Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent, 2011

I was raised Catholic as a child, and attended private Catholic school from Kindergarten alllllllllll the way through til I got my bachelor's in college. (that's a lot of Catholic schooling!!)

So to say the idea of giving up something for Lent has been drilled into my head for many, many years is an understatement.
As a kid, Lent was just that - a time to give up something. Sure, sure, we were taught that we were to spend this time "growing closer to Jesus" but that's a very abstract idea to a child. Giving up something you wanted was a way to make it real, I suppose.

However, even as an adult, I still hear of lots of other adults giving things up for Lent. And while I think making changes to better yourself as a person is great, I don't necessarily think that's what Lent is for. Especially because I know a lot of people give things up for selfish reasons, not for God reasons. (think: if I give up fill in the blank I will lose weight/save money/whatever.) I'm not judging, and there's nothing wrong with that, but if that's all there is, you're certainly not improving your relationship with God, I don't think. It's all about your mindset and your reason for doing what you're doing.
Also, I really like the idea of doing something additional for Lent, and I think that's a great way to improve yourself, and be a better person, and keep your focus on God.

Anyway, all that being said, here's what I'm going to do for the next forty days:

   1. Don't say mean or unnecessarily negative things.
For the most part, I like to think of myself as a nice person. I'm polite, I do good deeds for friends&family and strangers. Buuuttttt, I'm also guilty of being a little catty. If someone annoys me or I encounter a rude person or whatever the situation may be, I'll most likely bitch to my husband about it that night. Or to a friend I chat with during the day. I don't particularly like that trait, and so I'm going to work on changing it. God tells us to "love one another" and that's what I'm going to try and do.

   2. Go to church every Sunday. 
I'm kind of ashamed to post that one, because going to church should already be a given, but since baby came it hasn't been. I enjoy going to church and I always feel like I learn something, or hear something that I need to hear, and I know God appreciates that I make the time for him too.

   3. Give up sweets. 
For anyone who knows me, this is huge. It's probably unfathomable. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I eat more sweets than anyone else I know. And I'm not giving up sweets to lose weight or watch calories or anything silly like that, but kind of as a way to focus my thoughts on being a better Christian. Trust me when I say I think about sweets at least 10 times a day. But during the next forty days, every time I think about having dessert or wishing I could have candy/chocolate/cookies/ice cream/etc, I'm going to take the time to remember the purpose of Lent and say a prayer or reflect on being kinder to others or more patient with my kiddos or whatever it may be.
And in case you're curious sweets = cookies, cake, any baked goods, ice cream, frozen yogurt, candy, chocolate......
I'm not giving up sugar, which means I can still have things like yogurt, sweetened cereal, healthy granola bars (that don't have chocolate), maple syrup in my oatmeal, etc.

Happy lent everyone!

22 comments:

  1. I love your attitude! I'm with you on hating when I hear people say things like "I'm giving up cheese!" and then talk about hoping to lose weight. That's why I chose cleaning this year, I'm hoping to remember to be more thankful for all that I have while I clean since I take it for granted most of the time!

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  2. Good for you!! You have a great attitude and I'm sure this will be a positive experience for you.

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  3. Good thoughts, Megan. Lent is all about growing closer to God and becoming better, more Christ-like people. Blessings for the journey!

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  4. Good luck!! I didn't add this on my post about Lent but I always try to say at least one rosary per week for someone I don't care for an about something made me mad. It makes me feel more charitable and less catty about the situation. I thought it might be helpful with your #1. :)

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  5. I'm with you on this one Megan. I try to add something to do during Lent and give up something to make me a better person. I'm adding reading the Bible daily. I'm giving up cussing and gossip. And I may give up candy (still trying to decide on that one!)

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  6. Well, I'm not Catholic, so I've never grown up with giving something up at a specific time. Instead, I strive (with God's help) to only do what pleases Him anyway. One thing I've been doing very regularly is spending time with Him by reading His Word. My prayer life has always been very strong, but I lack discipline in reading the Bible. The best way to get to know someone is spending time with them, right? My day gets started off right and I just feel better, stronger, more ready to be used by Him. ;)

    Church is a big one for my family. It's not out of duty (though sure there are days when we just don't feel like it), but it's out of love. If you can find a good, Bible-based church you definitely should. To me, Christianity is about a relationship, not religion.

    Okay. Off my box. :)

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  7. This was a great post Megan. I would say the giving up of sweets for you will be hard, so you are such a sweet lady and really going to church with little ones can be so hard.

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  8. peace out sweets! I love that you included other goals with the exclusion for lent -- such a sweetie =) I don't think you could ever say a mean thing. I don't believe it!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  9. I love this post. I'm not Catholic and don't do Lent, but I just LOVE that you have such a great attitude about it and you are doing several things to be closer with God!!

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  10. way to go!! i bet you'll feel wonderful by the time Easter comes :)

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  11. I think it's positively lovely!

    The only thing I gave up was cursing .... and Lord knows I need to get rid of that horrid habit.

    You should pop over and link up to my Lent post, too :)

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  12. good luck on the sweets thing-you're very brave. i'm not even a big sweets eater but when i try to give it up and pray for someone when i'm having a craving, i start to go nuts and pace like a caged animal-it becomes all i can think about.

    mass can be pretty tricky with little ones, but i'm banking on the fact that i get extra graces for it ; )

    i didn't realize you went to newman. for some reason i thought you went to ksu.

    (thanks for all your kind and encouraging comments on my blog. i can't help but think of mrs. filbrick's english class and gel pens when i see your picture. and glitter. i was always in awe of your glitter skillz bad in the day.)

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  13. Ive never done Lent, I just read up about it yesterday and had the same thoughts that you have written, do people do it just because they have too, do they know the real reason!?? AWESOME post girl,I love how honest you are! <3 ya!

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  14. This is such a great approach to Lent. I agree with everything you said here, and I love your to-do list. I could definitely use more positivity, more church, and fewer sweets in my life as well!

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