six days and counting without coffee

what did you give up?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It seems that whenever it’s not the Lenten season I have no problem figuring out what I would give up for Lent. Then, the Lenten season sneaks up and I have no idea what to give up. In years past I gave up the classics: sweets, chocolate, soda. Yes, those are always challenging items. But last year, I wanted a real challenge. Last year, I gave up cheese. Yup, you read that right CHEESE. A classic Wisconsinite staple and I was abstaining from consumption of all cheese items. When it came down to the nuts and bolts of it, it included anything really with the word “cheese” in it, for example, cream cheese, cheese spread, and cheese item those were all out. 45 days without cheese may have been one of the most challenging and most difficult things I have ever done, but I did it.

Needless to say, after a year like that, I couldn’t very well “top” what I would give up this starbucks-iced-coffee-156x300year. I could come close, but nothing can top cheese.  As you know, Lent started last week and I was a half day in without coffee when I uttered the words, “well, I guess I will give up coffee for Lent.” It’s been 6 days and the effects are surprisingly sparse. Now, understand I am by no means going caffeine-free, but 45 days sans coffee seems rather similar. Rather than having a morning coffee, I opt for tea. I’ve been downing tea like a camel hoping to see the same effects as coffee, but there’s just no use. Truthfully, it’s not that bad. I can last 39 more days.

You’re probably scratching your head thinking, “Lent is only 40 days why does she keep saying 45?” Though traditional Lent doesn’t count Sundays, I do. What’s the point of giving yourself a “cheat day” when Jesus didn’t get one? What’s the point of the cheat day now? If you are giving up smoking you don’t giving yourself the option to have a cigarette on Sundays.

April 5th, you will find all of these iced coffee options (and more) in my refrigerator. Just give me a straw and I will be good to go. Starbucks should probably sponsor my iced coffee habit that day._-Stsarbucks-iced-group-shot-page-14_slide

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discipline

alleluia

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Happy Easter! Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent. After 40 days, the discipline and contemplation is over. The wait is over…and I finally devoured some cheese.

Often, during the Lenten season, we give up something — or refrain from doing something, such as consuming meat — but whatever it is, it is supposed to act as a reminder of the hardship Christ endured because of their faith.

At the beginning of the Lenten season, I wrote a blog about Lent and what the season means. You can either read it here, or see the brief synopsis:

 As you can see, Lent is about sacrifice and discipline.  Look at any successful person, the ones who have excelled in their fields, do so because of passion, endurance, and discipline. While each may exhibit unique styles and individual elements, their success ultimately runs parallel to their dedication to the defining disciplines of their field. Discipline, not individual freedom of choice, brings out the most success.

Today is about praise and discipline. As a Wisconsinite, it was a challenge to give up cheese for the 40 days of Lent. Now that the season has ended, I celebrated with cheese  I thank my lucky stars for discipline.

Make today a celebration and however you celebrate, make sure you smile.

Lent

the season is upon us

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

The Lenten season is upon us and thankfully, we’re given the freedom to choose what to give up for Lent each year. Although it would be interesting to see what others would have us give up, but that would be an entirely new blog post. Some people choose to give up a certain TV show or a particularly favorite dessert. For others, Twitter or that always faithful Diet Coke. During Lent, we are encouraged to sacrifice.

A little background for those of you who are unfamiliar with Lent. Starting Ash Wednesday (March 5th) to Easter Sunday – people will soon be discerning how this years 40 day penitential season will be impacting their lives. The season of Lent developed very early in Christian history as a period of preparatory fasting. People would refrain from certain meals and the eating of meat and cheese. They would often stick to a diet of raw fruits and vegetables throughout the 40-day season.

As you can see, Lent is about sacrifice and discipline.  Look at any successful person, the ones who have excelled in their fields, do so because of passion, endurance, and discipline. While each may exhibit unique styles and individual elements, their success ultimately runs parallel to their dedication to the defining disciplines of their field. Discipline, not individual freedom of choice, brings out the most success.

After telling my mom what I’m giving up this year, the snooze button and cheese (sorry about it, Wisconsin!), she informed me that cheese runs in our Wisconsin veins, but that is EXACTLY why I am giving it up. Lent is suppose to be about challenge, sacrifice, and discipline.  Like me, Ann Maire is going to participate in Lent. I asked her what she was giving up, and this is how she responded,

I’m not giving anything up…I’m going to try to find good in everyone I come across each day. It may not seem like a penance but each day we encounter difficult people and people we just plain don’t like so I’m going to try to see these people in a certain light and pass a smile on to them.

I admire her courage and determination to do this. This would be a huge challenge for me. If you are still looking for things to give up or take on this Lenten season, here are a few suggestions

-don’t sleep with pillows
-hot sauce
-alcohol
-meat
-no shoes
-don’t listen to music in the car, rather reflect on the beauty around us
-find the good in people, compliment one person every day
-don’t say no
-have a positive attitude

Sure, you have a few days left to prepare for the 40 days of Lent that are ahead of us, but remember you will encounter discipline along the way.