giving it all to you

Ah, it comes again…the Lenton season. We all know that I have mixed emotions on the way that popular Christian culture portrays the need to give something up for Lent. Although that could also come from a childhood of giving up sweets and meat on Fridays. (You try explaining to a child that no, we don’t go to church on Sundays but you still have to give something up for Lent and oh yeah, you can’t eat meat on fridays…why? who knows but we’re doing it.)
New readers of my blog, don’t think that I’m a hostile hater, it’s more that simply giving up sweets or caffeine with no “real” reason makes my skin crawl. You are not going to magically become closer to God by abstaining from m&ms. That’s just not how it works. However, if you are giving up chocolate because you have recently discovered that it is one of the industries most responsible for slave labor and poor supply chain (which it is), and you want to give it up in order to take a stand against that. That’s great. Or, say, you are addicted to something (like caffeine) and you want to give it up in order to make yourself more healthy, also great. Although in both of those scenarios, it’s probably not the best thing to be pounding chocolate or coffee on Easter morning “because you can now.” (again, flashback to childhood and many Easters spent in a sugar coma).
Although, what you choose to do is between you and the Lord, so really this post shouldn’t be about judgement but rather about what the Lenton season brings for me this year.
This year, much to my chagrin, one (or more) of my professors has challenged us (for a grade) to do some sort of Lenton discipline. In my Ethics class we were challenged to have the discipline attempt to foster a virtue in us.
I racked my brain. It’s hard for me to come up with something that will be sustainable in this busy season of my life. But finally I came up with it, gave it a catchy name (cause that’s how I do) and I started. I am calling it Project LGLO (Love God Love Others). At least once a week will find me at a neighborhood coffee shop (not starbucks) doing devotions and homework. I will attempt to get out of my comfort zone by becoming a regular at said coffee shop. I will keep myself open by not allowing myself to use headphones while I work. I will attempt to learn how to love God and love others better as I get out of my 1 mile radius of NP and force myself to be better at getting to know others and my neighborhood.
The other thing (which I’m stealing from Jessa) is called Project Face Value. Where we try our hardest to take things that others say at face value without reading into them. We also will try and say things at face value – meaning that if I care about where we go to dinner I’m not going to say that I don’t. It’s not about causing problems with friends but honoring myself and my desires in expressing them, then I can’t get passive aggressively mad for people not reading my mind.
These are two simple things, but I think they will create in me habits that I would like to continue and get me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one. I am also going to try and blog more… but I always say that so…yeah.
(PS. I write this from the above mentioned coffee shop, which is my own little piece of heaven within Chicago. Big windows, lots of light, bit wooden table to work at, good coffee and a great mix of music. But I don’t want to share so I’m not disclosing my location.)

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