There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

For the Love of Things

     I had an interesting conversation with my daughter last night about the upcoming Lenten Season.  I explained to her that during Lent some people give something up for the 40 days until Easter Sunday, a sacrifice of sorts.  I started to suggest what I might give up, and our conversation went like this…
 “I’m thinking about giving up chocolate”
“Oh my God, Mom, you could never give up chocolate! Why don’t you give up soda?”
 “I don’t drink soda”
And she said, “I know, so it will be easy.”
Apparently I didn’t explain this well enough.

     The point of Lent is to give up something that is truly a sacrifice, but if I really wanted to do that I would give up something even more difficult than chocolate…my Starbucks tea.  Just the suggestion of that causes me to hyperventilate.  I don’t think I could do it, which is precisely why I should.

     Anything can become an unhealthy attachment.  Once I “need” anything, it’s controlling me.  But there is so much more to the tea than just a beverage.  I spoke of this in my previous blog post A Crutch is a Crutch.  My daily (or twice daily) trip to Starbucks reminds me that I am part of a community.  It gives me an identity and giving that up means standing on my own.

     But isn’t that the point?  To give up our worldy attachments?  I suppose the real point of Lent is less about the 40 day sacrifice and more about leaving behind old ways, and moving forward as a new creation.  It’s about learning to lean on God.

     So over the next week, I have a decision to make.  Do I give up soda, that’s easy.  Do I give up chocolate, more of a struggle, but definitely possible, or do I give up my beloved tea and all that it represents in my life? 

     Of course I could bypass the Lenten season and all the stress of sacrificing anything…after all, I’m not even Catholic.


  1. Usually I just give up bar room brawling and swearing. ;)

    Seriously though, very interesting musings Deborah! I tend to feel the same about needing's hard to give up attachments because we are of this world! It can feel pretty good though if you manage to succeed in what you've chosen to give up.

    I hope you have a wonderful day and a good week before Lent! (And after too of course!:)

  2. haha...funny, Colleen! Thanks, I will let you know what I decide to do about Lent. Have a great day! Glad to see you posted today, I always look forward to hearing your thoughts!

  3. Oh my goodness. What a great post. This is going to make me think! I am not Catholic either but I would like to give up something and make a sacrifice in order to work on my relationship with Jesus! I have been so deeply convicted lately of going to my blog when I first wake up instead of turning to Jesus.

    What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for clicking over via Colleen. I am delighted to meet you!

    Love, Becky

  4. Thanks for stopping by my place! Very interesting thoughts on this. I am not catholic either, so have never considered giving something up for lent.... (Seriously, I should branch out a little, right!) I am considering your list and I like to be a middle of the road gal, so go with the chocolate. Afterall, it seems like you are already working on giving up one crutch right now. Good luck!!

  5. Ok, since you don't have any Catholics weighing in, I figure I will. So, here are some thoughts..the little things in life that give us pleasure, like a Starbucks or chocolate should/could be kept in our lives and enjoyed, even during Lent UNLESS you take that cash you would have spent and give it to the poor/needy. Making that kind of sacrifice makes sense as you can actually see your efforts going to work instead of just suffering for the sake of suffering. How about instead of giving up something, you add something such as lending a hand to a needy org or cleaning out your pantry or closets (get rid of half of what you think you need and less laundry :) ) and giving it to the poor or sick? Adding a habit of giving or helping will surely stick as a life long "sacrifice", long past Lent, and is probably more satisfying than giving up the lil enjoyable coffee or sweet treat for 40 days. After all, happy mother, happy home!

  6. I actually agree with you 100 percent, the more I thought about what I would give up, the more I thought about transferring my "sacrifice" to someone who would benefit. Still working on that, but I will probably blog about it in the future :) Thanks for your thoughts

  7. I am Catholic and Lent is definitely a three part goal (as your above commenter pointed out:) : giving up something (the same idea as fasting), the second part is to do something extra, as in commit to daily Bible reading, helping someone out, etc., and the last is almsgiving. So they all go hand in hand.


    On that note, Lent is not only practiced by Catholics. I know many Anglicans and Lutherans who practice it as well, so feel free to give it a try.:)