A Lenten Challenge

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As much as I hate to make this public, I'm hoping that my sharing of both struggles and triumphs will be, in someway, helpful and encouraging to whomever happens upon this blog. Letting others know you have committed to make a change in your lifestyle is opening yourself up to hyper-accountability. Something I'm not known for welcoming in my life. Kind of like announcing you're on Weight Watchers and every morsel of food that enters your mouth has your family members asking: "how many points is that??" It's so much easier to focus on others' shortcomings than look at our own.

This year, as Lent approached, I considered what habit or addiction I could give up for 40 days. I haven't deprived myself of anything for the Lenten season since I was a young Catholic schoolgirl. And even then, I think it was the same every year: bubble gum. What a sacrifice! (especially because I was rarely allowed to chew it) I went through the list in my head: coffee, chocolate, wasting time on the computer or eating more fruits and vegetables. Then it hit me. "Complaining. Give up complaining." What???!!!! I'm not a whiner. I tend to think of myself more as positive than negative. I've never been called "Eeyore" nor was I drawn to those with his gloomy outlook. I decided I was up for the challenge but I'd keep it to myself. I didn't need my family and friends to remind me when I slipped up. I decided I would tell them on Easter and ask if they noticed a change in me. If they hadn't, then I'd resume where I left off on February 25th and would be no worse for the wear. Yet I've felt like it's not a secret worth keeping. Especially if even one person out there was the least bit encouraged by my story.

It has been an interesting journey as I'm amazed at the number of times I've caught myself ready to spew negative talk. I do it without even thinking. Most of the time for no good reason. I started keeping a gratitude journal and every day I try to look for one little bitty thing I can be thankful for. Somedays it's as simple as being able to breathe and other days it's been an unexpected blessing that blows my socks off. What a difference it has made to look for something edifying to say--particularly when life seems to get more and more difficult.

So now I've gone public and risked the reminders waiting for me when I fall short. Instead of worrying about that, I'm praying that others will feel challenged to give it a try themselves. There are still 32 days left until Easter.

1 Comment »

One Response to “A Lenten Challenge”

lacey said...

Challenge taken!!! Thanks, friend.