This year for Lent, I've decided to give up sugar. A time-honored tradition exists in the liturgy of the church of giving up things for the season of Lent in order to learn the discipline of self control, and to identify with the sufferings of Christ. I've never really done this before, but I've been convicted lately that I have an addiction that I need to address that's getting in the way of making God the #1 priority in my life.
I am addicted to sugar. Like many Americans, I do the high-low of sugar addiction. And those lows are low. They can impede my ability to concentrate and work. I would love to get out of this cycle. I crave the high, the energy, the general up-ness of sugar. The endorphin rush. Even just talking about it, I can feel how much I want sugar right now (and I'm only on Day Two).
So I've decided to give up processed sugar of all kinds. I would love to give up all sugar, but that's just not reasonable for me. It's hard to throw a rock in your kitchen without hitting something that has high fructose corn syrup in it. But I'm going to be as careful as I can about that, as well. So my official goal is to avoid all sweets and sugars (sugar includes soda, coffee flavoring, non-fruit juices, all sugary drinks, all desserts--unless they are sugar free, and even then, I have to be careful about the HF-CS--all candy, chocolate, and baked goods). This is going to be intense for me. It's already been hard. But I think, with God's help, I can do it.
But since I'm doing one "abjuring", I thought I should do one "adding", too. So in addition to giving something up for Lent, I'm also adding something. I'm taking sugar out of my diet and putting fruit in. So I'm trying to eat 3-5 servings of fruit every day (not including juices, because most fruit juices are mostly sugar).
I'm also adding in a devotional reading, to support the changes I've made. I bought a Lenten Study on "freedom" that I will talk more about later. So my other addition is that I'm trying to do my one-day devotional reading every day of the 40 days until Easter.
God, please be with me. I will need it...