40 Days and 40 Nights

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Each Lenten season, I make a choice to give up something that tests my true ability to exercise self-control. For the past 2 years, I've given up Diet Coke. It's been a struggle, mostly in the mornings. When others are craving their coffee, I'm craving Diet Coke.

So, this year, I've been thinking...and thinking...and thinking about what I'd give up. I'm not an incredibly religious person. When I make a sacrifice during Lent, it is more so for myself than for religion. I need to know that I have the self-control to do this. I know I can go without Diet Coke, but it would still be a challenge this year.

After a lot of thought and consideration, I've decided that I'll give up nothing, but I will limit my indulgence in many things.

1) Wine is permitted only 2 days per week...2 glasses per day.
2) No more than 20 oz. of Diet Coke per week. I changed my mind. No Diet Coke. Absolutely none.
3) Starbucks twice per week. :(  {This will be my greatest challenge}
4) No Girl Scout cookies. Period. Or any other cookies.
5) A sweet treat once per week.
6) The Hubs is giving up pasta and bread. By association, there will be days where my intake of pasta and bread severely limited. Because I'm not a big meat eater, this will be sacrifice enough for Lent. ;)

In my experience, exercising self-control by having all things in moderation is often more difficult than totally eliminating something. Moderation is not easy for most people. It's usually feast or famine for success. And I've found that when we give something up, we substitute for it. The substitutions are usually worse than what we've given up. Not good.

I'm going to set out to prove that I can have the some of the things I love and indulge in most frequently in moderation, and I can be happy about it.

Do you give anything up for Lent? If so, what is it this year?

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