Adding and Subtracting: Part 2

DSCF5686Goodbye cupcakes.  Adieu chocolate.  Farewell sugar. Adios corn syrup. So long, sucrose, dextrose, fructose and glucose. You tantalize my tastebuds. You are a counselor, friend, even my drug of choice and parting is such sweet sorrow.

Hello plain old water.  I wish you were as seductive as cheesecake but you are so….. tasteless.  Nevertheless let’s get better acquainted over the next 6 weeks.

And so unfolds, Part 2 of our Lenten season equation involving subtraction and addition.

Together, Robyn and I will take away:

  • sweetened drinks
  • chocolate
  • desserts: cake, pie, brownies, cookies
  • ice cream
  • donuts, sweet breads, muffins, coffee cake
  • candy

And we will add a daily regimen of 8 cups of H20.

While this might be a piece of cake for you, it’s genuine self-denial for me.  They say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. That would describe Robyn. She and chocolate are already best buds so practicing self restraint now, early in the game, can stunt germination of that apple seed.

The roots of my love affair with sugar run deep.  They were planted in the formative soil of my childhood. I learned to cope with emotions hand to mouth, immediate gratification.  Lonely? Ride my bike to the ice cream store. Sad? Chocolate makes me happy. Angry? Steal some cookies from the cookie jar. Disappointed? Eat a donut. Even now, I daydream about sweets.  I’ve actually driven through a red light while imagining eating my favorite dessert from the Cheesecake Factory. I’m ashamed to admit it but sweets are my “go to” instead of God or in addition to God when He’s just not enough.  And that, my friends, is idolatry.

I’ve made this 40 day commitment before–many times- which is probably why I dread it so much. It expresses a sincere desire of my heart to love God, but serves as a constant reminder of what I actually do love—sugar.  And that’s what I hate about lent.  It forces me to live on the battlefield of temptation facing my greatest opponent—myself.  During these weeks, my idolatry is exposed. I stare it down and cry out to a holy God for mercy and grace.  I deny myself and take up my cross.  I practice restraint. Purging isn’t pretty and it’s painfully hard but it is cathartic, as is drinking 8 cups of water each day.  So, body and soul, I engage the war and God comes along side me and fights with me and for me.  He takes the space that sugar lives in and makes it His dwelling.  And that is what I love about lent.

Time to put on my battle gear,  turn on some Mandisa and start living like an Overcomer.

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2 thoughts on “Adding and Subtracting: Part 2

  1. Hope, I’m proud of you and Robyn. I gave us sweets a little over a year ago. I, too, usde to love brownies and ice cream and all things sugary. It had nothing to do with Lent and giving up, however. Instead it had everything to do with improving my nutrition and monitoring better what I literally feed my body. I have not looked back. What I found is that I actually don’t crave sugar anymore. I don’t give in to it at all and avoid even eating a bite knowing that will be my downfall. I lost over 20 pounds but that is not why I did it. I try to eat only natural foods including good fats, protein and good carbs. Good luck with your regimen. I hope it is not as difficult for you as you think.

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