Recharge and Renew

Today is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday which is the official start of Lent. I’m not Catholic but a lot of folks I know use Lent as a time to abstain from food, drink or bad habits. I normally don’t indulge in Lent but I have found that they folks I know that have participated in Lent find it helpful, in particular when someone is trying to get themselves centered and back on track.

 What I am finding is that there is a lot of noise in my life right now.  I spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter when I should be reading. Or praying. Or simply sitting still. I’ve started with a weight loss plan but I am still not exercising. I’m tired a lot and work is not particularly busy right now. My room is a mess but I don’t really care. I’m not sure if I am in a bit of a rut right now or if I need to unplug for a while or what. But I’m open to suggestions of what ya’ll do to get back on track mentally.  I’m not sure if I could go hardcore and unplug from the matrix for 40 straight days but definitely some recalibration is on order and now is a good a time as any. It seems that I got so focused on planning and executing our wedding, that now since I don’t have a specific task, I’m a bit lost.

 If you have participated in Lent before, what did you give up and how did it benefit you in the long run?? Any suggestions on what you do to recharge the batteries??

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21 thoughts on “Recharge and Renew

  1. I’ve participated in Lent for almost 10 years now, though I’m not Catholic. I’ve given up TV before (which wasn’t cool because I missed all of the NCAA bball tournament), but for the last 5-6 years, I’ve done the Daniel Fast. This year I’m fasting from all food until 6 pm every day.

    We had a guy come to church and talk about fasting and how powerful it is (and that it should be uncomfortable) and I realized that if I want big things to happen in my life, then I’ve got to be willing to sacrifice big things, pray big time, and humble myself.

    So far, so good!

  2. As a good Catholic girl from Louisiana, I’ll be abstaining from sugar in all forms and reality tv.

  3. I’m Catholic, although not a very good one. But I grew up in this religion so I do it my way. I participate in Lent every year. I don’t eat any meat on Fridays. I give up cursing, all sweets and all snack junk food. Those are my biggest vices and the ones that need the most attention (correction)from me. On Good Friday I fast from sun up to sundown.

    I pray all the time so I don’t need help there. But I try to straighten myself out during Lent and use that to jump start the rest of the year. I tend to do well far past Lent.

    Dieting and changing the way you eat is time consuming. So try to keep your focus on that. Try adding in some exercise like power walking. It helps the physical and the mental. You will also sleep better at night.

  4. If I gave up blogging for 40 days that would totally recharge my batteries. Blogging and having a full time job is WORK! LOL!

  5. In the past for Lent I have tried to give up dessert and I have not been successful. This year I’m going to try to give up eating junk food and desserts.

    As far as the extra noise such as Facebook and tweeting. I utilize an oven timer to keep me on track. I’ll set it for 15 to 30 minute periods.

  6. Yeah, so as someone who grew up in a strict Irish/Italian – Catholic household. I’ve decided to give up lent for lent. LOL Although I have been thinking about giving up on Facebook. It’s just annoying. I’d rather call or text my friends than put our business out there for the whole world to read in their newsfeed.

  7. Wow you have me really thinking. I know I need to get in the Word of God. SERIOUSLY. I have started readings and individual studies only to have them put to the side when CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, etc. comes on the telly. Right now I am seriously contemplating giving up FB, weekday TV, and any eating places with a drive thru. I want to use my regained time to strengthen my walk with the Lord.

  8. Lent 2010, I gave up soda…and I’ve stuck with it ever since. However, I do miss the tickle on my tongue. For those times, I mix diet tonic water with Simply Limeade.

  9. As a catholic, I do observe Lent in the “normal” way by fasting… With the sister, we have decided to have one thing for the household (she lives with me), we are going to eat foods that we have on hand and make the best of the pantry to avoid being wasteful (our major downfall)… Also try coupon-ing and shop for in season items and less luxury. Give some of the savings to a charity…

    Personally, I am trying to be more focused on my goals and make every day count towards my ultimate goal.

