Cowboy Catholics
February 9, 2018
Cowboy Catholics
February 9, 2018

Lent is Coming: What’s Your Plan?


Lent has the potential to be a game changer for your spiritual life. It’s not about getting away with cutting a few carbs or getting away from your Facebook drama for 40 days. It’s a spiritual workout and invitation to participate in Jesus’ Passion.

If you’re at a loss and need some ideas, this blog is for you! We asked students, staff, and friends of Cowboy Catholics what they have given up for Lent in the past and how it was fruitful.

Here’s what our friends told us:

  1. “I gave up TV and video games. It was hard adjusting but I filled the time I was wasting with something better for me. It led to more friendships being made, exercise time, I started going to mass more and became more involved with helping others. It allowed me to be more free.” –Zach
  2. “Our family gave up electricity two years in a row and it really showed us how privileged we are. We went to bed earlier and woke up earlier. It felt like little house on the prairie, but it really gave us more intentional family time.” –Marina
  3. “I gave up YouTube and that was pretty cool. It jumpstarted my desire to give God back my time, which had been enslaved to social media. I’m going to try getting up to pray for 30 minutes during the sunrise this Lent.” –Kyle
  4. “I woke up early to pray and start my day off right. Everyone thinks lent is all about giving something up but it’s more about changing up your routine to gain something. Gain time in prayer and gain a deeper relationship with the Lord.” –Grant
  5. “For one lent I chose 6 outfits and that is all I wore. I could interchange the outfits, but could only wear those articles of clothing. It was an awesome experience. It helped to simplify my life and made me more in tune to my prayer. It helped to detach me from shopping for clothes so much and made me grateful for what I already had.” –Kellie
  6. “One year I gave up wearing make-up during Lent. I was struggling with knowing my worth and this gave me an opportunity to see myself with new eyes and appreciate who God made me to be and how He saw me. It was pretty humbling.” –Allie
  7. “I gave up social media for Lent a few years ago. I know this sacrifice has become more popular during Lent, but this is a very unconventional sacrifice for our generation.” –Danielle
  8. “I gave up a pillow once to appreciate the little things – though ill-advised because of health reasons.” –Grant
  9. “In high school, I gave up hot water in the shower for Lent. I was tired of doing the same old things. I wanted to do something that was going to be challenging. I wanted to grow closer to Christ, and because I denied myself comfort and pleasure of hot water, I grew spiritually. I will never forget that experience.” –Hannah
  10. “I didn’t do this, but someone told me they slept in a sleeping bag for 40 days which I think is awesome. I would think that this helps you realize the subtle blessings that God placed in your life like a bed and blankets.” -Stephen
  11. “I’ve heard of someone who would kiss the floor when they woke up every morning. This helped them to learn gratitude for every day and to praise God for each new morning.” –Alyssa
  12. “One of my friends put a small little pebble in her shoe during Lent. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that pesky pebble got annoying real quick. When it became uncomfortable, instead of complaining, she would offer up her sufferings for a specific intention she had been praying for. She also told me it helped her enter more into Jesus’ passion because she did something that allowed for physical discomfort. She also didn’t tell a bunch of people which I think made it even more fruitful because she had to practice humility.” –Claire
  13. “When I was senior in high school I started going to daily mass every day during Lent and that has become a constant in my life. That was definitely the most fruitful Lent experience with a tangible change.” –Brandi
  14. “One year I gave up being on my phone whenever anyone else was around so I had to actually talk to people. I gave it up because I find everyone, including me, spends too much time on our phones. It was fruitful because I began to enjoy the presence of others.” –Ashley
  15. “Along with meat, I have given up fish on Fridays, too. It allowed me to suffer even more for God. It honestly sucked, but the next day I always felt great that I did it. It also helped my payer life a lot!” –Conner 

As you read through these ideas be sure to take these experiences to prayer and discern what would be best for you and your relationship with God. No matter what you choose, remember that Lenten sacrifices are about discipline and discipline is like working out a muscle: the more you practice it the stronger you’ll get. It takes strength to turn away from sin. Our prayer is that this Lent is a time of much growth for us all.