My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

giving up whiny Wednesday for Lent.

Lent is like a New Year’s Day do-over with a God slant to it.

It’s like… Jewish guilt on a protestant holiday.

It’s that time of year that we decide to give things up in the name of sacrifice…

And… although I was raised Southern Baptist and attend a Southern Baptist church where we don’t really EMPHASIZE the season of Lent, I think it’s a good excuse for a little self-control.

What are you giving up for Lent?

Even if you're not a big church goer and maybe don't buy into the whole Messiah/crucifixion story... it's spring, it's a time for renewal. It's the perfect time to refresh your life... employ a few new habits and mindsets. Spring cleaning. Time change.

I think this year… I’ll give up whining and complaining. Moaning and groaning doesnt’t make me feel better and it drags the people around me down. I’m going to focus on blessings instead of burdens.

Between now and Easter, I’m going to pay closer attention to what I ask of my body. The damage to my back is partially from totin’ an extra 100 pounds most of my adult life… it’s also from a lot of other abuse and misuse that myself and others put me through… carrying babies, falling down holding babies, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders from time to time. I have no doubt that the physicality of my last marriage impacted my back... not to mention moving so many times during that relationship and carrying FAR more than my share of the load. I've also got to counteract the toxicity of the medications I'm having to take to be able to function. I'm going to explore herbal/natural pain relievers and build my diet around foods that will help and not hurt.

Lent is a great time to adopt a diet closer to what Jesus would have eaten… fish, olive oil, fruit, vegetables. I’m gonna steer clear of the unrecognizable, unpronounceable foods… avoid the sugar demon… avoid those transfats… eat "closer to the ground"... closer to nature... I can't wait for the first batch of spring asparagus! I've been so hampered and not up to cooking... I've got to get back to my salads and stir frys...

This is a great time to spring forward with more than just the clock... I am sick of feeling stuck... I'm sick of my weigh loss plateau but also of just feeling like my life is plateau'ed. I want to make progress toward all of my life goals... become stronger spiritually and not just physically.

During Lent, I want to do more of the things I'm good at, the things that I find rewarding... I have the spiritual gift of exhortation... this means I'm good at encouraging people. I need to do more of that. I have contact with so many people who are going through difficult times, feeling lonely... like the song Hold Fast by Mercy Me... "to everyone who's hurting... to those who've had enough... to all the undeserving... that should cover all of us..." everybody needs a word of encouragement... (except narcissists, *laugh*) everyone needs a blessing, a prayer, a kind thought sent their way. I can do that. I'm not out of stamps yet and prayer is free!

One way to focus less on my own troubles is to focus more on the needs of others.
Last year when I lost my HOPE ring... the one I used to replace my wedding rings... what I had used to carry me through the darkest days... instead of replacing it with an identical ring, I asked for one that said "FAITH" instead. There was a time when HOPE was all I was hanging onto. The Lord impressed on my heart to pass that ring along to another woman who was in a really dark time of her life and I didn't... I was too greedy... not long after that, I lost the ring. I don't think it was a coincidence. I realized that the season for me to cling to HOPE had passed and the time had come for me to have FAITH instead. Hope is a belief... faith is an action. The time for sitting on the sidelines, on the disabled list of life has passed. It's time for me to put my hope in action, with FAITH. Moving forward... springing forth...

Ironically... finally having the whole diagnosis on my back has been empowering for me. The initial xrays gave us some information: osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease... and those are all things that will stay with me. That's my new reality. They suspected compressed nerves which is why they put me on the nerve blocking meds instead of pain medication... but now, knowing that the most painful part of the problem is bulging discs, something that could easily be corrected by getting the swelling under control... is a huge relief. It's a process... and the first four back issues will mean that I always have to take care of my back - no more roller coasters for me, I'm afraid - but knowing that I'm not going to have to be an invalid at 42 - knowing that it WILL get better, is a huge encouragement. It helps me feel like the winter IS passing and spring is in sight.

The idea of LENT is to be selfless... and everything that I've mentioned here benefits me, so I'm not sure I'd pass the test of self-sacrifice... but... ultimately, the better we become, the more useful we become... so I guess, for LENT, I'm giving up giving up.
God bless you during this Holy season.
Love and hugs.


Foodie2 said...

I too wear a FAITH ring, I got mine last year after a troubling time with our daughter. It is a constant reminder to me that God IS in control and if I have Faith and Trust in Him, He WILL direct my paths. Hebrews 11:1 is for sure one of my favorite verses.