Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

To continue on from yesterday with our Catholic studies, today marks the beginning of Lent otherwise known as Ash Wednesday.  Lent is a Catholic tradition dedicated to remembering Jesus' sacrifice for us wherein we honor Him by making our own sacrifice for 40 days (now through Easter).  The 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry where he was tempted by Satan which should reflect the temptation we will face through our sacrifice during Lent.

(I'm totally being a Catholic show-off.)

Loads of people (even non-Catholics) make a little game out of Lent.  Trying to give up something habitual for over a month can be pretty difficult.  And it's always fun to keep track of the caffeine addict in the office who gave up coffee for Lent by clearing your throat every time you see their eyes wonder to the Starbucks across the street.  It's like Survivor but with no immunity idol.

I have been thinking about my sacrifice for WEEKS.  What should I give up for Lent?  I thought of giving up television.  I thought of giving up eating out at restaurants for lunch and/or dinner.  I thought of doing without coffee, soda, etc. but nothing seemed extreme enough.  I couldn't think of a single thing that was worthy of Lent.  I became pretty frustrated with the idea and started asking around for suggestions.  I still came up empty-handed.

Eventually time ran up and I had to pick something.  Last weekend at the mountains I happened to drink like 5 sodas (way more than I would  normally drink in a weekend) and decided that would be my sacrifice.  It was a weak call but I had nothing else.

I went into today a little half-hearted.  It was the beginning of Lent and I was giving up soda?  Stupid.  So as I was doing my usual blog browsing this morning I came across this:
And that's when it hit me.  My sacrifice should be to give up WORRYING.  Put the joking, happy-go-lucky part of me to the side and I am a TOTAL worry wart.  In fact that's what my grandmother used to call me.  She even gave me this shiny, blue pebble that I was supposed to hold in the palm of my hand whenever I worried and it was supposed to stop the anxiety.  It never really worked but it was worth a shot.  I can remember from a young age getting constant butterflies in my stomach because I was worried about a test that day or the game that night.  Nowadays the subjects of stress are a little more serious like mortgage payments and starting a family.  It's the same butterflies though.

When I saw this little note a light bulb went off in my head.  And when that happens I get super excited because it's like striking gold.  I'm a big believer in doing what feels right.  So I decided to give up soda AND worrying this Lent.  But then I got to thinking ...

How does one give up worrying?

It's just an inanimate object.  Giving up worrying is so NOT black and white.  It's all in between the lines.  How do you give up an emotion?  It's not like giving up coffee.  That's easy ... don't drink it.  Can I give up worrying?  Can I make myself not worry?  Can I keep up with that?  

Then I realized I was totally worrying about not being able to give up worrying.  

Hilarious.  Maybe I should give up irony for Lent?


Shauna said...

My favorite post of yours; well written:)
Though i have high hopes for the whole "giving up worrying"...I think you may do better with the soda:)

Joe and Melody said...

Too true, girl. LOL. (I literally just laughed out loud at your comment.) A girl can dream though. P.S. I hope that sweet little Baby Marley is keeping you warm with all her snuggles. Many smooches both of y'alls way!