Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent, Me, and Joie de Vie


I've always been blessed with a rich supply of joie de vie, but some of it's gone missing in the past year or so. Pesky health problems, less time with my husband, hormonal (aging) issues, and various family concerns have combined with a sort of spiritual laziness to drain away some of the good energy I used to take for granted and would now like to reclaim.

I've felt the stirrings for a couple of months now, even done something about them in little stops and starts, but I've decided to take the bull by the horns and put my money where my mouth is, today. Knowing that change is necessary and possible is not the same as making change happen. And making change happen cannot happen in a spiritual vacuum; it happens in and through the One who makes real, lasting change possible...the Lord.

With that principle in mind, I will be observing Lent for the first time ever this year. What better way is there to refocus my spirit on things that really matter than by giving up things that don't really matter at all? My plan is to give up something physical and something spiritual. Thanks, Jen. The physical offering will be sugar in any form, and the spiritual sacrifice will be to give up my pride and acknowledge that I depend completely upon God for everything. I already know this in my head (and usually in my heart), but lately I have been acting as if I don't know it at all...doing things on the fly...winging it...not taking the time or thought to access the help I need but just rushing to get the job done, or even worse, ignoring the job entirely.

I feel like I've been hibernating at times, with my eyes wide open. In a way, I have, because sugar highs just make me feel sluggish. Duh. Diabetes and sugar don't mix. Neither do sleepwalking (spiritual or otherwise) and joie de vie.

I've always liked the idea of Lent. This year, I think I'll try it on.

ignoring Lent
was never meant
the message simply wasn't sent

but sacrifice
is good advice
a worthy goal at any price

each offering
must always bring
a reason for the heart to sing

and thus, knee bent,
i am content
to offer up this sacrament

29 comments:

Amy said...

My thoughts exactly. Really, I have been reading things about Lent all over the place, I right before I read your post, I thought I need to give up sugar. I will try it for Lent. Also, I need to re-dedicate myself. I will also do that for Lent. It is like we are the same person or something! :)
At any rate, I think this post is beautiful, and I wish you the best of luck with your "reawakening."

Wendy said...

It comes in the little details. I liked the poem.

Mumsy, Chancy and Co. said...

What a wonderful post and the poem is so nice. A great reminder...thank you sweet Sue. Hugs

jen said...

Great poem. I may just tape it on my mirror for the next 40 days.

And you're welcome.

Natasha said...

This is a great post! Good luck!

anitamombanita said...

I'm with you, Sue. It wasn't so much Lent as it was that I just needed a little "boost". On Sunday I made a list and stuck it on my mirror... it said basically:
*no refined sugar
*no judging/criticizing
*more prayer and scripture study
*more walking, running, skiing, loving
*in bed by 10:30

Even after just a couple days, I already feel better. And my husband has seen my list hanging there, so he's supporting me in my efforts too.

Happy Lent or whatever it takes!!
:)

Nezzy said...

What a wonderful post sweetie! Your just gonna burst out laughin' if ya read my post today. Heeehehhe!!! Just sayin'...

I think it is important for us to remember what Jesus sacrificed for us and what little we can sacrafice in remembrance of that is just a drop in the bucket.

God bless and have a remarkable day! :o)

Lisa Loo said...

Why is it so hard for me to translate things from my head to my heart??!! Mine is Faith in the first step....

yaya said...

Great post..greater idea! I must do this also..I was raised Catholic, although I'm now LDS, so Lent is something we always observed in my youth. Easter was and always will be my favorite time of year and Holiday. It's a great time to really focus on the spiritual and also life improvements. Good luck Sue! (and everyone getting on this bus!)

Darlene said...

What a great idea. I think I should join you. Although I don't think I'll be calling it Lent. I really liked Anita's list, but I will have to omit the skiing and the running. The rest I can do. I do need to get back on my treadmill and start getting some exercise. I absolutely loved the poem. So very clever. You ought to get that on published soon.

Heather said...

good luck with your goals ;)

Stef said...

