Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Most evangelical denominations do not really emphasize the season of lent (at least not in my experience). I offer that not as a criticism per say, but an observation. For whatever reason, Nancy & I usually observe the fast portion of lent in some minimal way. Frankly, I can't remember how that started, although I think it went something like this:

Dan: You wanna give up something for lent?
Nancy: OK.
Dan (with cookie in mouth and another in hand): Mamee me shud giv um ookees.
Nancy: What?
Dan (downing a glass of milk): Cookies.
Nancy: Sure.

So, that's vaguely how it started, very early on in our marriage (it had to be early, since we were still living at the seminary). Over the years, we have tried several things but generally settled on cookies,chocolate, and/or pizza. Cookies we give up altogther. This is not a problem for Nancy so much, but I freakin' love cookies. And chocolate. And pizza. Actually, we don't give up pizza altogether- we only eat it on Sundays. This doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice (and in the grand scheme of life, it's certainly not), but there was a time one year where we were eating pizza 4 or more times a week. We still try to limit ourselves in general to only Sunday pizza, but we find that it tends to creep into Friday nights as the year wears on. So, lent is an opportunity to reset the pizza meter. One year, Nancy tried coffee. That was a tough 40 hours (yes, you read that right).

So, in general I end up doing cookies & chocolate in general, and scaled back pizza. This year I have added pop. It was becoming a problem. That would be a nice habit to break myself of altogether, and only drink pop at "special occasions." I would like to think that I came up with this idea on my own as I stared at glass after glass of carbonated carcinogens (I only drink diet pop), but I undoubtedly stole it from Dan Weiss, who has successfully weened himself from the syrupy demon. Dan & I are also involved in a joint lent challenge to spend more time alone with God during the season. Hopefully we will both win. This is the first "proactive" thing I have ever done for lent, and I hope that it adds a nice balance to simply not eating something I really like. After all, that is what lent is all about, right?


Connie said...

Give up pizza, no problem
Give up cookies, slight problem
Give up chocolate and diet
pop, huge problem.
I wish you luck

Aaron Helman said...

I gave up soda three years ago for Lent and haven't had one since. A couple months ago I tried an orange Fanta and the pain in my throat was excruciating.

Dan & Nancy Erickson said...

Yeah, but that's probably because you drank Fanta...

Amie Vaughan said...

You probably already know this, but I'm giving up my internet addictions (not my blog or email, as that's how I stay in touch with everyone at home... but everything else that isn't research related). I'm only two days in and feeling the hurt! But hopefully it'll give me back the time I waste to 1) actually spend time reading my Bible and praying for reasons not directly related to my thesis and 2) help me get more done on the thesis. Best of luck to all of us! I know I'll need it, ha!

Aaron Helman said...

One of my kids generated this awesome suggestion:

Take the money you would have spent on cookies, soda, chocolate, weekday pizza, and give it to a good cause.

He said he buys a can of pop every day, but he's giving it up for all 46 days of lent and he's going to give 23 dollars to a mission.

Schwester said...

giving up pop isn't that big of a deal. after lent is over and you try a cola again, you will realize that the syrup demon isn't all that great anymore. as for me, i started giving something up for lent last year. i gave up TV, except for March Madness. well, this year, it appears that my TV has already made that choice for me because it is not working. as for basketball, i guess i might be on the internet more than amie vaughan. regardless, i like the tradition. and everytime i think of watching TV, i'll remember 2 things. 1, it doesn't work. and 2, that's a committment i made to God which brings me to think of Him more often and that is always a good thing.