our old boss saw us and said rather directly, "you two got skinny! you look great!"
i didn't actually realize i was smaller now than then, in the days before dylan. (am i? did he make this up? i'm not actually sure.)
i do know that i'm healthier now that i don't drink a 20 ounce syrupy-sweet beverage every day along with whatever fat-laden pastry happened to break and become "unsellable." (having my drink with skim milk did not make it healthy, no matter how i deluded myself with the amount of calcium and protein i was consuming!)
in light of all that, i think for lent this year i want to cut back my sugar intake. i'm thinking more of moderation than complete abstention: drinking once cup of juice and not buying sugary snacks or candy. i still want to occasionally bake for my family. i guess the goal isn't to give up all dessert so much as to be more discerning and intentional about what i'm eating.
i admit, this is not spiritually motivated--it's really more about health. on the spiritual side of things, i want to spend time each day with God. I know, this is something i already should be doing, but to be perfectly honest, i just haven't.
the last time i had a good, consistent devotional practice was last summer. then dylan stopped sleeping well, and all my prayers for her/us to sleep better felt ignored. i was mad at God, tired of feeling alone in my prayers, and i stopped spending regular time with him. then i felt guilty for making such a big deal of it. plenty of "good" christians have serious life-or-death problems and don't blame God--it's just sleep!--but i was so exhausted and frustrated. the guiltier i felt, the farther i withdrew.
in my life, i've certainly dealt with pain, loneliness, and disappointment without blaming God, but for whatever reason, i just felt like God was holding out on me. it seemed so simple--couldn't he just make her sleep? just for three or four hours at a time? was that so much to want?
finally, a few weeks ago, i broke down. i confessed my sin, returned to writing in my prayer journal, read the psalms, and received the grace God extended. we had a few better nights. mostly, it was the same, but at least my attitude was better. i slammed fewer doors. i held my tongue. sometimes.
this week, it's actually getting a little better. dylan's mostly been waking only twice, and she hasn't been crying (much) when i put her back to bed. it's still not great, but jim and i are starting to feel less like zombies.
so, this lent i want to cut back on sugar and more importantly, to grow in the discipline of a daily devotional practice. what about you? are you adding or subtracting anything from your life this lenten season?
When we genuinely remember the death we deserve to die, we will be moved to remember the death the Lord did in fact die--because his took the place of ours. Ah, children, we will yearn to hear the Gospel story again and again, ever seeing therein our death in his, and rejoicing that we will therefore know a rising like his as well. --Walter Wangerin, Jr.