Why this non-Catholic is participating in Lent

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This past year has been full of trials and tribulations. It has been a year of learning and growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ. None of it has been easy, but I am better for it. After much prayer I felt led to participate in Lent for the first time this year.

But before we get into the why, we need to understand what Lent really is. Lent is a religious observance (most commonly by Catholics) from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday. It is a period lasting 40 days, not counting Sundays, or 44 days counting Sundays. Traditionally Catholics purposed Lent for the preparation of “the believer through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. Many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.” (Wikipedia) Lent was/is a time to grow deeper in your walk with the Lord, not make a countdown until you could have a Dr. Pepper again.

So why now? Many of my friends in high school participated each year, but since I was not Catholic I dismissed it altogether. Why am I choosing to participate now? No, this is not a religious statement. I do not intend to have any miraculous epiphanies nor do I count myself more “godly” than someone who doesn’t participate. This is simply a personal decision and a time to focus more on my relationship with Jesus Christ.

What am I giving up? The past few months my diet has drastically changed. I have been gluten-free since July and completely grain-free for nearly 6 weeks now. Both have made a HUGE difference in my health. But, my one vice – the one thing I could not give up – was CHOCOLATE. Yep. I said it.

Why Chocolate? Growing up I was never allowed to have candy or chocolate at all – or at least very rarely. My mom learned early on that I became very hyper when I had sugar of any kind. Even a stick of gum would set me running for hours! So, my mom really restricted my sweets. I remember having my first candy bar – or at least the first one I remember – when I was in 4th grade. I thought it was okay, but it was definitely too sweet for me. The older I got and the more I became serious about ballet, the less I cared about sweets. It wasn’t until I was in college and on my own that I found myself grabbing more sweets and eating them whenever I wanted. Now don’t get me wrong, I come by the sweet tooth honestly, but it quickly got out-of-control. 

When I was pregnant with Mister Bull, I remember not caring what I ate or watching how much I ate. It had never been a problem and I was pregnant after all, so what was the harm? Well, the harm turned out to be the 80+ pounds I gained during the pregnancy, an emergency c-section 4 ½ weeks early due to high blood pressure and a host of other complications following the delivery. Now, since then I have not gained any weight except during my three other pregnancies. All of which were between 20-25 pounds and all of which I lost within 2 weeks of delivery. Yes, I said 2 weeks!! I am a “cow” when it comes to producing milk for my babies. They nursed well and the pounds fell off. But, I have never lost the other weight from Mister Bull’s pregnancy. And I know my eating habits are a HUGE part of that.

Since the carbs are mostly gone now that I can’t have any grains, the only thing left to rid myself of is the CHOCOLATE. It’s not that chocolate itself is bad for you, it’s that I used it as a comfort…a crutch…a friend when I was lonely, depressed, sad or just because I had a hard day. There were times that I muttered the words, “Since I don’t drink…I need some chocolate.” That’s a problem!! At least for me it is.

How’s it going? I have not had a single piece of chocolate since Wednesday and so far, so good. I haven’t tried to kill anyone yet and I haven’t raided the kids Treasure Box for any stragglers! I’d say that’s success for the first 3 days!! Honestly, I haven’t really noticed myself craving it either, so that is good.

My Prayer: My prayer is that when I crave that sweetness that I will run to Christ as my source of strength. When I have a rough or stressful day I want to run to His Word for peace. When I feel lonely (which happens a lot since the Hubster works nights), I want to run to Jesus for companionship. When I feel lost or confused I want to run to Him to find my way. When I feel depressed I want to run to My Savior for comfort. When I feel broken and discouraged I want to run to Him for healing.

So that’s why this non-Catholic is participating in Lent this season. Sure I may gain a little better body and be more healthy, but it’s not so much my physical health that I’m concerned with – it’s my Spiritual Health.





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Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet all her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating fun and engaging printables, unit studies and curriculum for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about marriage, parenting, and homeschooling all while maintaining her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers, where she shares free printables and resources from around the web as well as deals on curriculum and homeschooling resources. You can also keep up with her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have been noticing Lent for the first time, not because of the Catholic, religious reasons but so that I would draw near to God in paying attention to certain Scriptures and preparing my heart for Easter, resurrection, and ultimately His return.

    I linked up after you on Modest Mondays and came over for a visit. I am so glad that I did!! Thank you for such a lovely post. Have a terrificly blessed day!!

    1. I am so glad you came over!! What a blessing your comment was to me! Praying your relationship with Him will deepen during this season!


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