I have given something up for Lent since I can remember. I was raised Methodist and was told that you just give something up…like a sacrifice…something you like…not like give up anchovies.
As a family, we have given up something for the past few years. Fast food one year…chips…sodas for the past couple of years. And it was starting to look like that would be it again this year. We drink way too many anyway and our kids consider it an…extreme (lol) sacrifice!
So I’m scrolling through Facebook and someone has posted that they aren’t Catholic or Methodist or anything, but they still give up something for Lent every year. And I commented something like, we do too…So then you know how you get those notifications when someone else comments on a status you commented on and you never look because, well, you just don’t…
Except sometimes you do because you can’t sleep and your news feed hasn’t changed in the last hour and you’ve already cleared out your DVR and your Pinterest feed is full of depressing quotes instead of cute-but-I-could-never-make-it-look-like-that crafts and Instagram stopped updating like 3 hours ago…you know, one of those nights…
So I start looking through my notifications and someone from church commented on the Lent post. And it kinda punched me in the face. He said…”This year I think it’s excuses. I’ve done lots of things in the past such as different foods or beverages or what not but this year it’s excuses. I’m sick of makin’ ’em…”
Um. Punch. In. The. Face.
Seriously. Like my name is procrastinate-make-excuses-why-do-today-what-you-can-put-off-til-tomorrow.
So I’m sitting there thinking. THIS. This is why I was so put off about doing the same old thing.
And I start my list. I’m thinking ok, what are three things I have been making excuses about. (Ever heard of Ripple? Three balls in a pocket? No? Anyway, it’s this theory/training that you can really only successfully focus on three things at a time and do them well.) So, I possibly very quickly without even really having to think come up with the first three things I am making excuses about.
1) Writing. I have this book in me. And I have these awesome encouragers who are constantly supporting and well, encouraging me to write it. But I make excuses. Put it off. If you had asked me why a week ago I would tell you I just don’t have time. But that would be a lie. Truth? I’m terrified no one will read it.
2) Spending time with God. Every. Day. I have these really good intentions. I would tell you I do it. Because, yes, I read two devotionals everyday. Yes, I pray every day. Several times a day. But being still and quiet in the morning…starting my day asking for His guidance…Nope. I like to sleep. I will actually set my alarm so I can get up an hour early for that time. But in all reality, it’s more like 3 or 4 days a week. Definitely not every day.
3) Getting my house organized. I work a lot. I travel. We have three kids and a dog. We have something going on most nights. I started the January Purge and had great intentions. But I just.Got. Busy. Oh wait…my DVR is cleaned out right? Maybe because I would rather sit and catch up on a few TV shows instead of clean out a closet or go through the paper that has piled up from school and mail and church and…?
So I have my three things. Done right? Apparently not, because as soon as I started thinking about which room I should tackle when I had a few hours the other day, our bedroom or Savannah’s? I picked Savannah’s because well, um…I did have a reason…didn’t I? Or maybe I did her room instead of ours because
if when I get our room done (meaning cleaning off the treadmill)…well, there goes my excuse for not getting up on the treadmill…right? UGH OK.
4) Not working out on the treadmill. I have clothes hanging on it…possibly my craft supplies are sitting on it. Maybe they even stayed sitting on it after I bought new tubs for my craft stuff…a month ago…This after my sweet hubby rearranged our entire bedroom while I was gone one week last year so that the treadmill was facing the TV…last year’s excuse for not using it!
So, since I’ve moved past three and I’m not twitching or hiding out in anxiety yet…Let’s just get real and finish off the list.
5) Letting other people tell me what I can and can’t do. If you’ve been around the blog long, you know I’m in Celebrate Recovery. My main issue I am in recovery for is co-dependency. This means a lot of different things to different people, but one of my main struggles was people pleasing: being a different person around different people, depending on what I thought they needed me to be; needing people to like me; letting other people tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing; discounting my own thoughts and opinions because I thought others’ were more important. But I am not that person anymore. I think some people still see me like that and I have made excuses for that. But I am stronger than I was before. I am a different person. I have created my own boundaries…MY boundaries. I make them. I define them based on a lot of prayer, guidance from people I trust and my family’s needs and well-being. I have no problem with this in many areas of my life any more, but there are a couple of areas where I make excuses about this and I can’t continue to grow in my recovery and still make these excuses.
So, there it is. 5 things I am done making excuses for. It’s a different take on Lent. Something I probably wouldn’t have come up with on my own. Something I read I probably never would have.
I am so thankful God put people in my life…in my Facebook news feed…people who are willing to be honest and vulnerable in public. People who will challenge me simply by putting themselves out there. People who will probably never know how much their words have impacted others.
I’m giving up making excuses for Lent. For life.
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