I’m Giving Up…

It begins today… the sacrifice, or in the end it may be defined ~ madness!

Having grown up Catholic, I was always challenged to give up something very near and dear to me, during the days of Lent.  This practice started for me when I was in grade school.  You see, I attended a Catholic elementary school.  This ritual of giving something up or sacrificing, as it was defined, was not an option, it was a must.  Just what would I give up?

Now, being around ten-years old, just what kind of vices or luxuries did I have to give up?  I remember suggesting that I would give up homework; that was quickly vetoed.  Then I suggested that I would give up being nice to my younger brother.  After the gut-wrenching laughter came to an end, I was told to try again, and this time to be serious.  In all honesty, I couldn’t come up with a single thing, and that was a big mistake on my part; it opened the door for my parents to assist/urge me in my decision.  This was the first time that I ever truly thought that my parents were crazy ~ the out-of-their-mind kind of crazy.  They had suggested that I give up candy!

Candy to me at ten-years of age was the equivalent to my current addiction:  Diet Coke.  I said it ~ an addiction!  So there you have it; Diet Coke must go!  Now, I have to ask myself if making this sacrifice is a wise idea ~ I love my family! 🙂  Who really is going to suffer here; me, with my afternoon craving, or the family members that will learn to avoid me and my irritation at just about everything?

No bubbles for awhile ~

Youngest Daughter has some extreme doubt that I can pull this off.  She said that she will be checking our recycle bin for evidence; not to mention, the recycle bins of our neighbors.  Now, have I taught her nothing?  I have a shovel and a backyard with a garden…. Hmm ~ seems as though some planting will be taking place! 😉  Also, I’m going to have to train the Scruffster to refrain from digging up any buried treasure.  No, seriously… I CAN DO THIS!

"Your secret is safe, for a price!"

To top it off, I’m giving up chocolate as well!!!!!!  Now, who is the out-of-her-mind kind of crazy???????  If you know me at all, you are probably shaking your head, wishing hope for my family, or thinking… no way in Hell!

... all kinds of chocolate ~

No doubt that this is going to be tough for me; I depend on these items WAY TOO MUCH!

Maybe in the absence of my Diet Coke, which equals water to me, or the chocolate that might as well be my oxygen, I’ll fill the void that their absence creates with something more positive.  Instead of griping about what I can’t have, I’ll focus on what I can and do have ~ and be thankful.

Something tells me that the feeling of gratitude, for all that He gave up for me and my sins, will take over and make my sacrifices look rather minuscule.

Over the years, Lent has come to mean much more than giving up candy; it is a time of preparation.  For me, it is a time to seek forgiveness, a time to focus on prayer, a time to sacrifice, and a time to extend more kindness; hoping that all of these will become more of a daily way of living, rather than just for the forty days of Lent.

If you observe Lent, what does it mean to you?  Do you sacrifice anything, or do you focus on a positive behavior?  

I’m curious; let me know in the “Share your thoughts~” section.

25 thoughts on “I’m Giving Up…

  1. I never bother to give anything up ..just for the sake of giving it up…it has to mean something. So, have I now guilted you into donating the money you spend on Diet Coke and chocolate to some worthy charity? Talk about a double sacrifice. I don’t know if I could go very long without Coca Cola…I admire you for going for the big stuff!


    1. No guilt here, Mary~ It does mean something; it causes me to reflect on the heavy sacrifices of many; the sacrifices that I take for granted.

      Donating to a worthy charity is a great idea… maybe I’ll get Youngest Daughter’s input~


  2. Paula

    To-o-o-o-o funny! By the way, the picture of the decadent cake, was that eaten before your sacrifice??? I’ll see you when Diet Coke and chocolate re-enter your life…kidding. Kudos to you. I could never do it…I used to want to give up insulin though!


  3. Rima

    What a nice post. Thanks for sharing. This year for lent, I’m going to try to give up rushing and try to spend some time noticing things instead. I realize this may sound a bit strange. When life gets busy, it is easy for me to get into a rush, rush, rush mentality and not enjoy things or people as much. I’m hoping that by not rushing so much, I’ll stop to appreciate people and the world around me. We’ll see how it goes!

