

    yes.

    i think i have hit the pause button.

    considering my sin. my humanity.

    lots to continue praying over and thinking through over the next several weeks.

    taking lent seriously this year.

    Lord, change my heart and change me. Forgive my heart and forgive me. thank you for your perfect remission and forgiveness. You alone are worthy of praise. amen.

  • Beth Warner

    This is my first time also observing the lent season. Looking forward to a ” pause button” to really draw closer to you Lord and keep me near the crowd. God bless ladies. Xo

  • Vs 9 but The Lord called to the man” where are you?” I love it the The Lord meets me right where I am today. What a beautiful understanding and truth of what Lent really is.

  • I love that Lent is a pause button. This is exactly what I need. Work has been terrible – I was signed off by the dr and put on antidepressants. Since returning to work I have handed in my notice. From next week I am unemployed but I am happy and certainly starting to feel peaceful again. I have struggled to focus on God but I know this is all God's timing. He has a plan but I need to pause and reset so I can actually hear him telling me his plan. I am using this to try to reconnect with God. I have also decided to do 40acts, which tbh scares me a bit but I'm doing it with my kids so we can support each other.

    We all need time to pause, reset and reconnect. I'm so thankful that God always is there and ready to meet us when we're ready. I pray that others will also hear God's voice at this time.

    • Angela

      Liz, I pray you continue to draw comfort from God’s plan and timing. He is our peace. I also pray for you and your family as you all draw nearer to God during Lent.

    • Jackie

      I could have written everything you said, except the last 2 sentences of chapter one. I wasn't going to follow this ritual but you've helped me see why I need to"pause".
      Thank you

  • This is going to be my first time ever observing Lent, I’m really looking forward to it!

  • As a Baptist minister’s daughter I grew up loving Easter Sunday but no true rituals or study on Lent. I’m excited to be participating in this study to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the season, its purpose, and myself. I pray that each of us receives all that God intends is to feel and hear with open hearts, minds, and ears

  • Shuvaughnie

    This is the first time I’m going to consciously observe Lent. So thankful for this start & the encouragement to pause. How often we just rush through from one thing to the next without stopping & seeking God in the midst of where we are. Looking forward to pursuing the One who has saved me from more than I choose to remember.

  • My church isn’t able to have an Ash Wednesday service today so I’ve been seeking another . Thank you for allowing me to see I don’t need this ritual , I just need help to press the pause button . I’m giving up Facebook as it actually makes me feel more lonely and im starting a journal

  • 14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
    17 and the path of peace they have not known.

    Feeling convicted this morning – I speak bitterly much of the time lately during our financial hardships, I swear and curse more often than I wish I did, and I struggle to feel peace in this very difficult season of my life.

    • Beth Warner

      Praying for you Lauren,for comfort and peace during your financial hard times. And Lord please let her lay this at your feet,and know you are there with her and will take her through this.

    • victoryicdesigns

      Lauren, thank you for sharing this. I got distracted when I was in the Romans passage and I believe you shared the two verses I needed most out of all the verses we read today. Thank you!! My tone can be so harsh and my words unkind (stemming from what is in my heart, not doubt) and the 'path of peace' has been illusive lately. So thank you!!!! Bless you sister and you rest in Him during this trying time.

  • Thankful to have this resource to guide my focus towards the Bible more not only during this season of lent but hopefully further!

    Trying to reduce the time I spend on social media like Facebook so have deleted the app off my phone to avoid the temptation to constantly check it.

    “Lent is a pause button. It is a quiet unlike any other time of year. Lent is a season to close our eyes as the busy world buzzes around us, to consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity. We came from dust, and to dust we will return.”

    May this be true in all our lives, turning away from what makes us busy in the world and turning to Christ who is our all in all, he is enough!

    • Angela

      I am right there with you, giving up Facebook for Lent. I will allow myself some time (15 minutes max) on it each day on my computer, but I had to delete the app off my phone, like you, because I have a habit of just browsing Facebook in any down time that I have. I pray that we draw nearer to God as we push away from social media during the season of Lent.

    • Diane

      I am like this with my IPAD and e mail as I have a Spa home business of organic and natural personal products .. Work a day job and help at the shelter.

      I will testify that since I have had more electronics in my life.. It really has hurt my spiritual focus on a certain level. perhaps I will lay them all down over Lent except for going to this study. God bless and keep you

  • A Girl Who Loves The Bible

    Looking so forward to walking this Lent journey during this study. This is not my normal practice as a Christian I am new to this ritual. I look forward to learning and studying Gods word with you all!
    I’m thinking chocolate will be my Lent for this year. Not sure if anything other than that yet.

