Monday, February 27, 2012

Givin it Up

Dinner by candle light. A nightly occurance these days.
BBQ Chicken Pizza on the grill. Steve said it was to die for.
Healthier salad, no lettuce, and Persian dressing made with Veganaise.
Home made whole wheat bread.
Dorian and Skyler (the neighbor kid) pitching a tent in the back yard. That doesn't look the least bit comfy!
Lent. I look forward to it every year. For me it has become a monumental reminder to stop my everyday life and give thanks that Jesus died on the cross for me. By giving up something that is dear to me, I am able to stop and say, "Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins."
We usually give up one thing as a family. We have given up various items in the past. TV, meat, sugar, white carbs, the usual. This year has been quite different. This is the first year we gave our two boys ages 10 and 11 the choice on what they would give up. I had my list, and it was pretty long. I needed the structure that I feel Lent brings. I needed to feel that closeness to Christ that comes from keeping Him on your mind. I was feeling a bit out of control as things piled up on my already full plate. My list included: White carbs, sodas, red meat, and chocolate. Steve is usually quick to jump on whatever I suggest, knowing it's easier to do it together. However, we were not ready for what the boys had up their sleeves. We sat down for a family conference, starting with vacation plans and testing schedules. We talked about Lent and what choices we had made and when we asked what they were interested in giving up they said, "Electricity!" I kid you not!!! I thought, if they can take this big step, then I have to go along. How would it be for me to be guiding them to make these choices and shoot them down? I did explain that we couldn't give up everything electric since we weren't equiped for it. We decided to give up the lights, the dryer, and tv and DVDs. The boys also gave up computer totally. Steve and I use it for work and have to have it to some extent.
So here we are on day 6 and how is it working out for us? At first it was hard. Very hard. We put post its on the light switches that said, "NO!!!" and found ourselves still reaching for them. Since we decided on Ash Wednesday what we would give up, we found ourselves playing a board game to some votive candles that night. I can tell you old age has set in and it was very hard to read the cards. Thursday found me in line at WalMart with a couple of hurricane lamps and oil. Wow, I am finally blown away by the invention of light bulbs! So much we take for granted. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me.
We have to have good weather to do laundry now. When we get a sunny day, it's wash time. And you have to do it early enough to get it hung so it dries. Our goat lot is below our deck so sometimes I wonder when I'll find Hera sporting one of my bras. Today we spent three hours working out in the yard: mucking the goat lot, cleaning up the fallen branches, and getting the raised beds ready for plantings. Our Agriculture Extention Agent came for a visit to help us plan out our changing yard, and then it was time for me to take Isaac to Art class. When I got home we threw chicken on the grill and made those delish BBQ Chicken Pizzas. After dinner it was just dusk. Was I forgetting something? Surely not, I mean after all it had been a packed day. I went outside just one more time to tell the goat girls goodnight and check on the new pullets. The ducks were taking a quick bath as the last lights of the day faded. OH NO!!! The laundry! I had washed it, but not hung it. I considered not doing it, but remembered it would sour and have to be washed again tomorrow. So I gathered it up and hung it as the sun went down. And do you know what? It was the most peaceful and beautiful thing I had done all day. There was a sweet smell of grass in the air. The low bellows of the goats made me feel all cozy inside. I thanked God that I had this hang my clothes. Sure it will be tomorrow before they are dry, but they will smell unbelievable. And think of the money we will save on the electric bill. Thank you Jesus for dying for me.
Yesterday was Sunday. Officially, you can take the day off from your Lent obligations. Steve wanted peanut butter, the boys wanted to watch a movie. And I couldn't tell what I wanted. I didn't eat red meat, or chocolate, or even white carbs. I even turned down a chocolate covered kreme filled Krispy Kreme doughnut at church. I had a salad for supper and watched part of the movie with the boys before turning in early. Thank you Jesus for dying for me.
Today was the first day I've felt good in a long time. I know from cutting out white carbs in the past how bad you feel going through the DTs of it all. Headache, muscle pain, unfocused, it's all bad, but when you get it out of your system - Wow! I told a friend we don't even eat that much of the stuff. I am tired from a long day of hard work. The satisfied fatigue of productivity;) Bed will feel nice tonight. Thank you Jesus for dying for me.

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