When our children were young, we were friends with several Catholic families who gave up something for Lent. I remember one of our neighbors gave up chocolate and ate an entire chocolate cake on Easter morning! This story still makes me laugh!
Neal and I are not Catholic. We are United Methodist, but more importantly, than what denomination we are, we just love our Lord and Savior. However, this tradition of giving up something for Lent has influenced our family to some degree.
Many Christians fast or give up something to replicate Jesus’ sacrifice in the desert for 40 days. I have not always given up something for Lent, but I plan to do so this year. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019, and ends Easter Morning on April 21, 2019.
I have been thinking about this recently. Neal and I have been eating healthy for a few months. I have already waved good-bye to diet coke, which was my “go-to” every morning; now, I drink a cup of hot green tea. The last few months, I have basically given up all chips, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc. (i.e. all junk food), which was a real hurdle for a few weeks. Giving up something like this now does not seem like enough sacrifice. However, I want to do something to symbolize Jesus’ sacrifice and grow closer to Him.
So, I think I have finally determined what I will give up for Lent. Drumroll please . . . I am going to give up complaining. You say, What!?! But it is true! I am going to give up complaining. I am usually an optimistic person, but lately, my complaining has increased.
This means I cannot complain about the weather, how my hairdryer broke halfway through drying my hair, spilling tea down the front of my shirt (while traveling with no backup shirt), my hotel losing my reservation, tasks I have to complete, when the internet goes out in the middle of a blog post, traffic, muddy Daisy, running late, people, politics, etc. I am going to try . . . no, let me reframe that . . . I AM NOT GOING TO COMPLAIN for 40 days!
It is going to be hard and I will need constant reminders (and lots of prayers) not to complain, but I am determined to do this! I plan on putting sticky notes around the house and in my car to remind me to be positive. I am going to reframe negatives into positives:
- Weather – I am thankful for the rain and watering the soon-to-be budding trees!
- Hairdryer broke – I am thankful for the really nice lady who quickly brought me a new hairdryer.
- Spilling hot tea down the front of my shirt (while traveling with no backup shirt) – I will use this as a funny story and it causes me to be humble.
- My hotel losing my reservation – This is an opportunity to just let go and trust God’s plan; in addition, I am thankful for helpful people who scrambled to find me a room.
- Tasks I have to complete – Accomplishing tasks is all in God’s time – – His will, not mine.
- When the internet goes out in the middle of a blog post – This is a good time to slow down and enjoy some time reading my Bible or in prayer.
- Traffic – This is a good time to slow down and get to my destination safely . . . and pray for the safety of all those on the road.
- Muddy Daisy (our dog) – We are blessed to have a healthy and playful dog who loves to play in the rain.
- Running late – I need to plan better (leave earlier next time) and just enjoy the journey of life, even if I am late.
- People – I have the privilege of loving and accepting all people. We all have flaws, including me. I am thankful to love and forgive just like our Heavenly Father loves and forgives me.
- Politics – Even though I may not agree with someone’s perspective, I still love and need to pray for our leaders. When all is said and done, God is ultimately in charge.
On a related note, Neal and I watched a documentary about healthy living. He is reading a book on this topic. Simply stated, the more positive thoughts and feelings we think and feel, the healthier we are.
It will be hard because I am human and things bug me. However, tomorrow is the big day and as nervous as I am about this commitment, I am excited to become a better person.
Please share what you are you giving up for Lent by commenting below.
Share how do you reframe negatives into positives.