Usually, I take something on and give something up--I read a book, add a prayer discipline, etc. in addition to giving something up. It is because of Lent several years ago that I still refrain from listening to music in my car on the way to work: I use that time for prayer instead. I have also had some drastic failures...One year, I gave up all land animals for Lent. I was able to make it through lent, but I hate fish. I ended up eating a lot of tuna and meat-less meals. I don't think I touched tuna again for close to a year!!! Since then, I have set my sights on things that are less weighty: it has become a reset time for me. I give up those things that I know are items that tend to eat up more and more of my time as time goes on--For many years, it was TV, and then it became Facebook/Social Media and Starbucks. But, I have already cut Starbucks this year, and I am in charge of a contest at work that is using Social Media during the month of March.
Even though I'm feeling the creep of social media, I can't cut it completely, so that isn't really a good Lenten discipline this year. So, I think that I'm going to try something that I've always wanted to try...I'm going to make Lent a "Buy Nothing" Month. Of course, I know that I will still need to buy food and gas, but basically, unless it is a necessity, I'm not going to buy it. My goal will be to stay under $200 for necessities each month for the (almost) two months of lent. Even then, I suspect that I'm not going to need much from the grocery store during Lent--My pantry is fully stocked, and I keep buying things that are already in the pantry because I don't know what is in the way back!
Really, the hardest part is going to be refraining from eating out, as I eat out more than I should--I often don't feel like cooking when I get home. I think that I'm going to need to be better about cooking on the weekends so that I can eat the leftovers all week long. I'm also going to need to be better about telling friends no when they mention going to eat after running. At least I will have the excuse of, "Sorry. I gave it up for lent."
|Ash Wednesday is March 5th this year|
The real question is what to do with the money that I don't spend...One of the traditional disciplines of Lent is almsgiving, but it would also be nice to pay off more of my debt, so I can't really give it all away. However, I will be upping my giving from the money that I'm saving. This is going to be fun and very informative.
|The three traditional disciplines of Lent in Preparation for Easter: Fast, give, and pray.|
What are you giving up for Lent? Are you taking anything on? How do you prepare for Easter?