Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fasting During Lent

So I'm putting the "gold card" away for the next 40 days and signing off of Starbucks for Lent.

I wasn't even thinking about doing this, until last Wednesday when I had the following conversation with my Tweens (third, fourth and fifth graders) during the Lenten lesson.

Tweens: Miz Kaylea, what are you giving up for Lent?
Me: I don't know....what should I give up? (more as an afterthought).
Tweens: Well, what do you like?
Me: x, y, z, starbucks.....
Tweens: In a large unified chant: Give up Starbucks, Give up Starbucks. 
(Me feeling like the prey of circling vultures)......Um.....really?

Honestly, I wasn't thinking about Starbucks. I really intended to "give up" drinking soda again - but more for health than spiritual reasons. I'm just drinking way too much regular soda each day - especially when I'm slightly stressed. (Diet soda gives me a headache, so I tend to do the "full" stuff.)

But the more I considered their request, the more I thought, about the message it would send to my students.

This won't be easy. I'll freely admit, if I'm having a rough morning, or need a "pick me up", I will subconsciously turn out of the driveway of my apartment and pull into the shopping center with Starbucks.

I tend to blow through about $10 a paycheck - not a lot, but I'd hate to think about how much I've spent (including gift cards) since moving literally almost next door to the Bux in July.

In "Still: Notes On A Mid-Faith Crisis" Lauren F.Winner writes that during Lent we "try to devote ourselves for forty days, as the prayer book puts it, to 'self-examination and repentance...prayer, fasting, and self denial, and ...reading and meditating on God's holy Word.'"

She continues explaining how "some of us, as a token of this self-denial, will abstain from something during Lent."

To abstain means:to hold oneself back voluntarily, especially from something regarded as improper or unhealthy (usually followed by from ): to abstain from eating meat.

So I'm going to voluntarily stop going to Starbucks for the next 40 days. There's nothing inherently wrong with going there. I'm just going to stop because tweens are watching.

I told them that you can either "subtract" or "add' something during Lent - because both actions become a way to thank Jesus' for what took place in the days leading up to Easter.

I'm not only going to try to give up Starbucks, but I'm going ot also try to add something into my life - that will help me find a way to rest (my word for 2012).

In fact, I'm going to start by exploring praying in color - it's a book that's in my "pile" to purchase tomorrow at the conference

You can learn more about it here:

I guess my prayer from this entire process is that I will feel closer to God.

So, are you adding or subtracting anything in your life during Lent?

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