Tuesday, February 21, 2012


This year I've decided to do something to observe Lent. I like the idea of fasting something to focus for the 40 days before Easter. I was pondering what to fast and sweets came to mind. I feel like my sweet tooth has somewhat gotten out of control since the holidays. There is always junk around my house for some reason, usually not even purchased by me. Candy, cookies, sweets...it's like a universal gift, especially for Valentine's Day.

Last week I was preparing for my retreat and was feeling very overwhelmed and inadequate as a leader. Wednesday I felt really oppressed by something and hated the way I felt. On Thursday I decided to fast all sweets which may not sound like a big deal but a friend of mine had just given me some ah-mazing sugar cookies (I had one Wednesday night) and there were several left just waiting to be enjoyed. Sugar cookies might be my favorite dessert ever. Also my mom had sent a BUNCH of candy in her Valentine's Day care package which was thoughtful but so not something I need around my house!! Something about having sweets lying around my house makes them hard to resist, especially during the day when I'm home. On Thursday I decided to not give in to any urges to eat sweets and I had a great day. I did the same thing Friday before the retreat and I just felt better overall. Go figure, right? :) Since then I have had one piece of candy for dessert one night after dinner and it didn't even taste that great and gave me a mild headache.

This may sound silly and petty but it's working for me. I'm going to continue to give up sweets for Lent and pray that it honors God. What's more significant though is I'm not going to indulge in a "one last time" binge session. Do you ever do that when you know you're about to give up something? Over indulge just because you can? I think that kind of defeats the purpose.

Here is an article on Lent I found online by Damien Parks, a Christian blogger.

What is LENT?

Since the earliest days of the Christian church LENT has been a season of searching, repentance, and reflection. This forty day period (excluding Sundays) imitates the forty day period spent in the ark by Noah, the period of time spent in the wilderness by Israel and it is through this period an individual also imitates the time Jesus spent in isolation in the wilderness.

These forty days are an invitation to renewal. LENT is not simply a time to give up a vice or make a simple diet change but rather a call to preparation as we approach the celebration of resurrection. It is on Easter that one experiences renewal but through this season of preparation an individual experiences the giving up of everything. This season can take on many forms, social, personal, internal, external. For it is through this forty-day season we are called to truly experience what the human struggle is all about. Throughout the course of this time spent time each and everyday focusing on a few of the following:

- Time of solitude each day.
- Keep a journal reflecting on some of the things you are reading, learning, etc.
- Read a book for inner reflection and growth.
- Focus on the other instead of the personal ask in prayer.
- Make a list of people what you need to be reconciled with.
- Forgive
- Let go of a grudge
- Say “no” to something that is a waste of money, time, etc.
- Find and be a voice for those that have no voice
- Ask others to join you in this season.
- Love.

Are you ready to enter into a season of renewal? What are the next steps for you?


Are you giving up anything for Lent?


Melissa said...

It's not petty at all! Giving up sweets is so necessary for me. But i haven't done it at all. And it's crucial for me! I wasn't going to give up anything for lent, but maybe it should be sweets!

Love what he said about Lent. Very interesting!

sister sheri said...

I'm joining Mark Batterson's Experilent. Hitting my knees for 40 days in prayer at 7:14am (or whenever able) and seeking God. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Laura said...

Came over from Melissa's blog. This was a great post on Lent. I grew up Catholic and while I know Lent wasn't a joke for everyone it seemed to be for many. Or maybe "joke" isn't the right word. It was something people tried because they were supposed to. But very few that I ever knew were successful in sticking it out. And I rarely saw true change in a person through their sacrifice. They just gave up and gave in when it got hard. So for me Lent isn't something I do anymore.

But this post made me think about it differently and for that I thank you.

I've already given up sweets and there is so much to be gained from it. I haven't had them for two months now and feel like God has asked me to go a full year. It's not easy. I'm having to actually deal with my emotions and feelings because I'm no longer stuffing them with food. (Emotional eater here!)

Anyways... if you ever need encouragement along the way when things get hard I'm your girl! I've been through it and still deal with it. I'm also writing a series on sugar on my blog right now. I always say knowledge is power so come over and learn if you'd like. :) Of course God is the only one that can give us the strength we need when those temptations get a little crazy.