Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday - Lent is Here!!!

Well - it's here again....time to make decisions on what I need to sacrifice during Lent.  In years past I have given up yummy things like soda, candy, ice cream, other foods that I miss a lot, and then can't wait to have on Easter.  It was hard, because I love all those things so much!  The up side to it was always that I often changed my behavior as a result - and I kept carrying on my new habits in the long term.  I rarely drink soda, and sweets are not as much of  problem for me anymore either.  I think that's what Lent is supposed to help us with - it's a time to take a look at ourselves and reflect on what we can be doing differently to improve our lives and be better people....and to bring us closer to God in the process. 

I have been thinking about this year's sacrifices a lot over the last few weeks in preparation...I have decided that I want to focus on things during this season that will help me  be the best person I can be.  So, instead of giving up something like food for a short while, I am going to concentrate on making changes in bad habits, and even taking on a new, better ones moving forward.  When I started to analyze this,  I realized that there were three areas where I could use some improving. 

Let me start by saying,  I work too much....

Here is a quick view of what many of my work from home days are like:

BUT, I can't really give up work for Lent  now can I?  So, to be realistic and understand that I have to work and use my free time constructively, I came up with this combination of Lenten activities:

1. Work-Life Balance:  I will have to work a lot, and travel during this season.  But I am hoping to take enough breaks during the day, walk the dog, go to the gym, take care of myself, and pray more often.  I am going to go to bed at a reasonable hour during the week AND - here's the big one - I am going to give my friends and family my undivided attention, which they deserve when I am with them - no phone or email interupations, just focused quality time.

2. Shopping:  No unnecessary purchases for myself.  No Amazon app, no thrift store binging, no new shoes and nothing new for the house until after Easter.  This one is going to be very hard for me....but my hope here is to change some bad habits.  Obviously I am not going to stop buying myself stuff forever...but I have to be honest, this has gotten completely out of hand for me in the last year or so.  Yes, I am thrifty, and I rarely buy things if they are not on serious sale...but I have been bragging about "great deals" way too often lately - and these things add up!  The goal here is to make sure I pay more attention to what I am spending on, and make thoughtful decisions about these things instead of just buying stuff on impulse....which leads me to the the next area of focus...

3. Impulsive decision making:  I am going to slow down and not act on those impulses all the time!  I usually make great decisions, but occasionally I let my emotions take over and I make decisions way too quickly.  This will require slowing down and thinking things through a little more and maybe even asking others for advice when I am faced with a big decision. 

Soooooo, I am going to give all of this my very best effort - and I am going to check in here with all of you every couple of days to let you know how I am doing.  I hope I can find a little success this Lent, and make some long lasting habit changes that I will carry past Easter.  I think that's the important thing here...

And when all is said and done...


  1. love this! I know you will do everything possible to make changes. Its not easy to make many of these sacrifices.
    The only thing I can say I disagree with is:

    "No phone or email interruptions".. you and I may never talk if you take that to seriously... Otherwise I like all of your ideas..
    Dont forget! Be kind to yourself through it all.
    Im going to give more thought to Lent as well. Lets just say..I haven't been the best Catholic in my adult years. So Im starting with Catholic guilt...Ive always been pretty centered on that and wonder what potential I would have if I could let that go and put more energy into what it means to be a child of God. You know what I mean?
    He didn't die in vain. I want to make him proud.
    Thanks for listening! Hey...try not to keep your phone on silent to often! ♥

    1. Oh silly girl - you know I meant phone and email interruptions from work!!!! I would never consider you an interuption:-)

      I know exactly what you mean about the guilt - I have recently been working through that as well and am feeling much better now that I am starting to let it go! Gosh - how many decisions did I make that were out of guilt and impulse? So many....and it is like a giant weight off to let it go and make decisions based on thoughfuless and love...but it's also very hard to do!

      Remember dear that my phone is ALWAYS on and I will never igonore a call from you.

      I miss you so much! Hope we can see each other soon!!!!!

    2. Oh - and we need to get you back on your blog here soon too!

    3. I know you wouldn't ignore me! Just teasing! But you have already inspired me! I deleted all the stuff i posted to my blog a year ago and I am starting out fresh! BTW my phone is ALWAYS on for you too!
      Love & Miss you! My sister from another mister!!

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  3. Great Book! My sister MJ gave it to me to read. Ive been working on it...its a quick read but i take it with me everywhere so while im waiting matter where I am, i can read a chapter or two. Catolicism is beginning to make more sense to me now. You gotta read it!

    "Rome Sweet Home"
    By Scott & Kim Hahn.