Today’s post is basically a two-fer, justbecause. 😉 Yesterday was Ash Wednesday – the hump day marking the start of Lent. If you’ve been around these rosy parts awhile now, you probably know that I’m Christian; while CUR isn’t a faith/religious blog by niche, my own faith comes out by nature since it’s a yuuuuuuuuge part of me. Ash Wednesday has always been one of my favorites. It marks the start of a more somber period in church, full of fasting and prayer and deep spiritual repentance and growth leading to the rebirth that is Easter Sunday.
Honestly, Lent means more of a start fresh to me than New Year’s.
It’s such an awesome time of preparation. And I think it means soooooo much more than just “giving up chocolate” and then trying 52 other ways to try and enjoy something sweet without breaking your Lenten promise. 😉 I heard the coolest thing at my Bible study group last week: Lent shouldn’t be about giving up. Lent should be about adding more.
If you want to fast and give things up, that’s fabulous – and important. But it’s just as important – if not moreso – to focus on adding more good, heavenly stuff into your life. Instead of taking away sweets for 40 days or hiding the Starbucks card, vow to add 20 more minutes of 1:1 quiet time with God to start your day…before you pick up your iPhone. Vow to volunteer for an hour every week – maybe more. Vow to gift some sort of tedious task for another person (doing the dishes for them, running their laundry to the laundromat, babysitting for free so your friends can have a date night out, etc)
Add more prayer.
Add more giving.
Add more going out of your way to help another.
In a world where we’re increasingly busy with the noisy societal hustle, sometimes we find ourselves putting God last on our list of priorities instead of first. I do this all the time. It happened last night, even – I was about to sit down with a devotional book, and instead I found myself on Instagram for 45 minutes, and then I fell asleep without opening the book. Womp.
Lent isn’t just about fasting.
Lent is about bettering yourself to grow deeper and deeper in your relationship with Christ. It’s about acknowledging and truly living out the fact that He should be numero uno in your life, above technology, society, and any sorta material thing. It’s about knowing Him more. It’s about realizing what the Cross really means – oh, the Love! It’s about taking that Love poured out for us – the Love that we have done nothing to deserve – and pouring it right back into everyone around us.
One of my favorite songs is called “Ashes”, and it’s only played in church on Ash Wednesday (imagine that, amiright?? ha!). But
Then there’s the verse from Genesis:
“Remember, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Isn’t that a friggin’ powerful reminder?? We all came into this world from absolutely nothing – we are here because God put us here. We started as nothing, and we will end as nothing. I mean…in the most serious way possible, Drake had a point with the whole YOLO thing. Be about it and God every day, every day, every day. It really sheds light on the fact that there is literally NOTHING worth worrying and stressing and crying over when you have a finite time on earth and infinite good to do for others. And mind you, I’m the total worst at this most days – my mom and my husband and my best friends could all agree, I’m sure, when they get the frantic calls and texts like “OH MY GOD CAN I VENT” 😉 – so the reminder is much needed. This is our collective one shot to get it right. Every day is another chance to re-dedicate ourselves to it, and every moment is another chance to do it right.
Lent in March is kinda like New Year’s take 2 on those resolutions, if ya catch mah drift. 😉
So, take this as encouragement.
Just wanna encourage ya to be unafraid to re-dedicate yourself to the goals and dreams and intentions you set out on January 1. Regardless of how far (or not-so-far) you’re come with them already, you’ve got 300+ days left in 2017 to get it right. There is no time to waste on anything besides doing what you were put on this planet to do. Because you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
And the second part of this two-fer of a blog post is because ShopBop’s yuuuuuuuuge sale is underway! I used to never buy anything at all from ShopBop, TBH. Because I always thought it was just all designer/expensive/overpriced stuff, and ain’t nobody got time (or $$$) for that as a broke college student. Now that I’m a grown up (LOL WHAT) with an income and can buy more than Ramen and clearance rack steals, I’ve slowly but surely gotten much more okay with the idea of splurging on the *right* pieces for the right reasons.
Y’all know I’m a clearance/sale girl to the core, so I’m all for a sale like ShopBop’s that lets you get key items and/or things that’ve been on your wishlist for months with a discount on your cart total. #BlessUp. Here’s how the ShopBop sale is structured:
SO. I went through a ton a found my favorites + recommendations so y’all don’t have to dig. You’re welcome. 😉 A few things to highlight…
ShopBop has the *best* selection of the most fun, colorful, summer-ready pool floats. I obviously need the pizza float. And the donut float. And the margarita float. And maybe the swan float? Y’all, I don’t even have a pool and I still need #AllTheFloats.
Kate Spade watch + fitness tracker
This is the solid rose gold version of the two-tone Kate Spade watch I wear everyday! It’s SO GOOD. Classic. Chic. Sophisticated. And versatile enough to dress up or down. I’d most definitely recommend a classic watch, and this one is at a good price point. For workouts, KS has fitness trackers that are superbly cute – waaaaaay cuter than FitBits, in my opinion. 😉
Favorite clothing pieces
All of the below have been on my wishlist and/or in my online cart forevvvvvveerrr, so I have no excuse now. I have to pull the trigger. It’s all on sale, and I’m a sucker.
Tory Burch tote
This tote was my wedding present from J! And y’all compliment it all the time on Instagram, so I couldn’t not share it with y’all. This tote is CLASSIC. It’s perfect for work or play, since it’s big enough to hold a laptop (it even holds my new 17″ one…why I thought getting a friggin’ 17″ laptop was a good idea is beyond me – ha!), but also small enough to use as a larger purse. It’s got a dividing pocket in the middle, which I lovelovelove since I can separate my computer from my notebooks and planners so nothing gets scratched. When I’m using it as a purse, I separate my little pouches of makeup and touch up supplies on one side, and things like my wallet, receipts, etc on the other.
Obvi, I’m a shoe girl. Here are my faves from the ShopBop Sale. Can we talk about those pink heels? SWOON.
Whether you need a gift for yo’ bestie, bride-to-be, or feel a “treat yo’self” coming on (I won’t tell! 😉 ), these are so cute + so clutch! I’m snagging that curling iron travel case; this literally happened to me on my biz trip to Texas a few weekends ago, where I had to pack my still-hot curling iron and had NO CLUE what to do besides pray that my clothes didn’t burn…oops. HA. There’s a plastic cover to shield your bag on rainy days (a godsend when you’re carrying around that Tory listed above 😉 ), faux fur inserts to make your rainboots comfier + warmer, the pink “All in Good Taste” Kate Spade book that I have + lovelovelove, and a watermelon tambourine justbecause. HAHA.
Remember for ANYTHING you snag in the ShopBop Sale, use code GOBIG17 at checkout to apply the discounts to your order!
What are you doing for Lent this year? And what are you picking up from the ShopBop Sale?
Let me know in the comments below. I know this post was looooong + a hodgepodge of randomness, but I hope you still got something good outta it. 🙂 I promise I’ll try to cut back on words next time around…no promises, just trying. 😉
P.S. If ya made it this far, CONGRATULATIONS…you get to enter to win $1,000 to Target!