Slow Down for a Time of Reflection this Lenten Season

Slow and steady wins the race is the moral of the story about the Tortoise and the Hare. I’m not sure it always holds true, but there is definitely wisdom in taking things slowly rather than always rushing ahead. SLOW is the #FiveMinuteFriday word prompt for this week. We all need to slow down and make time for reflection.


Lent: A Time to Slow Down

We are coming up to the season of Lent as observed in both Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches. The first thing many of us think us when Lent is mentioned is that something has to be given up for the 40 day period. I’ve also heard that you could add something meaningful instead.

In thinking of Lent I believe it is also a time of slowing down, of contemplation, a remembrance of the last days Jesus spent on earth before His sacrificial death.

I did not grow up practicing Lent, but am now learning to see it as a meaningful time of reflection. My observance of Lent has been sporadic and some years I haven’t done much at all. This year we will be on vacation when it begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1. Since we’ll be relaxing at the beach there will be ample time to take things more slowly.

We are planning to read through a couple of books written especially for the Lenten season. Both are written by friends of mine, one of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person several times. The other I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years in a small online writer’s group.


Books to Read for Lent

The first I want to share is The Living Cross – Exploring God’s gift of forgiveness and new life by Amy Boucher Pye. She is an author and speaker and contributes devotions for Our Daily Bread. Amy is passionate about the Scriptures and sharing God’s love with others. She write a weekly devotional on her blog.



In Amy’s words from the Introduction:

“Lent is traditionally a time of self-examination and thus an opportune moment to delve into God’s stories of forgiveness. As we move from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day we will engage with biblical characters from both the Old Testament and the New, as well as modern-day accounts of sin and forgiveness.”


Amy’s book is divided into weekly sections with a devotion and prayer for each day. At the end of every section as per the Table of Contents are “spiritual exercises and questions for individual reflection and group discussion.” The focus is on the forgiveness we have in Christ.

The Living Cross can be found at Amazon.


The other book I want to share is:


40 Days of Lent – the people, places and events of the Passion by Susan Shipe. Susan is an author who writes from her heart the words she has to share. She blogs at Hope, Heart Home.



These words from her Introduction tell a bit about the book:

“We will cover events, people and places. For 40 days, minus Sunday’s we will meet on the pages of this devotional; remembering Jesus’ final days on earth and celebrating His victory over life and death!

Each short chapter ends with a challenge for us to consider. Also included are a couple of maps showing the area of the ministry of Jesus. At the end  of the book she shares a recipe and a project. Susan’s book is also available at Amazon.

I’m looking forward to reading both of these books. The plan is to read one in the morning and one in the evening. I hope you will take a look at these wonderful books that point us to Jesus. His sacrifice was great, but it made a way for us to be forgiven. What great mercy and love He continually shows to us!


I’m linking up with #FiveMinuteFriday.



14 thoughts on “Slow Down for a Time of Reflection this Lenten Season

  1. Hi Gayl,
    So nice to see you again. I love this idea of slowing down for Lent. I haven’t decided my focus if anything this year. Last year I did a scripture each week – an in-depth study. A few more days for God to tell me what’s on the agenda this time. 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Janis! I am looking forward to slowing down next week and hope to continue even after our vacation.

      I’m sure you’ll know in time what to do for this year. God has His own timetable. 🙂

      Blessings to you!

  2. They both look like great Lenten studies. I’ll have to check them out. One of my fave things is how Lent reminds me to slow down. I’m in the 6 spot this week.

    1. Yes, I’m really looking forward to reading them and taking time to slow down. Thanks for stopping by! I hope to visit your blog tomorrow.

      Blessings to you, Tara! xo

  3. Dear Gayl, Yes, I am also trying to slow my thoughts during Lent this year. And, just as you said, Susan expresses the same thing in her book (I am already reading it, since my heart was so drawn into this time period!) Lent can be a time of laying something down, but also taking up something that He asks of us. He has been asking me to lay down my own ideas of what prayer should look like, and to take up Silent/Centering Prayer to meet Him in a new way. What a wonderful way to begin your slowing down season, together with your husband on your trip away. I will pray for much blessing during that trip, my friend! Love & Hugs! xo

    1. Dear Bettie, Thank you so much or visiting and sharing your thoughts. I like the idea of the Silent/Centering Prayer. I’ll have to look into it.

      Yes, I’m really looking forward to the slowing down and relaxing and reconnecting while away. Thank you for your prayers for blessings. You’re a faithful friend. Many blessings to you and yours! Love and hugs, dear friend! xoxo

  4. Thank you for sharing your book suggestions for Lent, and your own thoughts about slowing down during this time. I didn’t grow up in a faith tradition that emphasized Lent either, but I think it is a really meaningful practice.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jeannie! Yes, Lent can be really meaningful and I hope to spend some extra time contemplating and reading the Bible.

      Blessings to you! Have a great weekend!

  5. I love the thought of slowing down during this season. That is a word for me! I would love to sit and read a book just soaking in the Presence of God while meditating on the journey Christ made just before his death and ressurection. Beautifully written!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Tasha! Yes, I hope to have time to sit and meditate and be in the Presence of God this next week. We will be vacationing in FL, with my husband’s sisters and their spouses, but I will have plenty of time to rest and read. I’m leaving my computer at home.

      Thanks so much for your encouragement! Blessings to you!

  6. I really need to get Susan’s book. i went to a catholic high school and since I was at a protestant church i felt like Lent didn’t really apply to me, but I did give up something my senior year. I need to do it this year. I have felt led to do something, but haven’t figured out what. 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting, Amanda! Susan’s book is to the point and thought provoking. It’s great. Hope you are finding a meaningful time this Lenten season. May God be with you and bless you and yours.

      Have a great weekend!

  7. Hello Gayl! Thanks for all the information and ideas about ‘Lent’. Both books are interesting. Giving something up for 40 days and using this time to slow down and reflect on your relationship with God is a brilliant idea. <3

    1. Hi Vashti! Thanks for visiting and commenting. We started our well reading these books, but missed a few days. We’re home from our vacation now and are attempting to get back into it. I need to make sure to slow down and reflect. It’s so hard when there are lots of demands. 🙂

      Blessings to you and have a great weekend!

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