Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent 2012

Catholics and Christians are not the only people who participate in Lent. Neither are the fad followers on social networks because Lent is the in-thing to do. I was once a Catholic schoolgirl and I still participate. It is a period of 40 days devoted to fasting and abstinence. People typically "give up" things they are attached to. Last year, I gave up specific items for Lent. This year, I took a more mature approach.

While reading Jen Hatmaker's 7, I considered three questions when trying to determine what to "give up" for Lent.
  1. What in my life, if taken away, would alter my value or identity?
  2. What causes an unhealthy change of attitude, personality, or focus when "it" becomes threatened?
  3. What is the thing outside of God that you put everything else on hold for?
My first thought was food. Seriously, I am most happy when food is in my mouth. No joke. It comforts me. It soothes me. It fulfills me. But I gave up certain foods last Lent. My second thought was liquid crack, Pepsi. But I gave Pepsi up last Lent. And besides, I just purchased a 12-pack. That certainly can't sit in my fridge untouched for 40 whole days. My third thought was books. But that would mean giving up spiritual and Bible study books that I read along with fiction. Plus I have book review and manuscript commitments. For a split second, I thought about joining Chickadee with Daniel's Fast. A split second! See where this is going? At this rate, I would be skipping Lent 2012. So I thought about it on a broader scale.

"Need" and "want" are not interchangeable. Americans tend to forget this. I personally have a bad habit of justifying purchases based on what I "want" instead of "need." Another question proposed in 7 really got me to thinking. "Would Jesus overindulge on garbage food while climbing out of a debt hole from buying things He couldn't afford to keep up with neighbors He couldn't impress?"

My Lent 2012: No excess. No overindulgence. No irresponsible spending.

I will only purchase what I need, not want. I will use items I already have instead of spending money on more, more, and more. I will still eat chicken, but it doesn't have to be fried and smothered in gravy. I will still drink Pepsi, but not my usual 12 oz. can per day. I will still read books, but only from my public library or my To Be Read pile. No sense in purchasing new books while I already have tons to read already. Sorry Amazon Wish List, you're being put on hold. I will still wear makeup, but crack open the new items I have yet to wear rather than splurging on sale items from Ulta and Sephora. Instead of grabbing food from fast food joints, I will cook the food already in my kitchen. No more handing my debit card over for that cute new pair of jeans when I have stacks of unworn jeans in my closet. And this hurts my heart, but no purchasing boots when I already own pairs that my pretty little feet have yet to step into.

"I will reduce, so He can increase." ~ Jen Hatmaker

I will also "Pause & Pray." My mind is in rotation 25/8. I rarely take a moment to just pause and meditate. Take a quiet breath. So I will make a conscious effort to pause during random moments of my day to pray.

This will be a challenge but I am looking to make it a lifestyle. I am hoping this Lent season will last more than 40 of my calendar days. Share your Lent 2012 plans.


  1. Lent 2012 Dates: Wed, Feb 22 - Sat, April 7

  2. I wish I would have known about this book before lent. I went through the same thing you did when trying to determine what I was going to give up. I knew that right now I am trying to view my body as a temple and I need to take baby steps (like you I love food). At first I was going to give up Cokes (its my crack), but knew that I would just substitute other sodas, so I decided to eliminate all sodas. It is actually harder than I thought it was going to be.

    1. I have the same struggle with food and liquid crack (Pepsi/Coke). But like you said, we will just find substitutes. Good luck with eliminating all sodas for Lent 2012.

      Read "7" and prepare yourself for next Lent. I'll be around to give you support and encouragement. :-)

    2. I totally understand what you guys are saying. I substituted Dr. Pepper (especially Fountain Dr. Pepper) for my Pepsi. I was totally loving it, but I felt guilty after the first year and gave up soda all together for Lent the rest of the years.

      Hugs, Yogi

  3. It's now June 2012 and I just came across your blog about Lent. I was extremely addicted to pepsi and chips. I was up to a 12-Pack a Day!! And it was the good stuff.... no, no Diet Pepsi for this gal. And, chips every single day. When I smoked I gave up smoking for Lent (very hard for me). After that, I gave up Pepsi and chips for the next 10 years (Extremely hard for me with the Pepsi). And then I had a Gastric Bypass and had to give up Pepsi for good. Amazingly I did very, very well. It surprised me and really surprised everyone who knew me and my addiction. Well, since the bypass in 2007 (losing 195 pounds; 135 inches; and going from a size 30 to a size 8) I have been giving myself a hall pass on Lent. I felt that I had nothing to give up any more. But, reading your post has inspired me. So, I will think long and hard and give up something that I 'want' that I don't 'need' for 2013 (I just hope it isn't Reality t.v. LOL). I will become again a Good Catholic.

    Thank You Literary Marie...

    Hugs, Yogi

  4. Fountain sodas are my weakness. Good job giving up Dr. Pepper, Yogi.