Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent...2013

        This year, I'm giving up caffeine for Lent. (Wait...what???) Yes, I know it may seem like a bit of a shock to those who know us, but no, we don't claim catholocism, or other various denominations that practice this. I guess you could say we got the idea from our friends (who also are not catholic, or other associated denominations). The idea (from my understanding) behind the practice of Lent is to give up something (whatever god tells you to) for 40 days.  This time period is seen as a spiritual growing period-and a possible strain on your relationship with God ;)
         It's not easy (or shouldn't be) and we use the time to focus on God (especially when we're having hard time with our commitment to give up whatever it was). It's a test, too-seeing if you really trust God to help you give up whatever you choose to give up.  Last year was a bit rough for me- giving up all food except vegetables. Not the most funnest thing, but I made it (I had to stop running for a few weeks, but I made it).
        This year, it's caffeine. I'm on day...I don't know. It's been too long without caffeine, lol. Our friends insist that Day 3 is the worst, but this time, Day 1 was the worst. I ended up with a massive stress headache which turned into a migraine. Since then, I've discovered that: 1. I'm not physically addicted to caffeine 2. Caffeine helps me cope with stress-it calms me. Apparently the only reason I've been able to troll through my homework, keeping the kids alive, food on the table, random crochet projects...and this blog is because I've been "stress free" and a bit motivated.
         Needless to say, I've been frantically searching for ways to help relieve/deal with the everyday stressors in my life to avoid the inevitable migraines that would end up controlling my life. I had originally thought that decaf hot tea would help. I was wrong (I also feel that decaf coffee-while just a placebo for me-would be cheating). A hot soak doesn't seem to help me, either. I finally found some essential oils at a local natural store that seems to be holding things at bay for now. My shoulders still feel a bit tense, and the headache remains at bay.
        What we've learned from practicing Lent this year and last is that: life gets a bit harder for 40 + days (the time frame of Lent is actually more than 40 days because Catholics are allowed to "cheat" on Sundays-we're not sure the reasoning behind it, but we choose not to "cheat"), you do what you can to "cope" (seriously-take away what you look forward to most when it comes to eating/drinking and you'll find that you could care less about what you're setting in front of yourself), and of course, you find yourself arguing/talking with God more.
         Resisting temptation is not as hard as choosing to go without. It's easy to put away the "taboo" stuff, avoid stores that carry those items (*ahem* no coffee shops for me), but it's not so easy to think "I am purposefully choosing to give this up". It's a battle with yourself, and a time of complaining/arguing with God. I'm pretty sure I'll survive this, and have a better relationship with God because of it-trust is a huge factor- I'm trusting God to help me through this, and I expect He is trusting me to hold up my end of the bargain ;)

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