Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Beginning of Lent - Wow

I totally missed yesterday's Tasty Snack Tuesday.  Oops, and sorry.  Honestly, between gym time, studying for my fitness certification, and the general demands of the little man of the house, yesterday just got away from me.  Add all of that to the fact that the big man of the house and I both seem to be catching what James has had lately, we just crashed as a household yesterday evening.  I'll try to have my stuff together today and post a good snack later.  I made a couple of things yesterday that I was pretty into, and have something else to try later today.  AND, with tomorrow being Valentine's Day, I have something really tasty up my sleeve that of course I will share with you.  But, as I have not revealed it to Chris, it will have to remain under wraps until after tomorrow.

I mentioned in Sunday's post that I would tell you about a new "challenge" of a sort going on in our house.  It is something that has a deeper meaning to me than what the surface of it would suggest, as it should, but it turns out there is a lot of controversy around this, which brings me to this - have you ever given up anything for Lent?  I haven't.  At our old church, when I first starting going there, many people participated in a fast together.  As I explained to a dear friend there, I had just gotten to a point in my life where I didn't starve myself, and I wasn't about to go down that road again.  She then very sweetly explained to me that fasting is not necessarily about skipping meals, but more about seeking out what God might be asking you to abstain from.  So, with this season of Lent in full swing now, after much sincere thought, I have decided to give up chocolate.

That's right.  You read that correctly.  I said it.  CHOCOLATE.  And if you know me, you know that's a big deal..... especially if you were Chris last night watching me nibble half the M & Ms in the house and stick my finger in the jar of chocolate peanut butter spread because I knew that it would be the last time for a while.

But you know what I found out?  There is a LOT of information out there that basically condemns any sort of fasting during Lent.  I read something this morning that claims that this practice is a pagan practice.  I read a blog the other day where the writer basically said that we do these things to make ourselves feel better and in the end we accomplish nothing.  I always thought that the point in fasting, during Lent or any other time, was to remove something from our lives so that, in its absence, we could spend that time drawing closer to God.

I was pretty disappointed with all of the negativity I encountered.  I ultimately decided that we all do what we feel is right for us, and we don't judge someone else's decisions.  You don't want to fast because you don't believe in it?  That's just fine.  You think me giving up chocolate is stupid, or even wrong?  That's just fine too.  God loves you and God loves me and THANK GOD for that.

So that's my soap box for the day.  I love Easter, and the anticipation of it.  That someone would care about ME and love ME even with the baggage I carry, is nearly unbelievable.  But fortunately, it IS believable, even if very hard at times.  So, here's to a great season of Lent.