This is the second Lenten season that I am making a sacrifice in my everyday life-the “giving up” that you commonly hear about this time of year. I wasn’t raised in a church that participated in this tradition, it was something I came to on my own last year after some amount of prayer and reflection. I want to share that with you here in case you, like me one year ago, have not participated in Lent in this manner. I want to share how it can change your faith.
Last year, I was genuinely interested to see if I could give up something that would be really, incredibly difficult. Something that would leave an absence in my life that would hurt in a way that would bring me to my knees and bring me closer to God. I thought of what would be the most difficult thing to give up and it was obvious to me: sugar. Before you laugh, I have to admit I had a serious addiction to sweets and this was serious and difficult sacrifice for me. I love my dessert, I workout hard most days and enjoy dessert after dinner. I think most women can attest that comfort food, whatever it is for each person, can be a comfort, a joy, a partner in celebration. I wanted to ditch the crutch and find more of my comfort, joy, and partner in celebration in God my Father. Well, I did it, and it was hard, but it was SO worth it. The main thing I learned last year was the power of God in my life. Like many others, I had tried to ditch sugar from my life countless times in the past and had never succeeded.
I succeeded with God.
It was an amazing lesson. I wish I had sufficient words to explain how empowering that was for me. And I celebrated on Easter Sunday with the world’s best cupcake.
I thought about giving up sugar again this year but also wanted to do something new, something that would reveal a new truth for me. After some thought I realized that the thing I have been loving the most lately-finding the most joy and comfort in: spending money.
On things like Starbucks, Amazon, Target, Pottery Barn, Dinners out, stuff for the house, magazines, etc., etc., etc. So this year, in commitment to God, I am giving up ALL SPENDING for Lent. Of course I will still spend money on groceries, gas, and utilities, but that is just about it. Nothing extra and nothing “fun.” I think this is going to be really difficult. I hope so. I really hope that the sacrifice teaches me a new form of discipline. I’m ready for it. “But whatever was my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”
If you are giving up something for Lent, I’d love to hear your story!!
now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything
a loss compared to the surpassing
greatness of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord.