Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Preparing for Lent

I've given some thought to what I should give up for Lent.  It needs to be something that is a bit difficult, that perhaps plays too much in your life and distracts you from things.  So, this year I am giving up buying coffee out.  Sure, with my Starbucks card I can get free refills of brewed coffee.  But I have to first spend $1.50 to get that first cup.  And while it may not have seemed like much to me.... it adds up!  We would normally go 3-5 times a week, with two people that was $9-15 a week!

Beside the waste of money, too often we would go to avoid having to work around the house, or because we were bored.  I think when G comes home we'll have a once a week coffee date (because really $3 a week isn't bad, and we are always able to chat better when we don't feel like there are dishes we should do, etc.).  But for this Lenten season I'm saying no to the avoidance and money down the gullet and making my coffee at home.  Even my organic fair trade breakfast blend coffee from Trader Joe's is only about $6 for 14 oz. of beans.  So, since it's just me and I'm less likely to go to coffee by myself I'm estimating I would have only been going about 3 times a week.  So $4 a week is being put into the rice bowl (it's collected and goes to help world hunger.)

I am also trying to cut back on my use of the f-word and will be cutting that out of my frequent vocabulary.  I do not find that there should be a stigma about this word, after all words only have as much power as we give them (and honestly my goal is to cut back so that when I do use it, it has emphasis).  But when we're talking about beginning a family in the next year or two, I certainly don't want my 5 year dropping the f-bomb in Sunday school.  For every time I use it and catch myself (and I know there will be moments I won't), $1 is getting put into the rice bowl.

Obviously during Lent I won't be eating meat on Fridays.  If I manage to pull this off faithfully, it will be the first time ever.  I kinda suck at remembering.  I'm hoping the menu plan helps.  If by chance I forget while, say, out for dinner then I am pledging to pay the cost of the meal into the rice bowl.  Hopefully that will keep me remembering that I can give up my bounty for one night.

I did already forget that on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday I am supposed to fast, with one normal sized meal and if needed two smaller meals (but they shouldn't equal one whole meal).  So, I'm adjusting my planned menu for Wednesday.  Breakfast will be tea and piece of fruit, lunch will be a salad the size of a side salad, and then dinner will be a slice of the goat cheese tart with a small salad.  It's a good reflection for being able to survive off of less.  For me personally it will be nice to focus a little less on food.  

I also want to use this time by doing some things that remind me to focus on the important things in life: God, family, friends, charity.  One thing I plan to do is spend time in prayer each morning, something I too often neglect.  I also plan to make a candle set for the Stations of The Cross.  That way I can focus on why we celebrate Lent, why the church is solemn.  I cannot speak for all Christians because I've not attended every denomination, but for Catholics Easter is a bigger deal to us than Christmas.  We read the Passion of The Christ aloud in church, we darken our church, reminding us of the sacrifice of Jesus, and on Easter we light candles and we celebrate the fact that He rose, not for himself, but to show us that He could, that God sacrificed him for our sake.  That there is a reason. 

1 comment:

  1. Your goals for Lent all sound good. I'm giving up potato chips. Sounds silly, but they are a weakness of mine! Bess