  • Lyndsey Amen

    So its funny. I was writing in my journal before reading this. Basically going on and on about the meaningless business of my life. The constant rushing from work to evening activities to sleep and back to work the next day and lamenting all of the things I'm inconsistent about due to my busy lifestyle (time with God, working out, spending time with friends). I was commenting on my inability to be still and really find quiet. And then I decided to read this…and proceed to cry. "Lent is a pause button…Lent is a season to close our eyes as the busy world buzzes around us, to consider those things we’d much rather forget: our sin and our humanity." Wow.

    My prayer for this Lenten season is to find rest and pause. To remember that we are truly dust and that there is so much more to life than busyness for the sake of busyness.

    Thanks Raechel for the reminder :)

    • Angela

      I am in the midst of a few snow days in a row. And, I feel like God has been getting my attention and saying, “slow down.” Today’s devotion just affirmed those words. I, like you, was moved to tears while reading it. I like the picture the priests give of God meeting us where we are.

    • Lindsay

      I have been in a very similar situation. Then, as Angela stated, I am in the middle of some snow days stuck at home. During this time, I have felt God pulling me into his word more often. I am so thankful for this SRT study to become focused on my Savior.

    • Karla

      Lyndsey, I am so tired too. I’m hoping to find peace and quiet too as I reflect on the sacrificial love of Jesus for me.

    • Diane

      Lyndsey. May you be comforted to know you have another sister right over here who also struggles with the same thing! I too lament constantly the rat wheel I find myself on doing this and that. I pray for ability to stop and seek our Lord as we need to do Blessings sister

    • rjael

      That quote was what really caught my attention too….I've also been thinking a lot lately about the balance between "good busyness" & rest.
      I recently read the book "Crazy Busy: A Mercifully Short Book for Busy People" by Kevin DeYoung. It has some really good thoughts to ponder and evaluate- you might find it both convicting and encouraging. :) I poured over it intently!

  • ..Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wickedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    Lord, may this be my prayer over these coming days and weeks, as I walk through this Lenten time.. as I am reminded that, yes I am dust….and to dust I shall return..and yet no matter how 'dusty' I am, LORD GOD,..the King of Alleluias, my Saviour, Jesus Christ, has already done all that needs to be done to grant me “perfect remission and forgiveness.”…Thank you Lord God…..Amen…

    Rachael, a great and definitely, heart thinking, soul searching beginning to this time of reflection….i especially love the line…'Lent is a pause button'….a time to stop and reflect…to be reminded of WHO.. Child of God ( You/Me/ Us)…Jesus.. WHAT..Grace and Love of God.. HOW..The cross…we got to WHERE..Perfect remission and forgiveness…we are today…Thank you..

    Morning Sisters…Blessings this Ash Wednesday…xxx

    • Annette

      Tina, Thank you for the way you reflect on each and every devotion and the way you convey your thoughts. They are truly a blessing to me! Every day. I am only new to SRT for about 5 weeks & love it. I am now reading the word every day as opposed to no real routine at all! Really excited to embark on this journey of lent and interested to see what I will learn about myself and the areas I need to work on with God during this time. Lord, bless each and every daughter doing this study. I pray for your anointing and a fresh release of your spirit to be poured out upon each of us as we seek your grace and your mercy in Jesus name.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Amen!!!!

    • Libby

      Thank you for sharing your heart Tina! I always look forward to your comments! Like icing on a cake❤️

  • SO excited to dig into this study, to refocus my eyes on the cross & to remember what’s truly important.

  • This year I will participate in Lent for the first time. As a Baptist, I don’t do this as a ritual but I feel a need to do this year, to draw closer. My Lent will involve a drastic reduction in time spent in Facebook – none during daylight hours (I plan to study the Bible a lot more instead), limiting coffee to two cups (usually I indulge in 4-6 cups) and an effort to eat humbly and healthy, having a grateful heart for all the provisions from God.

    • stinav96

      Good morning, LinnyT! I, too, am a Baptist who does not typically observe Lent. But I, too, feel the need to limit my regular Facebook activities, even though I've tried to do so already. This limitation will be more pointed and, I already know, will show me my own sinfulness and my great need for the Savior of Easter. You are not alone! Blessings to you as you observe the unfamiliar to draw nearer to the Savior!

