Wednesday, March 05, 2014

40 Days

I am sitting here, reading Ann Voskamp's blog ... about Lent, sitting, wondering, reflecting on what the next 40 days are going to hold for me. I had a few ideas as to what I should be giving up for Lent this year, bad habits that needed to be destroyed. However, when this morning started, I convinced myself that I did not have to start giving up things today .. so I continued with my day as normally. It wasn't until I started to read one of my favourite bloggers post about Lent that it hit me. I need to take this seriously. I need to get in control of my life. This is not like the time I was 14, swore I wouldn't eat sugar for 40 days and then that night binge on chocolate. This IS the time where I can learn more about Him, see Him, grow with Him, and learn more about myself in the process. I want to be an example to people and I don not want to be in bondage. For I am in bondage. Its the sneakiest, most easy bondage, but bondage nonetheless. I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the areas that I know need work. I can see what the outcome of giving up these things look like, but taking that first step, the first day ... is scary. I have thoughts that I won't make it, that its not worth, that nothing good will come out of it. So I pray. I pray that this can be the start of something new. That in this journey, where my focus is entirely on Him, I can start to become that woman of God that I crave to be. It begins with one step, right? Even though this morning was a rocky start, I am choosing Him. I am not choosing what I think I need, but what I know I need. Him.

For the next 40 days and beyond (because I am aiming for life changing, not temporary) I am giving up a couple of things that are strongholds in my life.

1. Television. The idea of not having the television on 24/7 SCARES ME. I don't handle quiet well. I feel like the minutes tick slowly by and I feel stuck. Even listening to the radio is not the same as having characters of a movie conversing. I don't like being alone and having the television on makes me feel like I am a part of something. I get so caught up with it so easily, however, that I waste my days. I used to say that I just have it on for background noise, but that is not true at all. Maybe in the beginning it was, but with the interesting programs they have on television it is hard not to get distracted by what is going on. Even with shows that I have already watched, I love stories, and I am a people watcher, two things that I am sure haven't helped with this addiction

I don't want television programs to run my life. I could be getting so many things done during the day. I could actually finish my knitting projects, maybe my house would be clean and maybe my meal planning would actually get done. Or I could enjoy a story on audio, or listen to my favourite songs, or finding peace in the quiet. I want that. So bad. To just enjoy the quiet. To really appreciate the birds whistling and the crickets chirping - not that I hear that a lot in the city, but you understand my meaning. I want television to be a treat and not a privilege.


2. Caffeine. In the past I have given up coffee, because lets face it, I am in love! I love the taste of it so much that I can easily have cup after cup without stopping. I can't just have one cup. Or two cups. Drinking coffee is not a horrible thing in itself, but I am addicted. Not to just coffee, but to caffeine. Back when I just gave up coffee, I didn't really cleanse myself the way I was hoping too. I just filled the coffee void with black teas and chocolate. Not quite the goal I was trying to obtain, but thats what happens when you don't get rid of the whole problem. So naturally, since I was filling the void, as soon as that particular month was over, I jumped back on the coffee train. Quickly. And with glee!

I find that I depend more on my daily cup(s) of coffee than I do on Him. When going to church I look forward to my free cup of Timmy's coffee instead of looking forward to worship. Not that I dread worship, I love worship, but its not the thing that excites me. I don't want coffee or any other caffeine substance to be my strength during the day. And I have made it so. It is my hope that one day I can actually have coffee as a treat, but that day may not be for a very long time, if ever. I want Him to be my Strength, not a beverage. I want Him to be what I get excited about and I want spending time with Him to be what I crave.

Now that I have told you, dear readers, what I need to work on, I want to make one thing clear. Just because these things are my bondages, does not mean its yours. I have an addicting personality and these things have just become my vice. It does not mean that drinking a cup of coffee or watching a t.v. show is a bad thing at all, if you have these in your life and are not addicted, my hat off to you.

Prayers, kind words and thoughts would be appreciated as I embark this 40 day adventure. Also if you, dear readers, choose to give up anything and would like prayer, please let me know, I would love to pray for you.

I really look forward to having these items be a treat and not a need. I look forward to creating a better lifestyle for me and for my family. Especially for my daughter. I don't want to pass on my issues to her and I know that passing on issues is a very easy thing to do. So this is me, changing.

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