When I set out on this alphabetical journey I had planned that my “Ls” would be “Lenten Lessons” – because for the first time in YEARS I gave something up for Lent. (Normally, I take the Lazy route and say that I will add things to my routine – that I am usually already doing or trying to do.) Not so, this year! I gave up COFFEE. If you know me, you know that I love my coffee – and I always love it in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon! It was a struggle, but I learned a lot. Namely, that I can do hard things.
[Okay, well, this looks like it’s turning into a post on my Lenten lessons – let’s go with it.]
I can do hard things.
I hate doing hard things. In fact, just yesterday, my mom and I had a conversation where she remarked, “Yeah, you hate doing things that are hard for you.”
But, come on, folks, who out there really loves challenging yourself? If you had your druthers, would you choose the challenge? If so, congratulations! You are a far higher individual than I.
So, willingly giving up coffee – something that I don’t just love, but kind of depend upon – wasn’t easy. When I told Dan what I was giving up, he responded with, “YOU – are giving up COFFEE?” Like Jessica is synonymous with coffee. So, when I heard that, there was that little voice that said, “Well, I suppose I could just say I am going to have a consistent quiet time…” and then the voice of resolve (which is stronger and louder, because it is resolved) said, “NO. You are going to DO this.”
Are any of you scared to do things? I totally am…and yet, I am also scared of not doing things. The fact that I was so comfortable in my laziness was starting to scare me. I was becoming really good at justifying reasons for not doing things; for not exercising discipline; for avoiding all manner of hard things. I was becoming so good at this – that I became the hard thing.
Whatever can you mean, Jessica? I became my greatest obstacle. The obstacle wasn’t the “doing” – it wasn’t the coffee (though, I do just love the taste of it! …so, I did allow myself decaf on Sundays)…it was me. The challenge was not just listening to the voice of God, but then believing Him, trusting Him, and relying upon Him.
I was in my own way to live the life I desire – to be the best version of myself (Catholic-ese for holiness).
This is really the perfect segue for the M & N discussions…so, stay tuned.