#Lenten Walk, Week 1

By Alli Bauck

While visiting with a friend on the phone last night, she asked me how my Lenten walk practice was going. I laughed and reported that on the second day I got slammed with seasonal allergies! (I didn’t know I could get allergies in below-freezing temps!)

Also, I quickly realized that 30 minutes is a long time commitment. When you take a 30-minute nap, it seems like it’s over in the blink of an eye. But when you commit to a 30-minute walk

(I guess I am more out-of-shape than I thought!)

Nonetheless, I successfully stepped up to my new discipline for Lent! There was (predictably) some temptation I had to quell: on a day or two, my head said it would be logical to separate the walking from the podcast listening.

For example, one gorgeous afternoon I took my son to the playground; I knew I would have an opportunity to walk the perimeter while he played, but listening to a podcast while doing so could interfere with being a present parent. I had to remind myself that the purpose of pairing the podcast with the walking and the fresh air was to have some time alone, in creation, with my Creator. It is an exercise meant to strengthen my physical, mental, and spiritual health—all at once!

I (finally) downloaded Spotify, saving several podcasts to my library for easy access and listening. At first I started with previously-discovered content creators, like the familiar voices of my sisters in Christ on The Lutheran Ladies’ Lounge. But soon I branched out and tuned in to Matthew West and Tanner Olson.

I felt particularly refueled by the hopeful words that Tanner shares in his (appropriately titled) podcast Walk a Little Slower. (Actually, I got choked up and my knees nearly buckled in response to a poem shared in one of his episodes—but I kept walking because I didn’t want to freak out people driving by, seeing a woman weeping on the sidewalk…)

On Sunday, I rested (and my children behaved during the sermon, so I was able to hear most of it).

Speaking of sermons, I asked a pastor’s wife what podcasts she enjoys listening to, and she confessed that she didn’t listen to any. However, she was intentional about re-listening to her husband’s sermon from Sunday because she had four kids and was not able to give her undivided attention to the full message shared from the pulpit!

Since our church streams the service, I would be able to substitute a Sunday sermon for one of my daily podcast episodes… New options, new strategies, new growth!

I’ve also been posting a “snapshot” from my walks on social media, like I planned. I find that sharing what I’m listening to invites others to find a new podcast, adding an element of community to what would otherwise be a solitary Lent experiment.

Besides my online circle of support, I also told two of my faith accountability partners and my mom what I was doing (so if I don’t walk, she will know…)

Looking ahead to Week 2, my plan is to keep walking, keep listening, keep growing, and keep sharing. Thanks for following along with me!

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