Monday, March 4, 2019

Preparing for Lent 2019

This year I am on a journey of examining my relationship with food and my lack of a relationship with exercise. I'm on a journey to getting healthier as I move from my 57th to my 58th year next month. I have also taken on a new challenge/opportunity in my job/ministry, which means I am once again facing the challenges of balance and time and energy management.

All of this feels significant for me as we come into the season of Lent. The season of Lent is also a journey. It takes us on a 40 day journey of examination, reflection, repentance, and preparation for Easter. It is a journey of connecting with Jesus' journey to the cross.

Traditionally people will choose something to fast from during this 40 day period. In remembering the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross for us, we sacrifice by fasting. While our fasting is minuscule compared to His great sacrifice, it does help us remember. It also serves to help us look to God in dependence. On Wednesday, which is Ash Wednesday, those who participate in a church service will receive ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross to remind us that there, on the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sin to redeem us.

"For you are dust and to dust you will return." Genesis 3:19

A large part of Lent is about remembrance. Remembrance ushers us into examination and reflection as we remember who we are and what we are called to, as we remember our weaknesses and failings, as we remember God's grace to us through His Son, and His love for us in redeeming us from the bondage of sin. Over the past few years, in the seasons of Advent and Lent, I have engaged in a practice of reflecting on daily words and Scripture passages and then responding to them creatively in an art journal. It aides in my practice of remembrance and reflection, taking the Scripture passages deeper into my mind and heart as I add a creative, tactile experience.

I intend to continue this practice again this year with Lent Words 2019, and I'd like to invite you to join me. Each day during Lent there is a word and a Scripture passage to read and reflect on. You can then respond creatively in whatever manner you choose: art journaling, poetry, photography, calligraphy, collage, etc. You choose! The word prompts are designed to 1.) get us into the Bible each day with words that are significant to this season of repentance and reflection, and 2.) help promote creativity as another way (or spiritual discipline) to draw close to God and participate in the season. 

Click on photo to download a PDF copy

This year Lent begins on March 6 and ends on Easter Sunday, April 21. There are pause days on Sundays in following the traditional Lent calendar that excluded Sundays from fasting. One thing that will change for Lent Words 2019 is that I will not be doing a daily devotional Bible study post. As I mentioned earlier the new challenge I've taken on at my job is keeping me pretty busy and I am still working through adjusting my schedule. I also have two trips planned during the Lent season. So I will do a devotional Bible study post as I have time. If you are looking for a devotional, may I recommend Shelly Miller's "A Sabbath Journey for Lent". Visit Shelly's blog,, go to the bottom and sign up to subscribe to her blog by email and you will receive her Lent devotion free. I intend to connect deeper with the theme and practice of Sabbath during the Lent journey, which Shelly's devotion is focused on.

How to participate:
  • Download the words calendar above. The April calendar will be added in a few weeks.
  • Join the Words Challenge Facebook group to share your art, your experiences and join the conversation.
  • Participate on Instagram with the hashtag #lentwords2019. You'll also find a words list there.
I hope you'll join me for Lent Words 2019, a reflective and creative journey through Lent.


  1. Joining you again dear Mary on this Lenten journey. I also receive Shelly Miller's post and reading her. Lord, Jesus, give us ears to hear and eyes to see on this sacred 40 day journey with You. Thank you for inviting us to travel with you in this creative way.

    1. I'm thrilled you are joining me again, Shawna!