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.