  10. As you know I sm good for unplugging from the matrix to get my mind right (word to Pimp C)

    Like you sometimes there is just noise in your life or you need togo hard in the paint with something and really I can’t do that if I am constantly updating on Twitter/FB, checking what my peeps are talking about, responding to their comments, etc. When I have abstained from teh matrix I find that I am A LOT more focused and mark things off my lists and I am more attentive to Babe (even though she is hardly neglected).

    This year for Lent however, I am not giving up material luxuries per se but I am letting go of all the things that I have been worrying about and/or need clarity about. I mean think about it, when was the last time you(me) FOR REAL FOR REAL prayed until something happened? Completely gave your troubles over to Him that loves you? Prayed for guidance and an execution plan? Left ALL OF YOUR CARES at the altar?

    With a truly pure and open heart, I plan to stay in constant prayer about situations that have been hounding me for years but most importantly I plan to actually execute whatever God tells me to do, balls to the wall style. MrsSaddity told me a few weeks ago I should ask God what He wants me to do NOW. Tazzee, some months ago, told me to pray daily about the things I want to change until they change. That’s exactly what I plan on doing.

    Also, that kid of mine got me giving up red meat (and possible poultry) because she wants to be as vegan as possible during Lent O_O

    Apologies for blogging in your comments! I would love to encourage you during Lent no matter what you decide!

  11. This is the first year where I’m giving up something that I may never take back. During the Lenten season I’m giving up meat (keeping the seafood). In the past it’s been a chance to sacrifice. I’ve given up fried foods, sweets (didn’t make it) and blogging.

    On the what now issue, I haven’t fought it. My married friends warned me that I would go through a period of just being. We’ve both gained weight and are now getting back to our fitness quest. But then again work and the stepkids have me busy enough.

  12. Your post is supposed to be about Lent, but I think you need to start another post discussing the “now what?” period after you get married. I’d really be interested in your perspective and others’.

    It seems like we spend so much time dating and trying to get that relationship thing straighted out, that when we finally do get our hearts situation and happy, we are left figuring out what to do with ourselves. Your wedding was a project. You need a new one! 🙂

  13. I’ve practiced Lent in the past, but not this year homie. I have to be in the right frame of mind and in the mood to sacrifice.
    In the past I think I gave up the sauce. Oh and red meat.

  14. I’ve never participated because I’m not religious but I do think that taking time to reflect and recharge is a good thing. Not sure I need to do it during a set period. I too feel that I spend too much time online and not enough time reading books or my favorite magazines.

    I was watching something online last night and spent the majority of the time “listening” to it because I also had the FB and twitter page open. I can’t seem to just watch tv w/out doing 5011 other things. That I’d like to change.

  15. I hear you. I turn 41 this month and I’ve been having what I can only call a “mid life reflective period” since it’s not a crisis. Work no longer energizes me, my house is still in post-wedding disarray, I have no energy to blog, and all the weight I lost for the wedding is creeping back. Thank God for Old Dude. You might want to use the next 40 days for reflection. This is what I’ve decided to do: commit to reading a meditation or praying each day (without distraction, in a quiet place), journaling (on paper), and I am recommitting to doing something I used to love, but I’ve gotten away from (Tennis). Good luck, my sister. You are not alone!

  16. Being Catholic and from Louisiana, this is a big day for me. Like you, over the past few years I noticed other denominations practicing Lent. When I was younger I would do “small things” – giving up sweets or something like that. Then a few years ago my pastor challenged people to dig deeper and actually do something that would change their lives/character. One year I tried calling my grandmother once a week (we don’t have the best relationship). This year I’m limiting my TV and going out to eat. Both things that I hope will actually carry on and become actually life habits instead of just a short sacrifice.

  17. I’m not sure why people think Lent is a Catholic thing. I’ve run across this a lot on social networks recently. It’s a time of sacrifice for all Christians. As a Lutheran I’ve always participated in, and celebrated, it.

    I always try to give up something that’s really a sacrifice for me, mirroring the sacrifice Jesus made. In the past I’ve given up beef (never gone back), frivolous spending, eating out, cussing (didn’t quite make it) and speaking ill of others. Haven’t quite decided what I’m sacrificing this year, but I’ll know before I go to bed tonight.

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