Give It Up

It is the Lenten season.  A time when many Christians, Catholic and Protestant alike, give something up until Easter.  I didn’t grow up with this tradition so I wasn’t even aware this season in the church existed until I moved to Seattle.  My first Lent in Seattle I gave nothing up, still being in the dark about the whole thing, but I heard many girls in dorm talking about what they were “giving up.” Things like coffee, chocolate, sugar, what have you.  I finally asked someone why they were giving up something.  They said because it’s Lent.  Honestly, I heard “Lint” and thought I’d missed out on some new slang.  I don’t think I really figured out what Lent was until I started going to University Presbyterian Church my Junior year in college.  That is where I finally learned all the logistics.  When Lent is, what it means, what you’re supposed to do etc.  So I decided to try it.  Two years in a row I gave up TV.  This year my husband gave up coffee and what did I give up?  I gave up nothing.

It’s true.  We attended the Ash Wednesday service at our church last night, but I gave up nothing.  I don’t think people realize how many things a pregnant woman can not do or eat.  For example my favorite breakfast in the entire world is two fried eggs over medium, toast and milk.  I can’t have fried eggs over medium any more, they could have salmonella.  I’ve never gotten sick off them before, however, I don’t think I should take the risk.  I can’t have sushi. I have to limit my intake of canned tuna. I can’t have lunch meat or hot dogs unless they’re cooked to steaming hot. I can’t go water skiing, snow skiing, horseback riding, heck I can’t even go out and play tennis with Jordan.  I’m not really complaining just stating facts.  Ok, maybe I am complaining about the eggs, cause without runny eggs, they’re just such a dull food.

So in lieu of giving up something, I decided to add something to my life.  Sort of.  I’m going to work on being more positive.  I’m not sure if the general public has noticed, but I have been a bit of a Negative Nancy lately.  Not really in the ‘check out the moody pregnant lady’ but in a ‘wow, what a bitch’ kind of way.  So I told myself that this season I would work on my patience with my fellow humans and general positive thinking.  I’m not really sure how to go about this besides reprimanding myself every time I think some negative or unkind remark.  There are a plethora of positive thinking books out there, but I’m not sure that’s the route I want to go.  I’ve always thought of Lent in this way.  I give something up and that leaves a hole where that something used to be, so I’m supposed to use God to fill that hole. From God filling that hole I become a better person. So this year I’m thinking use God to cover your negativity in grace and mercy.  When I start thinking a negative thought or get impatient, say a little prayer or sing a little song, instead of thinking that thought.

Hopefully others will notice the change in my attitude and general demeanor.  Then, maybe, I can become a better influence on those around me, instead of an annoyance.

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5 responses to “Give It Up

  1. You were never an annoyance and honestly I think we are both the same amount of negative so when together we make a positive 🙂 Isn’t that how it works? And without you being a negative when you and I get together it will be a negative Oh my look what you have done! Just kidding love you Postive Paula.

  2. I love your plan – but have to agree with Elise, you didn’t strike me as a negative Nancy. Still, it’s always great to challenge yourself to be more positive, I try to do that as well.

    By the way, thank you for the little note in the mail, that really touched me. I’m looking forward to our Saturday morning togetherness! 😀

  3. Ash Wednesday was like 2 weeks ago, does your church celebrate a different day than the Catholic calendar?

    That aside in the Catholic church certain groups of people are not “required” to fast during Lent. That includes children before the age of reasson (about 7 years old), the elderly, the sick, and the pregnant. 🙂 So in Catholic eyes you’re golden. I try to do something else along with fasting though, some way to try to improve myself. This year along with my fasting I am also trying to be more self disciplined and more selfless. There are many ways to “fast” and you have the right frame of mind.

  4. wow dude!!! this is an awesome goal of yours. i’m not calling you a negative nancy, but i am definitely in full support! i’ll be praying for you, too friend! ❤

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