Chasing Contentment

Monday, August 7

Cocoa Haze
My nephew loves to ask everyone what his or her favorite this or that is. He recently asked me what my favorite food was & I responded, 'chocolate.' Hayden said, 'no, not dessert, food.' Griff said, 'that's going to be her answer either way.' And he's right.

I love chocolate. I admit it, I do. I'm eating chocolate chips as I type this, waiting for time to put the kids to bed so Mike and I can have the chocolate brownie hidden in the back of the fridge (gotta hide the egg treats from my allergic children).

For almost 15 years, I lived in Louisiana and was surrounded by the Catholic culture of the Cajuns. I love the way that Protestant churches in that area have adopted some of the more Catholic traditions. Our church celebrated Advent with a passion and Lent with a purpose. And each year, I would give something up for Lent.

The last two years, my friend, Linda, and I did our Lent together. It was wonderful to have one another there in the office for support, and I'm sure this Lenton season will be more difficult for me as I go through it without her.

Two years ago, we each chose one thing to give up, and we gave up both things together. That year, we went 40 days without chips and chocolate. Last year, we gave up candy.

Both years, I missed M&Ms like an old friend. When the kids offered to share, it was hard to say no. I admit that I sometimes smelled Griff's chocolate bars. I didn't eat, but just to inhale that lovely aroma was luxurious.

It is truthful of me to say that giving up chocolate was difficult. It is also truthful of me to say that I feel ashamed of that fact. I was humbled over and over again on a daily basis by what Christ gave up for me. That's the point of Lent, I think.

So much more did Christ long for me than I longed for M&Ms... so much more did He give up for me than I let go for 40 short days.

Now, on both Easter Sundays, I beat the kids to the Easter basket (and it was amazing how the Easter Bunny filled them with MY favorite candies). But when I think about giving up chocolate and when I think about sacrifice for a purpose, I cannot help but think of Christ and the love He showed to me.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, August 07, 2006  ]


hey girl! enjoyed the post. oh, how i remember counting down the moments til the girls were in bed so david and i could have that favorite snack together, those are awesome memories.

and yes, it is very humbling to think of how much God the Father and God the Son gave up, just becos He loved me so much. my daily life gets so busy, and i needed this reminder. thanks girl!


By Blogger Radical One, at 7:50 AM  

I enjoyed reading your post...I think because I could identify so much with it!

By Blogger Deb, at 5:45 AM  

It is amazing isn't it, when we realise how hard it can be to give up even the smaller things in life. I have never kept lent as it is not something I was ever taught to do and I associated it with pure 'ritual'. But that is assuming the people doing it are not truly thinking about it.Maybe I will have to put my thoughts into action and actually try and give something up for 40 days.

By Blogger Susanna, at 6:53 AM  

I'm sure there are some people, Susanna, who do Lent as a ritual. But for me, it's hard to give up something I enjoy and not think about it. And when I think about whatever it is, it's hard not to remember what I'm doing it for and the vast differences between what I'm doing and what Christ did. It's always a really good way to spend the Lenton season... focused on Christ.

By Blogger Chel, at 7:52 AM  

Great post! I've never participated in lent but I think many of us could do with giving something (or several somethings) up for a time.

Thanks for sharing this!

By Anonymous Blair, at 11:08 AM  

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