Lent: What It Means to Me

Guest Post by DeAnna Smothers, Co-Founder of Yahweh Yoga

DeAnna (right) and her daughter Courtney (left): co-founders of Yahweh Yoga.

DeAnna (right) and her daughter Courtney (left): co-founders of Yahweh Yoga.

I wonder sometimes just how strong and dedicated I really am in my faith and as a person. This year Lent will help me answer my own question.  

Sweet as I am, I can be a selfish, self-centered, spoiled rotten princess. I want what I want. I’m more than willing to work hard for what I want... but sacrificing something the little princess LOVES for over a month... that’s asking A LOT of myself!!!

Many religious denominations celebrate Lent. I have vowed to earnestly participate in this tradition for the first time this year. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, February 10, and ends on Holy Thursday, March 24.

I have a couple of habits in my life that really need to go, or good ones I should start (okay maybe more than a couple) if I’m to better enjoy my life and live a life more pleasing and honoring to God. I’m an intelligent woman with divine goals, which I know cannot be reached unless I stop doing certain bad habits and begin making new ones that will help me actualize my lovely goals. God has made these goals quite clear to me, but I haven’t yet let go of the obstacles I know are in the way… no bueno!

Why am I doing this, you may ask? The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, forgiveness, self examination, and self-denial. This is done to understand and imitate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-2). During these 40 days, he was hungry, thirsty, tired, and tempted by the devil mentally and physically--spiritually pushed to the max. He showed us how to do something exceedingly difficult, which sooner or later each of us will likely have to do.

I’m doing this because I want to honor the sacrifices Jesus has made for me, to show him more love from me. He has done so much for me. He healed me, He gave me the purpose of Yahweh Yoga, He’s given me a wonderful family and wonderful friends… most importantly He gave me my salvation and paid the ultimate price for it. I want to show my love and gratitude. Just like everything with God's ways, all things will work together for good, and I will become a more valuable person by solemnly keeping my vow, and I will have a happier life for it.

DeAnna in Sedona before her Lenten vows.

DeAnna in Sedona before her Lenten vows.

Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” Game on! I’m keeping my vows. I’m going to create more intimacy with the LORD. I’m going to know and respect myself on a deeper level, and I’m creating a more beautiful life.

So, I’ve chosen two things to sacrifice for Lent… the first is to give up one bad habit (Something I LOVE that’s not good for me) and the second is to start one new habit (I don’t LOVE but is awesome for me). Please pray for me because I’m going to need it!  If any of you want to do this with me (we don’t have to talk details), send me an email (deanna@yahwehyoga.com) or post a comment on this blog. We can pray for each other while delving deeper into the personal strength and dedication we have for ourselves and our faith.

Editor's Note: If you hope to start or challenge yourself with one new yoga habit, check out our Home Practice page for ideas.