Monday, March 07, 2011

Guilt and French Fries

Guilt and french fries.

That is what I am giving up for Lent.  Not guilt about eating french fries. Guilt and french fries.

I am giving up french fries for the obvious reasons.  In the fast pace of my current life, I have made far too many exceptions in the fast food department.  It is "easier" to run through the drive-thru for lunch than to make my own {healthier} lunch in the morning and eat that.  This is the lie I tell myself so I feel better about my bad decision(s).  It is not a french fry kind of day everyday or even every week, but it is all-too-often these days, so I am giving them up.  I am giving up actual french fries, but I am also viewing them as a metaphor for all the bad stuff I justify eating.  I am hoping giving up french fries and the positive results that will bring (losing the baby weight, more energy, healthier living, etc.) will inspire me to give up other things I don't and otherwise.

Guilt.  I am also giving up guilt.  This is the thing I feel like God is really asking me to give up.  Guilt.  I carry around an unhealthy amount of guilt.  Not the good-ish kind of guilt.  You know, the remorseful kind that tells you that you've wronged another and need to do something about it.  That is good "guilt."  The kind of guilt I am giving up is the crippling, worrying kind.  I carry around an inordinate amount of this kind of guilt.  I worry that I am not doing enough at my job, at home, in relationships.  I feel guilty about everything.  Guilty that I am not a better: wife, mother, daughter and friend.  Guilty about wanting some me-time (or just a little bonus-sleep!).  Guilty about having to work.  Guilty about liking to work.  Guilty about having an off-ish kind of day at work, home or in dealing with someone.  Guilty about not being a "better Christian" or skipping my quiet/prayer time.  Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

The thing is, I know that this guilt is not of God...and that is why it has to go.  I feel sure that God's thoughts toward me are good.  He is enthralled with my beauty (even on my very worst day!).  He delights in me.  He loves me more than I could ever imagine.

Most of all, he does not want me carrying around this burden of guilt.  He wants me to live free of that...and free in general.  I believe it breaks his heart to see me so crippled by guilt and worry.  It breaks mine, too.  After all, the name of this blog and the desire of my life is to really live free.  Living free of guilt would do wonders for that desire.

So, I'm giving up guilt.  Pray for me.  I want to look back on these 40+ days as some of the most freeing and formative days of my life. 

Now...what about you?  What is God asking you to give up (or take up) during this Lenten season?  Share if you feel comfortable doing so.  I don't think sharing our sacrifices in this way is in any way bragging or anything.  I think we are on this journey together and this journey demands authenticity and honesty with each other.  I think it only when we do so that we really learn from each other.  I like to learn. :)

1 comment:

Carolina Girl said...

Wow! What a great up guilt. I too suffer from the same kind of guilt and I too know that it is not of God.

I'd love to join you, but I don't know HOW to do it. What strategies are you using when you feel the guilt coming on?