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February 20, 2009



I’ve been giving up things for Lent since before I even became a Christian, though I’ve been remiss in keeping up with the tradition and have skipped the last couple of years. Back in high school, it was a time when we decided to “test our willpower” and give up something regardless of whether or not we thought Jesus would love us more. Of course, that’s not why you do Lent. You participate in Lent to gain a better understanding of the temptations Jesus endured during the 40 days in the desert. Duh.

ANYWAY. Lent starts next Wednesday on Ash Wednesday, so now I’m in a crunch to figure out what I should give up (or perhaps what I should start, since apparently starting a new habit is also allowed).

What do you think I should give up/start for Lent?

One year, I gave up bread. No seriously. I did. And I almost made it too. Except that about a week before Easter, I accidentally ate bread pudding. I forgot bread pudding had bread in it. I am an idiot.

Are you giving anything up? What have you given up in the past? Do you have a traditional thing you give up, or does it change every year? Do you have any traditions that you partake in during Lent? Do you fast?

Even if you’re not religious or think Lent is silly, I’d still love to hear what you think I should give up! And if you’re giving something up, share that too. We can keep each other accountable! And remember, the six Sunday don’t count! So really, it’s not as bad as it sounds…

Well, I’ll just keep telling myself that.

  1. Amalas permalink
    February 20, 2009 10:53 AM

    I had always been one to both give up something and do something additional. Like give up cake and add a prayer every night. That way it’s not just about depriving yourself, it’s also about enriching yourself.

  2. February 20, 2009 10:56 AM

    I try and also usually encourage my children to add something instead of giving up something. Usually a week day mass. This year we may add a Way of The Cross on Fridays. That is what I am leaning toward. If you want to give something up, maybe think of your biggest vice and work toward something with that. 🙂

  3. February 20, 2009 10:56 AM

    My first thought was cursing, but I don’t know about you, but if I tried to give that up, I wouldn’t last long, and setting oneself up for failure doesn’t serve much purpose. Then, having some sense of your standard breakfast fare, I though about suggesting maybe starting your day off with a more healthful, well-balanced meal? Especially with the training and all that you’re doing now. That’s just off the top of my head. If I think of anything else, I’ll check back in with you 🙂

  4. February 20, 2009 11:04 AM

    One year, I gave up asking people for advice. That was pretty good because it forced me to pray more and make decisions based on how I felt God was leading me.But I have no idea what I’m giving up this year. I should start praying about that, huh?

  5. February 20, 2009 11:14 AM

    U & I “Twitted” about this last night, but I’ll mention it anyway.
    In college, a Priest told the church I was attending at the time that instead of giving up something, we should do something meaningful instead.
    Be it volunteer to feed the homeless, babysit for free for a friend in need, etc.
    I ended up volunteering for a Senior Center and called Bingo every Tuesday for a month. I got a lot more out of it than calling “B17!”
    A.) I learned that sometimes just listening to what a person has to say can make them happy.
    B.) That holding a persons hand means more than words at times. Sometimes we treat the elderly like antiques and are afraid to shake their hand, let alone hold it.
    After that, I always did something for Lent instead of giving something up.
    Not a true practicing Catholic at this time – I have issues with the church, but I still say my prayers, and I still volunteer, and I still get a lot out of both!
    C.) That many in the elderly are Bingo Sharks!

  6. February 20, 2009 12:25 PM

    I have been giving up things for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, before i got diabetes, I would give up candy. That was always SO hard because of all of the Easter candy!

    I’ve given up chips, french fries, things like that. Last year I gave up fast food, I was eating WAYY too much of it. I ended up loving the amount of money I was saving, so about a month after lent started I decided to try it for a year. February 6th marked a year since I have eaten fast food! I still have not eaten it, and I don’t crave it at all. Plus I lost 20 pounds!

    I’m not sure what to give up this year. I quit smoking on tuesday, so I want to do that, but honestly I don’t think I can do it. And I hate failing.

    What about giving up diet pepsi or something like that? Again I’m not sure I could do it, but then maybe those are the things I should give up!

    good luck!

  7. February 20, 2009 12:35 PM

    @Amarah: That is a very good way to think about it!

    @Jolie: I’m not Catholic, so I can’t add mass (well, I could, but it would be weird). Not sure what my biggest vice is! I guess chocolate… Ugh…

    @LeeAnn: Haha, give up cereal for Lent… that would be an unusual one! I have a feeling I would just replace it with “donuts” or “Eggo waffles” or something equally unhealthy!

    @Akira: I don’t feel like I ask many people for advice, but that’s an interesting approach. Not just giving up a “thing” but giving up an “action.” Hmm.

    @K2: I definitely like that approach! Trying to brainstorm things I could do.

    @Jenny: Well thank goodness Easter is at the END of Lent, right?! Another friend of mine suggested giving up fast food, so I’m leaning towards that right now… Congrats on the weight loss! AWESOME!

  8. February 20, 2009 12:42 PM

    I gave up chocolate one year, and surprisingly, I actually lasted! Bread, though, I applaud your efforts on that one! I don’t think I could ever give up that. Thinking about coffee this year… (Though I’ll be a day behind because I had it this morning!)

  9. February 20, 2009 4:00 PM

    This isn’t a serious suggestion, but what about giving up Twitter? Now THAT would be hard to do.

    I like k2’s idea of doing something proactive, instead of just giving something up. In the end you give up a little of your time and effort for the benefit of someone else.

  10. February 20, 2009 5:05 PM

    @Andrea: Chocolate is a possibility. I eat way too much of it (though that only leaves me 4 days to eat all my Valentine’s Day chocolate – woah!). I don’t drink enough coffee for it to be a stretch. Pretty much just like 2-3x a week and I’m not addicted or reliant, so it’s not really a big deal.

    @Bernard: I use Twitter for work WAY too much. That would be a total catastrophe. Like giving up email. Definitely contemplating the proactive bit. Still need suggestions though!

  11. Kit permalink
    February 20, 2009 7:43 PM

    My pastor has encouraged me to not think of it as a short term sacrifice of something more or less innocuous that I will get to go back to later. Nor is it a time to indulge one’s own vanity. So, for example, he discourages the teenage girls who are constantly on diets from starting a new one for lent. The idea is to take the opportunity to focus on a particular virtue and work hard on it. If taking Sunday’s off the effort is a good idea, then it is probably not the right focus. This year, he has encouraged me to try something – being diabetic places me “under discipline” in terms of my diet anyway, and he suggested that I try to see this as a blessing. If one is to put it in terms of giving something up, I guess I’m going to try to give up whining.

  12. February 20, 2009 9:50 PM

    @kit: That’s a very interesting perspective. I definitely think that you shouldn’t just give up something that you would normally want to give up anyway (like going on a diet). I’ll have to give what your pastor some thought! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. February 22, 2009 2:24 PM

    My church is starting a corporate 40 day fast on the 26th. It’s leading up to a weekend retreat that is a very powerful thing in our church. The fast is actually called the Daniel fast. It’s giving up meat, bread, sugar, caffeine, and some other stuff that I can’t remember right off the top of my head. I didn’t participate last year, but this year I am going to do a partial fast. I am thinking of giving up caffeine and sugar (minus fruit/juice). That will be a biggie for me cause I am totally addicted to caffeine and I have a major sweet tooth.
    Have you decided what you are going to give up yet?

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