      • LinnyT

        Blessings to you too :)

      • Angela

        I am giving up Facebook as well except for 15 minutes a day. This is actually very challenging for me. I spend way too much time on Facebook. I actually feel lost when I don’t have that as a time-wasting option. I confess not feeling as lost when I haven’t spent time reading my Bible or in prayer. Today’s readings and devotion have moved me to confession and thankfulness. I am so thankful that God has shown us all great grace. He passes over our sins and looks on Jesus’ perfect life and sacrifice and His righteousness. We have sinned, but we are also forgiven.

      • Jennifer Vasconcellos

        I’m with u ladies on social media. It steals way too much time away from me and yet I make a ( lack of time ) excuse on why I’m not reading my bible….

    • Jen Lebo

      I’m with both you ladies. Grew up in old school fundamentalist church. Go to a simple Bible church now. Lent was always for Catholics. But I just want to be humbled. I just want to bow before my Savior. I am just crying for Him. In humility, in awe, in thanks. Jesus. I want to be consumed by Him.
      Praying over what He wants me to give up. I can think of way too many things.
      Thank you for sharing Linny T and Jessica.

      • LinnyT

        It’s exciting to be able to purposefully participate – not out of ritual, but out of a desire, or a need. May God bless you xx

    • Melissa Guziewicz

      This fundamentalist girl is going to join you all! No rituals, just heart felt sorrow over sin.

    • ann

      With you Linny! I too will be letting fb fall by the waist-side during lent.
      It's a good way to clear my mind, and heart and focus on the Lord. When I'm tempted to check in, I will try to pick up my bible instead and talk to the Lord.
      I gave fb up last year during lent and it was just beautiful to see how God would fill the gaps & reveal himself to me in new ways because I became more present with Him & others around me.
      Be blessed, sisters!

    • Gigi

      Linny, I will keep your name close to my heart during Lent, because I have given up the same things…..amazing isn't it? I will send you prayers of strength and contentment, quiet joy and a recognition and gratitude for those things you have. Gigi

    • Emily

      It's a wonderful season. This Baptist will be going to an Ash Wednesday service tonight (at my Baptist church! I guess old dogs can learn new tricks ;) ) and giving up playing on my phone. I also JUST finished reading John Piper's book on fasting, and I think I'm going to fast once a week, on Fridays.

      • Jenny Raymond

        I’m going to be fasting on Friday as well! I haven’t read Piper’s book, and think maybe I should.
        Due to the weather, my Baptist church’s activities are canceled (including the lesson I had for our Young Adult/College group) — so our close friends will be joining us tonight at my husband’s Catholic church for their Ash Wednesday Mass! (He’s a little shocked, as he was already surprised our kids wanted to join him.)

      • Jennifer

        Amen for your Baptist church! I’m baptist too, but I believe any christian should learn more about Lent. This ritual can ignite your relationship!

      • Anna

        I just finished that book too! So good.

      • Melissa

        I’ll also be giving up playing on my phone for lent (deleting all those apps was harder than it should have been)! First time I’ll be sacrificing anything for lent season, but I really feel like understanding the intent behind it will bring me closer to God. And it’s so humbling to think that, as hard as I might find it to give up these insignificant things now, and how much I might complain about it, God gave up his son and gave us everything. It really makes me reflect on how human I am, and I want to put everything at His feet!

  • SaraClarke

    My husband and I have given up sugar for lent. However, this awesome word has shown me the real reason for it, and now I’ll be thinking of these scriptures and that story every time I want sugar!

    • Guest

      Hi Sara,
      I think its fair to say I am addicted to sugar. I have struggled with bulimia off and on for many years and I have known since Wednesday that I am to give up refined sugars for Lent. I saw this invitation to She Reads Truth on Wednesday but did not start reading it until today. Before I got out of bed this morning I heard and inaudible voice that said, "Rise and begin…" Start reading and stop the sugar for Lent. I had been thinking about doing so for the past two days and today is the day… Reading your short comment has encouraged me to be obedient in what The Lord has already spoken. God bless you and I pray we all experience His grace and peace in this season and for eternity!

  • Repent and turn from your sins…Ash Wednesday is the biggest invitation to come back to the Church

    • Sharon

      It's not to church we need to return but to Jesus Christ the Savior who is waiting for us with open arms.

      • Rhea Quemado

        Church is the beacon to where Christ exists, in the people, the community, the prayers…church is not only defined by a building but a community of believers in Christ, who strive to exemplify Christ, Lent is an invitation back to Christ and his heart and in that sense it is an invitation back home to him and to the community that wants to support your relationship with him just like they hope you’d do for them. We are the church, not the building.

      • Debra

        Amen Rhea

Further Reading...