what are you giving up?

It is Fat Tuesday (and after eating my way back and forth across the state this weekend I am pretty sure that is an appropriate name!)

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  The first day of Lent.  Traditionally people give something up for lent.  For the last ten years or so, I have tried to take it one step further.  A Bible study leader once called it a time for a lenten discipline… a time to do conscientiously do something to draw closer to God.  Instead of just giving something up, replace it with something that strengthens your faith. This had a powerful impact on me.

Last year, I gave up Facebook and Twitter.  That was interesting but I realized I was so obsessed with giving it up that I did not draw closer to God.  I have not gone back to twitter and I have definitely cut back on my facebook time.

I have given up complaining about life and replaced it with asking for direction.

I gave up talking negatively about my students.  That one gave me great results.  When I stopped complaining things got better.  I used that one two years in a row.

The first year I tried for a meaningful lenten discipline I gave up gossip.  That was H.A.R.D.  I learned a lot from that one and still think about it and go back to it every once in a while.

When I was home (that’s St. Louis with my parents and siblings) my mom asked what we are giving up for Lent.  I hadn’t even thought about it this year.

My dad said he is giving up deodorant.  You better watch out if you have to interact with him.  Maybe he is channeling John the Baptist.  I will know for sure if he starts eating locusts.

The hubs says he is going to get back on track and focus on reading his Bible for 15 minutes every day.

Me?  I think I am going to read a book this year.  One that makes me think and act.  If I finish one, I will read another.  I have a stack next to my bed so I won’t run out.

I am going to start with “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idelman.  You can check it out here.  Sounds like it will be really challenging to me.  I will let you borrow it when I am done if you want.

So what about you?  Are you giving something up?  Are you going to practice a spiritual discipline this Lenten season?  Keep me posted.  I will let you know how my book goes.

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