Let me state first that we’re not Catholic. We don’t do Ash Wednesday. But the idea of Lent is a good one for Christians of all denominations anyway. Christ gave up his very life for us. Surely we can give up something of ourselves for him for these six weeks a year.
This year, we’re giving up processed sugar as a family. It might sound silly, but we like our sweets, so it’s a sacrifice for us. I know we can do it though. I know because we’ve done it before. When I was pregnant with Small Fry, I had gestational diabetes (I wasn’t allowed any processed sugar or fruit juice of any kind). In a show of support, my husband decided the rest of them would go off the sweets, too. It was probably the healthiest time of our lives. Hubby lost 20 pounds, I kept my weight steady, despite being pregnant (which means that I was losing weight as SF was gaining weight in utero).
It a simple thing that will bring us closer to God – every time we want a sweet treat, we’ll remember Christ’s sacrifice for us. I know, I know… The idea of giving up candy and cookies and brownies is nothing compared to what Jesus went through on the cross. Absolutely nothing. But it’s still a reminder of our faith and a way to help bring us closer to Christ.
Other ways giving up processed sugar will help us:
We’ll be healthier. Again. Hopefully we’ll lose some more weight. We’ll at least go through a detox of sorts, cleaning out our systems of all the junk we’ve allowed to be put into it.
We’ll save money. Fruit is more expensive than a candy bar, but it’s less expensive than 5 candy bars (one for each member of the family).
It will bring us closer as a family. Our kids have never really done Lent properly. I’m looking forward to expanding our Bible study with them as the season progresses, and helping them understand why we’re doing this. (They’re pretty copacetic about it now, but we’re only half a week in; I imagine in another week or so, they’ll need reminding as to why we’ve chosen this path. And that will be a glorious thing to explain to them even more about our Savior and why we’re celebrating – yes, celebrating – our lack of sugar for Him.)
Do you celebrate Lent? If so, what have you given up?