    Good luck with the Diet Coke and chocolate moratorium!


    1. Great idea, Rima! If everyone were to follow your lead, I can only imagine that this world would be a much kinder and gentler place. Sounds like a very pleasant habit to get into…. “just be”!

      Thanks for sharing your view; I love it!!


  4. Jerri Keller

    Carol – great post as always. Good thing I’m not Catholic – I know that giving anything up for that long would make me crave it even more. 🙂 Good luck – you can do it!


  5. Nancy Keuss Cable

    Oh, Carol…you and I are practically in the same boat. Diet coke isn’t an issue for me, but chocolate!!! Yes, I’ve also given up chocolate. After just 2 days I’m already wondering “what was I thinking?” Chocolate is a daily treat for me, so it’s especially hard/challenging giving it up. We’ll have to support each other throughout these 40 days (haha). As I write this, hubby just announced “it’s time for a piece of chocolate”…help!!!!


  6. Tim

    Dear Carol, All I have to say is wow! Again, wow! I want to come over in the spring time and sit in your back yard with “hubs” and watch the diet coke trees sprout. All kidding aside, I have no doubt that you can do it. As for me I am trying the three “S”; no sodas, no sweets and no seconds.


    1. Wow… the three “S” ~ I’m impressed! You are welcome to hang out with HUBS anytime; I hear RoundUp works well on Diet Coke trees, if you catch them in time!

      Good luck to you, and thanks for always reading Pause and Smile!!


  7. I remember those days at St. Mary’s of giving up things. And, yes, it was always candy 🙂
    Now, I think in terms of what can I ‘do’ that brings me closer to God- more living in my Spirit.
    When I taught in Catholic schools, I would try to teach more about the Spirit of the Law(s) not just the Letter of the Law(s). I encouraged the students to think about what actions they could take to be closer to God and their families and friends, etc. It always seemed like giving up something was used as an excues to get attention by being a martyr. It seemed everyone would wear their ‘suffering’ as a badge of honor, ‘oh, poor me’!
    Reading your post, I love the way you put it– “I’ll fill the void that their absence creates with something more positive.” That’s exactly what I think of as the SPIRIT of Lent 🙂
    Thanks for sharing that!


    1. Thanks for your words Trish. I wouldn’t imagine you observing Lent any other way. Seems to me, that’s pretty much how you live your life, daily.

      I appreciate you commenting on that one particular sentence, and I’m glad it rang true to you… that’s what I was trying to get at through all the Diet Coke and chocolate comparison.

      Thanks for reading “Pause and Smile”, and for being such an encouraging force… long before its beginning!!


    1. Yes, what the heck was I thinking? The chocolate has not been so bad -surprisingly; however, I am finding out just how much I have allowed myself to depend on the D.C.-sheesh!!
      Thanks for stopping by and reading “Pause and Smile”!! 🙂


    1. Thanks for inquiring Shannon… I guess I should post an update! Well, somedays it feels like a train-wreck! The chocolate is not causing too much of a problem, but the DC is a beast! HUBS has kindly mentioned, “maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if you allowed yourself one a week!” For me, that would be a real tease!

      By the way, I’m so very glad that I found your blog. It’s one that I find to be a ray of sunshine!

      Thanks for inquiring…. hope things start going better with the candy, or lack of it! 🙂


      1. LOL, thanks Carol, yes, I was so curious, I was hoping it hadn’t gone THAT bad that you just stopped writing:). Sundays can be your day of rest. We did that sometimes when I was a kid, it made a huge difference:)

        I can’t really thank you enough for your kind words about my blog, it means a lot to me and keeps me inspired to make the time to write. So happy to be connected!


        1. My “kind words” are the truth as I see it. You are the one that inspires, as your words touch one’s soul!

          Funny ~ you thinking that things were going so badly that I had to give up writing!! Your intrigue, along with several friends that have e-mailed with the same question makes me think that I need to get back to the keyboard. Thank you for your gentle nudge. I love the writing, but so many times there is something else that needs to be done. Maybe I’m not prioritizing correctly.

          I, too, am happy that we connected!


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