lenten journeys: self-control

Self-control is a big deal in Lent. I mean, you give up coffee for forty-seven days and you learn how automatically you tend to head for the kitchen first thing in the morning. You start to hear yourself say "NO!" a little more often, and (realizing this is very negative) begin to teach yourself to look at that nice healthy green tea and say "Yes...." (in a very cajoling "I know you don't want it, but it's good for you" sort of way). Thank heaven for soy chai tea lattes!

This year I'm finding the Lenten season to be teaching me self-control on a deeper, and probably more lasting level than the usual "giving something up" routine, tho, and I'm really glad for it. Part of what I'm doing this year, rather than simply giving things up, is trying to become a better steward of what I have - and so to begin, I made a decision to not go to the store until I'd eaten the food I already have.

Can I tell you how sick I am of frozen soup?

I love to cook. I don't have a ton of time to do it, so I tend to cook a lot over the weekend and eat leftovers all week. I also tend to make ginormous crock pots full of soup and freeze half of it for later. Kashi frozen entrees are also a staple item - and living 10 minutes from two really nice grocery stores is also handy.

It's been incredibly challenging these past couple of weeks. I don't think I realized how often I would just run to the store because I wanted something. So, after two weeks of eating mostly frozen soup, I have become a menu planner. Yes, there is still a week's worth of soup in my freezer. No, I would not starve. Yes, I might go batty if I don't eat something else. So I am going shopping today. At the small grocery store half an hour away that sells mostly organic and locally produced food, at far lower prices than the bigger and more convenient stores down the road. And I have a list.

Already, in just two weeks, I am watching my diet and my finances change for the better, just by exercising a little bit of self-control: a fruit of the Spirit that, while not absent from my life, did need a little tending to help it grow in some areas. It's been a good - if soup-y - journey thus far. And I am so looking forward to something different for dinner tonight! (Tho I will confess, in the interest of full disclosure, that I have been to the store a couple of times to pick up frozen pizza. But that was more because a frozen Kashi pizza is my Friday night thing, and not having one on hand was the result of very poor pre-Lenten planning. Next Friday's pizza is already in the freezer. And I am choosing not to have it for lunch...)

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