2.09.2016

Lent: What I am giving up and why


As I sit here with a cup of coffee, chocolate macadamia nut with coconut milk, I am ready to tell the world what I am giving up for Lent.

First, what is Lent?
Lent is the season leading up to Easter. It is 40 days, if you don't count Sundays, and starts on Ash Wednesday. It is a time to turn away from sin and grow closer to God.

Why give something up?
I have heard multiple explanations with one being to let go of sin. Give up sinning. But growing up as a kid often I was encouraged to give up candy and candy in itself is not a sin. The explanation I like better is to give up a pleasure in life. Something extra that isn't necessary for survival and that might be a bit hard to do to let yourself share in the suffering of Christ. Both elements hold appeal in different ways to me today.

For my daughter, I do not ask her to give up candy. I tend to focus on the turning away from sin in terms of behavior modification. Last year she did a great job in becoming less whiny. This year she plans on working on her sassiness. I would rather her see Lent as what it is in terms of the days leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, why he died for us, and his resurrection. I want her to learn her faith and grow stronger spiritually and not feel aggravated and pull way from her growing faith because she wants candy. Okay, she doesn't eat much candy but you get the gist.

For me, I want more. Last year I gave up alcohol with dear hubby and he announced, let's do it again, dear. Okay, I will but since I hardly drink alcohol after last year's "sacrifice" I feel it in itself is a lame "sacrifice". So I thought, hey, I will give up yelling. I have a bad habit if things build up too much I can yell out of frustration and stress. I don't want to do that anymore. I am getting better but I want to get even better. But still, those two seemed not quite enough.

This has been on my mind for months. Even since before Christmas and then it dawned on me. I always had the thought, don't take away my coffee! So that is exactly what I am going to do...kinda.

You see, I learn from others that if you bite off more than you can chew your Lenten "sacrifice" can become a hurdle or chore versus bringing you closer to God so...I am only allowed one cup of coffee each day. EEK!!!

When I told darling daughter and dear hubby they both confirmed what I already knew by telling me, "Woah! That is going to be tough for you!"

Picture my typical day - it starts with coffee going down to work with me and a cup after work and sometimes, a cup at work!!! Sundays, I wake up with my cup of coffee, brew another cup to take to Sunday School to drink while darling daughter learns, and then another cup later in the day after we get home from horse lessons. Yep, three cups of coffee on most days going down to one. Darling daughter's advice, think hard mom and decide when you want your cup of coffee the most each day. In the morning or after work. My initial response, BOTH!!!! But perhaps starting the day with it is better...or coming home to it may be better...oh my!!! Help me!

I know it will be tough but I am a marathoner and I am confident by choosing the "Please don't take my coffee!: I will learn something wonderful about myself and in all reality, it is a lot easier than dying on a cross.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for free speech.

Daily Bible Verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. ~ John 3:16

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