Lent really meant very little to me growing up. It was not something that was observed in the church I attended as a child, nor by my family. It was reserved for Catholics, as far as I knew. When Lent came around during my first year at SOV, I was surprised to hear that it was a part of the Lutheran worship practice (it took me a while to get up to speed on Lutherans!). That was my first surprise, and my second surprise was discovering that I could choose to add something to my life, as opposed to just giving up candy or alcohol.
That first year for my Lenten practice, I began receiving the daily God Pause emails from the Luther Seminary. I loved waking up each morning to a scripture and devotion in my email folder, and the fact that it followed our readings during church each week was an added bonus. That first Lent I read those emails with gusto and sat with my Bible each morning reading the passages around the particular scripture. I actually took a fairly deep dive into the Bible each morning before I went on with my day. Those were wonderful mornings and really helped to center me.
I still get the God Pause emails, but I have gotten sloppy about paying attention to them. Instead, I roll over in the morning and read the weather, the news, Facebook and a bunch of other garbage on my phone. I usually waste the first half hour to hour of my day engaging in reading things that only upset and irritate me. This year for Lent, I pledge to give up reaching for my phone first thing in the morning. I am going to get up, pour a cup of coffee and spend at least half an hour with the God Pause scripture and my Bible. No more Facebook or news to start my day. I will use that time to center myself in His word, so that I can better reflect His teachings to those around me.