February 11, 2013 by Ellen V
Wednesday will officially begin the start of the Lenten period of fast in my faith tradition, and I love/hate what the next six and a half weeks will mean for me.
Eric and I have given up meat the last several years (2011 and 2012), but it’s become so easy we’ve decided to abstain from something that will promise to make us suffer in its absence: coffee. I’ve been weaning myself off it for the last few days in preparation. I’m sure it’ll hit Eric a bit harder. He’s giving himself a two week escape clause. If he’s absolutely miserable after the second week, he’ll give in and allow himself to return to his coffee drinking ways. I know it won’t be quite as difficult for me. I didn’t drink coffee, with the exception of a rare cup of decaf, my entire pregnancy and for a little while after. That wasn’t all that long ago, right?
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve also
harassed talked my lovely little sisters into reading 7 with me. We’re doing a modified fast in each of the seven areas that Hatmaker explores, one for each week of Lent. We haven’t worked all the details out yet, but for the first week we’ll eliminate purchasing any food with more than seven ingredients. The other areas of excess we’ll delve into are clothing, possessions, waste, shopping, media, and stress. I’m looking forward to trying it out!
I love/hate fasts because, while they are not really much fun, they help me become a little more temperate, prudent, and just generally virtuous by the end. These are not areas in which I typically experience a lot of success. But no coffee for 40 days makes you feel like you can accomplish just about anything, you know? We’ll see how I feel about it all at the end of March!