Saturday, March 19, 2011

Is Lent That Stuff You Find in Your BellyButton?

The seal of Martin Luther. Also used as the lo...Image via WikipediaNo.

That's Lint.

I'm talking about Lent.

It is a tradition in my church that to help learn discipline, we "give up" something for Lent each year. There is something comforting in sharing each others' misery as we bemoan whatever we're missing.

My father gives up sweets every single year. In the past, I've given up sweets; I've traded my time for bible study; I've given up going out to eat, and various other things.

This year my family has decided to give up television as a family. I expected a lot of resistance and much weeping and gnashing of teeth. However, they have been particularly good about it. (Especially since Sundays are not included in Lent, so we can watch television those days as a family.)

Prior to their Spring Break, we took a trip to Wal-Mart and bought out all their board games and craft supplies. We came home and compiled a list of alllll the things they could do that did not require television.

As a result, my kids are talking to each other more than fighting with each other (which I assure you is no small feat). They have enjoyed numerous board games and craft projects, and rarely even mention television at all.

Obviously, I am very proud of their faithfulness and discipline. I wish I had half of what they have.

I have given up more than just television. I decided I needed to get healthier so that I could be a better steward of my time, money and body. So to help jump start this process, I also gave up soda, FaceBook and fried foods. And I have chosen not to take the "day off" on Sundays, but rather plow on ahead (being the black & white kind of girl I am).

I have managed to not break down into tears in public as my kids order their McDonald's french fries and coke. And I have pulled myself away physically from the computer to keep from checking FaceBook. And every time, I think to myself, "Whose stupid idea was this, anyway?"... "Oh yeah, mine..."

When Easter comes, I will go back to my beloved FaceBook. However, I am choosing to permanently delete soda and fried foods from my diet (with the rare occasion of a treat).

My kids will get to watch television again. I hope that we can keep the drooling-zombie-inducing practice to a minimum. Perhaps a schedule that outlines the few times during the week we will watch it. Or maybe just watching it one day a week.

Either way, this experience is proving to be much more of a blessing than a chore. And we are all more appreciative of the things we once took for granted on a daily basis.

I guess that's the real reason for Lent.
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