By Alli Bauck
It is finished. Lent/Holy Week/Easter 2023 ended with an exclamation mark of joyous singing and enthusiastic high-fiving (by my 2.5 year old). But it’s not over. (Alleluia, it’s not over!) And while I can anticipate with hope the return of my risen Savior, I still have a race to run (see Hebrews 12:1-2). So, in the meanwhile, how do I daily walk in my identity as a saved daughter of the King?
I began the season of Lent with a plan for how to incorporate faith-based podcasts and exercise AND fresh air into a #Lentenwalk. Now, over six weeks later, I can step back and evaluate how that experiment went!
You might have started this year with some resolutions or maybe you also had a Lenten practice you dabbled in. Would you take a minute with me as we reflect on our progress?
(I’ll let you in on a little insider-info…There is a new publication, just coming out from Next Step Press: a resource titled My Next Step Journal. The following are some of the prompts used in the book. You can download your own sample or order a copy here.)
What did you plan on doing?
What did you actually do?
What did you expect to happen next?
What actually happened?
Well, after I chose to diverge from my initial plan of walking outside (in favor of being able to breathe inside), I didn’t know what direction to go next. I had some helpful suggestions from friends and I continued to listen to the daily Gospel episodes with Annie F. Downs (through the end of March) while doing household chores. However, as much as I have enjoyed the exploration of podcasts, I felt more convicted in my need for a VISUAL, hands on, way to invite Jesus into my daily walk.
What can you celebrate?
I am proud of myself for making a plan and starting on the right foot (literally). Even though my walk ended up looking different on Day 40 than it did on Day 1, I can do a little happy dance that I have freedom of religion and access to Scripture in so many forms! I spent more time in the Word this Lent than I have in a long time…
How did this small experiment help you understand yourself or Jesus better?
I think I needed to try something “outside the box” to affirm that visual faith practices are where my heart feels most engaged (and delighted) in daily devotion and Scripture meditation.
What would you try differently next time?
Along with a routine of reading and writing (instead of listening and walking) I would also incorporate some simple daily journaling, such as recording a blessing each day and keeping a running list of prayers/praises to lift up.
Actually, I did draw some final #Lentenwalk inspiration from Tanner Olson’s podcast Walk a Little Slower. Listening to him share his writings was encouraging. It also reminded me that I have several of his books, one of which is a faith-inspired collection of poems (appropriately) titled Continue.
So that’s what I’m doing currently. Each day (or every-other-day, as busy mom life might dictate) I find a quiet space to read one of his poems and respond with a colorful image/doodle. Sometimes I even look for a Scripture verse to tie in as well!
Thanks for making some grace space in your day to recap with me and look back at the path you too have traveled. I hope the questions from the My Next Step Journal help you refocus on your goal as we “continue” to follow Jesus better, together.
He is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
(Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)
Look back at Alli’s Journey
Alli shares her next step, and invites you to tag along!
Alli reflects on her experience with her Lenten walk practice (a 30-minute walk while listening to a faith-building podcast). She faces some challenges, such as…
Alli continues her reflection on her Lenten walk practice and shares some surprises along the way.
“You don’t have to be in the Gospels every day to be changed; but every day that you are in the Gospels will change you.”…
It’s week four, and things haven’t gone to plan… But Alli is still walking with Jesus (and podcasts) this Lent!
Alli’s walk through Lent continues as she invites us to walk with her through this faith experiment.