Adding and Subtracting: Part 1


By Robyn

My mom is not as sacrificial as I thought she was. Last night we sat down together in our love seat to talk through what we would add and give up for lent. The first topic we discussed was vanity, which translates in my language as clothes. For me, picking outfits is a huge distraction in my daily routine.  It trumps my new year’s resolution to read my Bible each morning. Because this is a major issue, lent is like a “kick in the pants” to focus less on how I look and more on God’s Word. The first way Mommy and I are addressing this is by reducing our wardrobe for the next 40 days. We negotiated a deal but it wasn’t easy.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 1 sweater
  • 3 shirts
  • 3 bottoms: jeans, exercise shorts (which double as pajamas) and a pair of shorts + mom negotiated for an extra bottom.
  • unlimited socks and underwear

Mom debated me for ten minutes trying to convince me that she needed 4 bottoms instead of 3. The dialogue went something like this.

Mom: I need jeans, shorts, pants to exercise in, and some nice pants or a skirt I can wear to work and church.

Me: What’s wrong with wearing jeans to work? I mean, I do my work in my pajamas! Give up shorts or something.

Mom: But then what will I wear on hot days?

Me: Come on.  Jesus probably didn’t have 4 tunics.

Mom: I can’t wear jeans to church.

Me: Why not?

Mom: Because it would be humiliating.

Me: That’s probably the place you need to wear them the most then.

In the end, I gave her a bonus pair of pants because I’m so nice.

Next, we argued about shoes.

Me: OK. So 2 pairs of shoes–

Mom: Wait, a minute. 2 pairs of shoes? I can’t do that!

Me: *sigh* Why not?

Mom: I’ll need shoes for cold days, hot days, and tennis shoes to exercise in.

Me: Well, pick shoes that works in both kinds of weather then.

Mom: But I don’t have any.

Me: Sorry to hear that.

No dice this time mom.  Your case isn’t strong enough.

We also debated about some of our unmentionables but that conversation is not public domain.

I was amazed at how much my mom “needed”.

Once we agreed on the terms of our reduction, we started talking about what we would add to replace it. When we take away the bad, we make space for the good.  So we are adding a daily meeting between, me, Mommy and God at 8:00 each morning and we’ll read the Bible together. This will be no picnic because I am NOT an early riser. You let me and I’ll sleep in till lunch time and since I’m a home schooler, sometimes my mom lets me.   It’s not really my fault because I’m an insomniac. I lie in bed bored to death, until at least 12:30 a.m. most nights. In a way, getting up will be more of a sacrifice than taking away most of my clothes will be.

We prayed and asked God to help us know Him better in all of this.

With vanity laid bare, we changed topic to idolatry which we spellC-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E.  Mom’s the expert on this one because she has so many years of experience.  So I’ll let her tell you what we committed to there.

2 thoughts on “Adding and Subtracting: Part 1

  1. Oh! I’m loving this! However you’re making me uncomfortable…wondering if I could follow your example….keep writing…you’re challenging me.

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