I dated a guy who was Catholic but later became LDS, but he still observes Lent. I think I will join you. I just need to sit down and decide WHAT I'm gonna give.
Thanks for the reminder.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I'm lame, but is today the first day of lent?

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's a very nice poem, Sue, and sentiment for us all to consider.
xoRobyn

karen said...

You would think after seeing my oldest son through 4 years of Catholic high school I'd be more keyed in to Lent, wouldn't you? I've always thought the principle of the season was a good one - self sacrifice is humbling and good practice for making us better people. My list:
1. Get 8 hrs of sleep/night (makes such a difference!)
2. Scriptures EVERY day
3. Liked Jen's suggestion to pray for ability to look at people through the Savior's eyes, and clearly see their good qualities.
That's enough to work on. It'll keep me very busy, and will inevitably lead to other ideas.

Dixie Mom said...

You are so smart. I think its a great idea to use this opportunity to sacrifice something for something better.
I hope you are successful...either way you will feel better no matter what.
Heck...I should join you!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. nice verse...i have observed lent before...i am fasting a bit through the season...

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Yours is a lofty and worthwhile goal, Sue. I've never made it sacrificing all the way through Lent and I've tried several times.
I'll add you to my prayers.

The poem is perfect in every way!

Terra said...

excellent poem and thoughts!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

As you know, I am Catholic, so we observe Lent rather strictly. Unless pregnant, nursing or under the age of 18 (or over the age of 59) we fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (along with other things). But the church also asks us not to be scrupulous when it comes to our fasting (which I can totally appreciate). Some Catholics take on something (like a service) rather than making a sacrifice (this is a new teaching). I normally try to remove or limit something worldly from my life during this time period and some years I am better with it than others. I think observing Lent is wonderful and really aids in our spiritual understanding of what Christ sacrificed for us.
Thank you for reminding us all. :)

Sue said...

Thanks for explaining more about the observation of Lent, Caroline. I wasn't aware of the entire scope of the practice, but I look forward to observing it in part. I really like the idea of focusing on the Savior for 40 days, offering up my own small sacrifice in honor of His infinite one.

The custom of taking on a service is new to me and well worth thinking about. I may even act on it!

Thanks again.

=)

Grandma Honey said...

I'm impressed. We have found that it's a lot easier giving up sugar if we also give up red meat. Something about the red meat, makes us crave the sugar.

I have never given up anything for Lent. But you have me thinking...

Jamie said...

So much of this felt familiar to me as I read it, like I could have written it myself. It's all too easy to let ourselves slide into a rut of routine and forget what really matters. I love your ideas, and have been thinking over how to apply them myself. Thanks for the little kick to get moving.

Kristin Klein said...

What a cute post - I love your theory! We can always give up one something and replace it with a better something. I call it repentence and seems like I have to do it on a regular basis ;)

Last year was a difficult one for me, I had to decide something I could certainly do different so as not to repeat the stress and challenges I had last year. So far we're off to a good start!

((hugs))

Kristin

michelle said...

"I feel like I've been hibernating at times, with my eyes wide open"

Love this image - I guess because I can relate to it in my own way.

Myrna Foster said...

I appreciate the argument and the poem. I've never thought of observing Lent, but your reasons (and sacrifices) would work as well for me. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

Joyful Noise said...

I also think we might be the same person. Kindred Spirits. I had also decided to observe Lent for the very first time in my life and had also decided to give up sugar and also white flour. I also like your other idea and will join you for the season. Wonderful post. Thank you for your support!

Jess said...

Wow-that's really a great idea. Good luck on the no sugar thing- the first 3 days are the hardest

Em said...

you're awesome!!! b/c i grew up catholic we were always encouraged to participate in lent. my dad still gives up latte's every year and has one on easter sunday at the easter brunch at the club. i never made it the entire lent. easter is so late this year, what a challenge!!! when my dad asked me if i was observing lent this year i told him, "well, i didn't do it when i was catholic, i'm surely not doing it now that i'm mormon, hahahaha!!!" he laughed and said, "good point." i think it's a beautiful way to remember the savior and go without:) good for you!

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