Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent

A "friend" asked if I would be willing to give up chocolate for Lent with her. After initially freaking out at the thought, I accepted the challenge. I had to clarify - ALL chocolate, or just candy bars? Even though the answer was candy, I've decided to do my best to give up ALL chocolate, including the chocolate flavored smoothies that I have for breakfast. I have enough vanilla to last a couple of weeks, then I'll definitely have to get more.

In addition to giving up something, I plan to read James McPolin's John, about John the Evangelist (who wrote the Gospel). The introduction is long, but it's very interesting. I'm excited about reading this book. I've been a bit confused about John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, and John the Disciple. I've known the Evangelist and Baptist were different Johns, but the Disciple? Is he the Evangelist? I hope to learn the answer.

When I mentioned giving up chocolate to my nutritionist, she said it was a good idea because whenever I want chocolate, I'll remember why, and for whom I gave it up - Jesus. Wow, I never thought of giving up something for Lent as a trigger for remembering Jesus. I always thought it was about suffering during Lent so I'd look forward to Easter and having the suffering end.

Of course, Lent represents the 40 days Jesus was in the garden (desert? Maybe I need to read this again.) before he was crucified, but I always thought of it as the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter, when we had to give up something. As a Catholic school student, we were to do it for the sacrifice. I don't ever remember being told that it would be a way to remember Jesus suffering. But then again, there are lots of things I don't remember.

The important point is that I remember now. As a matter of fact, for the past year or so, when I thank Jesus for suffering and dying for me, I cry. Can you imagine having that much love for someone that you'd die for them? I don't know if I could do it. I would put myself between my children and danger, but to die for a stranger - well, I just don't know if I have that much love in me.

I'm pretty shallow. I've known that for about 40 years. I love my children with all my heart and I'd do anything to make them happy, but I didn't like anyone else's kids. I still have a hard time with other people's kids. BUT not my grandkids. They can do or say anything, and I love them more and more.

Where did all that come from?

Anyway, back to the chocolate . . .

I ate the usual amount of chocolate over the weekend. Then Monday, I realized I only had 2 more days left, so I stopped by Walgreen's and bought 8 Cadbury Creme Eggs - 4 regular, 2 caramel, and 2 chocolate. I still had the large Cadbury dark chocolate bar to eat as well.

That night, I got sick because I ate so much chocolate. Plus I got a burger and fries from Burger King! Then yesterday, I paced myself and managed to eat 5 eggs and the rest of a Cadbury bar with only a minimal amount of discomfort.

Needless to say, my stomach will be glad for Lent to begin today. It's been in an uproar since last Saturday when we went to Austin. Do you remember the scene in "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective" when he stands in front of the Men's room door and says "Do NOT go in there!"? Well, that's how it's been for me. My stomach isn't used to all this crap, and it lets me know. I know - TMI . . .

I put the word "friend" in quotes at the beginning because I may not like her in 40 days. We'll see.

Today is the beginning of the season of frozen fish patties being sold everywhere to draw in the patrons who observe Lent. I remember one year when I gave up meat - all meat. I didn't even eat tuna or fish of any kind. I ate lots and lots of cheese. I didn't know about the protein options that I know about now, thanks to Perfect Solutions.

But I think giving up chocolate will be suffering enough - for Jesus.

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