Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Give It Up

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is typically observed by Catholic churches, and by some Protestant churches. It marks the 40 days prior to Easter, and is in observance of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert while being tempted. Being that the Lutheran church is probably one of the closest denominations to the Catholic church, it's definitely something that we grew up observing in the Lutheran church. It's also one of my 101 in 1001 goals to give something up for Lent this year.

Not all Lutherans give something up for Lent (J doesn't), but I have for some time. Last year, I gave up chocolate (minus hot chocolate, which was admittedly a bit of a cop out). This year, I'm giving up soda. Oh, my beloved Coca-Cola/Diet-Cherry Pepsi/Doctor Pepper. I've been indulging in you far more often than I'd like. And lately, I find myself feeling like I "need" you. It's time for some space. I would say "It's not you, it's me", but that's just not true--it's you AND me. And we need a break.

I haven't quite decided what qualifies as "soda"--carbonation? Caffeine? Does lemonade from the soda fountain count? Does 7-up? Seltzer water? I'm still working on that. Any feedback?


People often ask why I choose to give something up for Lent when it isn't a requirement of our faith. This blog sums it up fantastically.

Do you observe Lent? And if so, are you giving anything up?


  1. To most people this will almost sound humorous but i think it will have so many position implications in my life and i am actually exited for the challenge. I am going to give up facebook for lent. Not only do i stalk facebook and allow it to consume much of my time but it also has had a way within the last few months of putting me in a funk and i am ready to rid my life of that and hopefully the feelings that it has been creating.

  2. I grew up Baptist and we do not observe Lent, but one year in 8th grade, I wanted to give something up for Lent because all my friends were, so I chose soda. And, well...I've not had soda since! I did have a few during pregnancy to help relieve heargburn (7UP makes me burp!) but other than that, I don't drink soda.

    Chad grew up Catholic, so he always had to give something up. He hasn't done it in quite some time though, but we were just talking and decided to observe Lent this year. We are giving up cussing. I cuss when I'm mad and Chad cusses just in every day conversation and for both of us, it's a terrible habit. So, we're gonna work on not cussing and hopefully, the (non)habit will last long past Lent!!

  3. I'm struggling to come up with something myself this year. I think it's going to be tough. I'm at a loss, since I already gave up coffee back in January!

  4. I grew up Baptist and we didn't observe Lent. I usually like to test myself to see if I can make it 40 days without something... This year, I'm thinking chocolate would be a good one. I'm trying to lose some weight and I think it would help.

  5. I have never participated in Lent. Last year our church passed out these Lent calendars. Instead of giving something up, each of the 40 days has a specific thing you put money in a box for (5 cents here, 25 cents there...number of shoes you own...5 cents for every TV in your house...things like that). I participated last year...until I got to the shoe one. $1 for every pair of shoes was a bit much. ;)

    They passed out the calendar again this Sunday, but I don't think I want to do that. I DO want to give something up, though. Just struggling with what to give up. Coffee is the most obvious, but that scares me - I will probably be a grump at work without it. :) I'll think of something...

  6. I'd identify soda as most drinks that are carbonated and comes in a can. I think you'd be OK with lemonade!
    We don't observe Lent- but I'm always interested to hear what people give up!

  7. I also observe Lent and I decided to Give up Cursing. I gave up Fast food last year and Soda the year before that. I didn't drink anything carbonated. Lemonade from the fountain was fine.

  8. good luck with giving up soda. I don't do anything for lent but do eat more fish sandwiches this time of the year.... I have given you an award over at my blog

  9. I think you could count out most carbonated drinks. Lemonade from a soda machine/fountain is fine and I would even say that soda water would be ok. I think it's more of the classic soda type beverages.

  10. I normally don't give up anything for Lent but this year I am giving up ice cream...it's long due.

    I would count soda as anything with carbonation.

  11. No, obviously. Hehe.

    As to the definition of soda, I'd go with everything carbonated, that doesn't contain alcohol (i.e., beer's okay). Though what it really sounds like you should give up is caffeine, which is something else entirely.

    An aside--since I stopped imbibing caffeine (for wholly un-religious reasons--it give me migraines), I pretty much stopped drinking pop. I'll have the occasional root beer or Sprite/7-Up.

  12. I'm Methodist and we do the giving up thing too. When I gave up soda before I classified it as anything carbonated which means you can have the lemonade at the soda fountain because it's not carbonated. It was the easiest way to figure it out for me.

    This year I decided to take something on instead of giving something up so I'm going to read or listen to 40 books in the 40 days. I think it'll help me cut back on all the time I spend on Facebook and other stuff and open my mind to some new ideas.

    Good luck!

  13. I'm not Catholic but I still give things up for Lent. Last year, I gave up ice cream (my love!) this year I'm giving up peanut butter (my second love). Good luck on the soda!!!

  14. Our congregation suggests an alternative to deprivation in lent - try a new discipline - bible reading, exercise - think of it as a discipline exercise instead of deprivation. It can be the discipline of not having something, but could also be adding something to your life.

    Good luck on the soda

  15. As a protestant, I do not give up anything for Lent. To me, giving up candy or chocolate or soda doesn't do anything for my faith. And the things we SHOULD give up [selfishness, greed, gossip] should be a lifelong goal and not some 40 day challenge.

    Also I do not believe in the whole "self punishment" idea. Jesus suffered and died for our sins. He did it all and there is nothing..no pain, no suffering, no "giving up" that we can do to deserve an ounce of forgiveness. If there is any suffering, pain for self deprivation in my life it's only to more strongly rely on God and find joy in his salvation.


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