Sunday, February 19, 2012

40 days and 40 nights

After reading, Backtrack and Back on Track on another friend's blog, The Mother Load, it makes me contemplate a journey I have decided to embark on myself.  A 40 day cleanse of mind and body which will be happening during Lent (which is the 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday -  The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days of lent because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter", a celebration of Jesus' victory over sin and death. Source  Jesus spent 40 days in the desert fasting before he began his public ministrySource ). 

I grew up Catholic,went (forcefully) to church every week and every holiday, went to a Catholic elementary school, went to CCD (or catechism, religion classes as some call it - I actually didn't know what CCD stood for till just now.), got confirmed.  You know all the good stuff.  When I was younger I would give up things for Lent because, well that's what I was told to do. 

When I was older, even as young as high school (maybe even younger???), I think is when I stopped giving stuff up for Lent, probably mostly because I don't like being told what to do for no good reason.  I never felt a good enough reason for WHY I was doing it.  So sassy little me didn't give up a single thing till last year. (The year before last I was pregnant, and figured I was giving up enough! :0)  But last year I felt very convicted to want to give something up for Lent.  I gave up wine.  For me, it was the one thing I really didn't want to give up.  So it seemed the logical choice to give up.  (It was the one thing I really missed each time I was pregnant.)  When asked by some of my friends who didn't fully, or at all, understand my decision, I explained it like this.  Jesus gave up His life, in a terrible awful way, for ME, to give ME, eternal life.  When you look at it that way, 40 (or 46 days) doesn't seem like that much in return.  And (this part I didn't say, because their eyes were already glazing over), the best part of about God, I didn't need to do this to get my Golden ticket, but it's a darn good reminder of what was sacrificed for little ol' me.  What an amazing gift Grace is. :)

These glasses make me chuckle.
So on to this year.  I have decided to give up alcohol in general. (Some of you may be gasping).  I fully admit, I'm full up on antioxidants from drinking red wine, and the Captain and I are on very good speaking terms.  I have only told one person about this yet - my little sister - only because it seemed a natural part of the conversation (did I mention we were enjoying wine at the time ;).  I don't feel it's necessary to tell every person I know I'm giving up the goods, as I don't want to appear like a Pharisee (yes I realize this blog could reach 10's of people, but isn't that what blogs are for? to get the swirl of thoughts in your brain OUT of your brain?).  I have a family gathering in March and I know people will automatically assume I am pregnant when I don't drink.  And I suppose I should tell Andy so he doesn't bring home a yummy bottle expecting me to enjoy it with him.  But whatever.  I have to admit when I was first contemplating this, I wondered if I was doing it for the right reasons.  On top of the giving up part, I am really looking forward to the health benefits of not consuming all those empty calories...and maybe I'll actually start realizing the fitness goals I have.  Sometimes it makes me wonder am I being selfish in my giving up alcohol?  Am I giving it up for the right reasons?   But as Wednesday draws near, I'm starting to think about not enjoying a glass of wine with dinner,  and it doesn't make me jump for joy.  So I think I'm in the clear???  So this is the cleansing of the body.

I also plan to participate in a "Lenten Journey" at my church.  It's a 40 day study.  I have started, then stopped, studying the Bible more times than I'd care to admit.  Will I continue to study EVERY day after Lent is over?  I don't know.  Let's see how committing to study every day for 40 days works out first.  I really do enjoy learning and growing when I stick to it.  Then life always seems to get in the way.  Or I let life get in the way.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day to work with.  I admit, some days, I could be more productive with mine.  So 40 (46) days of study.  The cleansing of the mind.

This should be an interesting 40 days and 40 nights.

PS.  As I just got done disciplining Thing One, for the same issue we have talked about over, and over, and over..... this could be a very long 40 days and 40 nights............Cheers!

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