Lent – Throwing in the White Flag

If you know me or even sort of follow my blog, you know that I love to set goals for myself. For example, as a novice runner I set a goal of running a half marathon – and accomplished it last fall!

Sometimes though, these goals are a bit too lofty for my actual commitment level (ex. last Lent – no gossip).

This time, I got myself in a bind. I even tried to give myself some wiggle room (drinking six times in six weeks, regardless of the day), though to no avail.
Maybe it was because I decided on my Lent sacrifice after a glass (or two) of wine on Fat Tuesday. Maybe it was because my heart wasn’t really in the right place. Maybe it was just too freaking hard.

Regardless of the reason, I’m chalking Lent 2013 up to another FAIL.
When talking to my mom about this, she (the sweet, Christian woman that she is) told me that it is okay because I’m not perfect & that maybe I should just try to revise my sacrifical goal, like maybe only drinking on the weekends. My friend Rachel told me that I should just try to give up beer. My BF, Alex just said I told you so. Dammit.

So since I went all out in the blogosphere & publicly committed to a lofty Lent goal, I feel that I must also publicly admit that I bit off more than I can chew this time.

This is not a very fun blog to write.

Although I will say that I have been drinking MUCH less than normal, a habit that I plan to continue because it has actually helped me control my calories much better & feel more fresh.

I hope that Lent is going much better for you than it is for me. Happy (Fish) Friday!

Fat Tuesday 2013

If you know me, you may have to read this to believe it. And actually, even then you may not believe it.
For Lent this year, Cory & I are giving up…
ALCOHOL. 
Hopefully this is more successful than last year, when I tried to give up gossip. You can read about that here and here
After reading my friend, Kate’s blog post about Lent, I started to answer my way through the 10 questions she posed. Some of the questions that really put alcohol on my heart were the following:
When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? 
For one, I might be thinner (bad thinking – focus on God!), but really, I will have restrained myself from something that I haven’t gone even a month without in the past decade. Don’t do the math, Mom. So how could giving this up for God not make me different?

Is there a habit or sin in my life that repeatedly gets in the way of loving God with my whole heart or loving my neighbor as myself? 

Ha – Is this a trick question? 90% of the problems I’ve had in the past have been alcohol-fulled. Of course, alcohol has furthered me from God. It has also kept me from finding my true self for far too long & drinking too much at times has put hatred in my heart & allowing me to let a nasty, sharp tongue loose. 
What are some things in my life that I tell myself I need but I don’t? Can I give one or two of them up for 40 days? 

Assuming it would be too hard, I’ve never tried to go without alcohol. Not because I’m addicted, just because I love a glass of wine with dinner, a beer with the game & margaritas (or martinis) with girlfriends. I don’t NEED alcohol to have a good time & I might even save some cash $$ in the process. 
Think about it – if not every dinner out includes two rounds of drinks, that’s like $40 in my pocket. Bonus!

Why am I giving this particular thing up? How does giving it up draw me closer to God and prepare me for Easter?

This is something that will be hard for me & will test me, but I think I’m ready for that. Giving up alcohol for Lent will help me to rely on my relationship with God in times where I’m tested & strengthen me. 
And on Easter, I’m having a mimosa before church. 
Now there is the little matter of Sundays. Many Catholics indulge on Sundays and don’t eat meat on Fridays. Since Cory is in this boat with me, his stipulation is that Sundays we are allowed to indulge. Do as the Catholics do. And fine, I didn’t put up too much of a fight. 
So we will allowed ourselves to indulge in alcohol on only 6 occasions over the next six weeks and will not be eating meat on Fridays.
I hope you have thought this year’s Lent through & if not, there is still time. Plus, it is Fat Tuesday – perfect excuse to indulge before you go cold turkey!
Wine with dinner is (was) a staple in our house. 
PS – Just look past the jet lagged, sweaty just-got-home-from-the-gym look that we’ve got going on tonight.
Stay Strong, Friends!