Lent 2023: Restart

Welcome to Lent 2023. As we follow the liturgical calendar, we invite you to join us for a three-part series with some simple mental health practices to help prepare our hearts for Easter. May this foster greater self-compassion, insight, and health in your life and ministry, wherever you find yourself in the world. 


Light a candle, grab some coffee and a journal and turn on some Lenten music (if you need some suggestions, try here and here.) While doing so, consider where you’ve been so far this year. Are you coming into this season of Lent hopeful, broken, tired, restless? What do you want this Lenten season to hold? What might you need to let go of in this season to deepen your walk with Jesus?

“What do I pay attention to? Paul says that what we pay attention to doubles back and governs us. Hence our attention is deeply associated with either death or life.” ― Curt Thompson, The Soul of Shame


We’ll start with an activity from Janice Bauer, LPC, that can help you suss out the areas of your life that might need more intentional focus through this season of Lent. 

(If you’d like to watch the whole webinar and see how this practice can be used in a variety of contexts, you can do that here.)


STEP 1: Print this handout or draw your own pie chart as shown here. Jot down bullet points or questions in the space provided reflecting on where you’re at in each of these areas.

STEP 2: Consider these questions from Tsh Oxenreider’s book on Lent “Bitter and Sweet” as you look at your well-being pie chart. 

  1. Have I become overly dependent on a particular sustenance, substance, or practice lately?
  2. Which appetites have a unique grip on my body or soul these days?
  3. What would be a genuinely challenging (but not burdensome) fast?
  4. What would be truly freeing to leave behind?
  5. What do I sense God calling me to do?

STEP 3: Make another pie chart and fill in actionable steps you can take through Lent to work on these areas. Through the next seven weeks, take a few moments at the end of the week to reflect on each of these areas. 

  1. How are you working on each area?
  2. What might be holding you back this week?
  3. How can you work towards a greater sense of growth and freedom in the coming week? 

We leave you with this thought as you consider your well-being this Lent: “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott

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