I’ve been thinking about what to give up for Lent. A few years ago, my oldest daughter, Megan, and I (and 7 month old, Beb) went on a Mother/Daughter trip. It was the first weekend of Lent and the priest told us at the homily, “Don’t give up Oreos for Lent…Just eat one.” Whoa, dude! Back up now. Talk about sacrifice!!
Every year I would ask my mom, “What are you giving up for Lent?” And every year she would answer, “I’m not going to eat in between meals.” “Yeah, but what are you going to GIVE UP?!” I would retort back.
Then, I tried it. Not eating in between meals. It’s not easy. I’m hungry all the time. Well, not hungry. Bored. I know it’s hard to be bored when you have as many kids as I have. But, yes, I get bored, or stressed, or whatever. Like those chocolate chip cookies look really good and they won’t be as fresh tomorrow so I’ll just have one, or five.
This year I’ve been practicing not eating while I watch TV and then I spend the entire of episode of NCIS thinking about the blueberries and whipped cream in the fridge. Because, you know, fruit. And, really, the whipped cream doesn’t have that many calories per serving. Never mind the fact I’m eating as many servings as people living in my house.
Yesterday, while I proudly displayed my ashes for all to see (which was the exact opposite of the message in the Gospel) I was reflecting on things I should really give up for Lent.
How much different would my life look in six weeks if I gave up things like:
*Jumping to conclusions (which is pretty much the only exercise I’ve been getting lately)
What if this Lent I focused on things like being kind of others, being the Light of Christ to all I encounter, or giving others the benefit of the doubt?
What if there was less of me and more of Jesus? What if I focused more on the Gospel and less on Gossip?
It’s not going to be perfect. It’s not always going to be pretty. But it will be something. FlyLady says, “Cleaning your house imperfectly still blesses your family.” It’s like that for Lent, too. Making small sacrifices, however small, still blesses my soul. And that’s all God asks for us.