Saturday, March 26, 2011

40 Days and 40 Nights

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on 9 March 2011 and ends on 23 April 2011, which is the day before Easter. -

One of my biggest weaknesses (and something I LOVE love love) in life is chocolate.  I am pretty sure that I loved chocolate from the day I was born.  I blame my dad.  I love it so much that I have an entire drawer in my kitchen devoted to my sweet tooth.  

Every year for lent, I give up chocolate.  My family and friends make fun of me for it.  They say I should give up something else, I tell them they have no idea how hard this is for me.  I crave chocolate.  I crave it in the morning, I crave it after lunch, I crave it when I get home from a stressful day at work, and I crave it after dinner.  Mmm...chocolate....There really is no better taste than a warm chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven or fresh brownie mix straight from the bowl.  Talk about delicious!  To you, giving up chocolate may seem like no feat, but to's like climbing a mountain...backwards. 

When we "give something up" for Lent, we are embracing a form of fasting, an excellent spiritual discipline. -

It is hard to give stuff up that you love.  But completing 40 days and 40 nights of being disciplined and determined to stick to your goal is a great feeling!  Dontcha think?  Along with giving up chocolate (& soda pop) for lent, I have tried to do something to better myself as well.  That thing that I have chosen is to have a better attitude and think more positively...hence this post.  I will tell you, I have failed miserably. 

While Lent is about giving something up, it is also about putting something positive in its place. -

I need to get better at having a more positive outlook on things.  I tend to always think the worst about things and very commonly forget that I live a very blessed life full of wonderful family, friends, and dogs.  I am healthy.  I have a house and a car.  I love my husband more than anything in the world.  And I get to take care of kids and get paid for it.  I am very very blessed!  So, why is it so easy to get caught up in the negativity that life can bring with it at times and why is it even easier to forget about all the positive things that life has blessed us with?  I really have no idea.  I do know that I have every intention to have a more positive outlook on life and count my blessings every day that I am able to live in this wonderful life, even beyond these 40 days and 40 nights.  

We all need to approach the season of Lent asking ourselves what needs to change in our lives if we are to live the gospel values that Jesus taught us. Our journey through these forty days should be a movement ever closer to Christ and to the way of life he has exemplified for us. -

Lent is about giving and receiving.  I am giving up an "unhealthy" lifestyle and getting a healthier and happier me in return!  It's pretty awesome that God puts things like lent in our lives each year to challenge us to become a "whole" better person, whole meaning physically, emotionally, mentally, and especially spiritually.  God is pretty ridiculously awesome, if I do say so myself!  

Lent is about conversion, turning our lives more completely over to Christ and his way of life. That always involves giving up sin in some form. The goal is not just to abstain from sin for the duration of Lent but to root sin out of our lives forever. Conversion means leaving behind an old way of living and acting in order to embrace new life in Christ. 

What are you giving up for lent?  Better yet, what are you putting positive in its place?

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