Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday. . . and then some

As more and more people become less familiar with religious practices, do you think it ever freaks people out to see Catholics walking around with a gigantic black cross on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. It would probably weird me out a little if I didn't know what it was.

So, here it is: Ash Wednesday. The beginning of that solemn time, for many Christians, when we reflect on our own wretchedness and our need for a Savior. I used to very much dislike Lent (or the 40 days as other traditions refer to it). I have come to look forward to it, however, because I know it's a good time to buckle down, become more disciplined and draw closer to God. One thing I'm giving up is playing The Sims 3. I'm miserably addicted to this game, probably because, in this fantasy-land, I can build houses of any size, make myself look tall and thin, and pursue any dreams I want to. I can furnish said houses with the most lavish decor and of course, built-in swimming pools. Also, I can hire a maid to clean my house and my children always obey me. No wonder I enjoy this escape so much. However, it's time to step away from this addiction and see how much I can accomplish without it in my life!

My bigger decision, though, is to get less sleep. Yeah, sounds horrid, right? I LOVE SLEEP. I NEED SLEEP. I read an article by Jillian Michaels (I hate her because she's so stinkin' perfect, but hey, she's probably got some good wisdom) that said too much sleep can actually cause the same kind of stress in your body as too little sleep. And that kind of stress leads to weight gain. Thanks, Jillian - wish you could have told me that before I gained 50 lbs. So, anyway, I will go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning AND (waaahh!) avoid naps, unless, of course, I'm near death and absolutely need to lie down, which may very well happen by this afternoon.
I'm also avoiding all forms of sugar - desserts, sugary snacks, chocolate (help!), and most forms of added sugar, like in cereals and breads. I have to get my blood sugar under control.I'm going to try to get my allergies under control by being consistent about taking my medications and getting my weekly allergy shots (which I have done a grand total of 2 times). I am going to control my environment by cleaning regularly and especially keeping my bedroom an allergen-free sanctuary. Does this sound way too strict? Well, it's all incorporated into my main Lenten decision, which is to create a schedule for myself and follow it. I have never been very good at structuring my own time, which may be one reason that homeschooling didn't work out too well for me. I've been half-heartedly working on all of these things for quite some time, and it's time to pull it all together. My DH suggested that I begin the schedule, but specifically focus on getting better at doing ONE of those things listed above each week, with the goal being that I'm doing them all fairly consistently by the end of Lent. I realize that I won't be perfect at this, and may never be, but with the grace of the Lenten season on my side, I think I can make great strides. And God has been at my heart for quite some time to get my life in order.

Last, but not least, I have also incorporated time for blogging into my schedule, so hopefully you'll be hearing from me more!

1 comment:

  1. I think I am with your husband.... Maybe we ought to have some pre-Lenten discussion group so we can give one another advice and counsel. I can SEE that YOU are doing what I usually do, which is try to use Lent to become a completely different person (hey - maybe you are just trying to play a more 3-D version of SIMS, here!) My lists are usually like yours - no internet, clean house, exercise, read holy books, make wonderful meals, be totally present for husband, children and mother, etc. And I end up overwhelming myself.

    Though some people take on simple disciplines thoughtlessly, i.e. "giving up chocolate", I still remember in my early days as a Catholic finding those simple disciplines really meaningful. I gave up hot showers one year and took cold ones instead. I remembered every morning, stepping into that shower, to praise God LOUDLY for the blessings of hot water! While offering up the shock and physical discomfort to Him. It wasn't silly; it was meaningful. Well....anyway. Good luck, but seems to me like the sleep thing is enough for anybody!!!!


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