Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What Are You Giving Up?

My attempt to "ROAR"
I love liturgy. I love the church calendar. I haven't loved the practice of Lent. Maybe it's because I've spent so many of those seasons in a depression and don't readily welcome the darkness. It felt shaming to me when I first tried to practice it. It was just another way to throw my failure in my face. Or a way to be all tight-ass and feel holier-than-that-dude-over-there. Those things don't work for me. Sorry, tradition. I'm going to have to vomit some creativity all over you.

This year, instead of the sugar beast, or the meat, or the bread, or the caffeine, (none of which are wrong choices- they are just not mine because of my tendency toward a self-righteous attitude,) I am going to have to be more inventive in what I "give up." I'm far from being the first to shake things up a bit.

Funny, this is about giving something up. It really is. It's just also a taking on of something: freedom. And I'm all about freedom.

So in answer to that question that makes for good small talk on Ash Wednesday, what am I giving up for Lent?

My reputation.

Don't clench too tightly till you hear me out. I'm not going to start throwing underwear at rock stars or driving under the influence, or stop feeling guilty for squishing bugs. I'm not giving up my nature, I'm giving up my censorship. I'm giving up my need to keep an image of myself alive that might not be 100% authentic. I'm not saying I've not been myself for you all this time. I'm saying that I have not allowed myself to live uncensored. I have not been my whole unfiltered self. I've not said all the things I've wanted to say. I have been saving up blog posts like crazy in fear of being judged or just not having the emotional energy to engage in conflict. (Because I don't. Where does my help come from?)

So this season is going to be a season of unleashing. I am going to say everything I need to say no matter how weird it gets, and I promise it gets weird, and stop protecting myself and my reputation. I am not going to live with the regret of being quiet when I should have spoken up. Because a little piece of me dies inside every time I am not being true to myself, and I am bursting into new life this spring. The world needs MY words and I'm the only one who can give them.

I think I will be spending a good part of this season on my knees, (figuratively, because the floor is cold and my knees are cranky.) Asking for clarity. Asking for courage. Dare I even ask for confidence and the ability to not shake like a leaf whenever I tell the truth. I will ask for the willpower to not allow anyone to place their hand over my mouth, and the loudness to rebuke anyone who tries, especially if that one is me.

I may be calling on a certain few close to me to ask "Where's the poop?" It's the kind of endeavor that requires accountability. I reserve the right to choose my own counselors. :)


  1. Woo!!! I LOVE this. :) Also, as another person who struggles with what Lent means for me, I appreciate your thoughts about that.

  2. I am excited, nervous, determined. I hope I can still roar by Easter. If not, I'm sure it will have been the spiritual journey I needed to take anyway.
    I think it's permissible and if not then wildly invigorating to re-imagine some of the church practices that were invented in another time in history. If it's not feeding people now, bringing about spiritual growth, and has become about rules, then it always warrants investigation and re-thinking. Even if it is tradition. (Cue Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof). :)

  3. Thank you, Brenna. This is crazy scary. Gulp! Love to you!

  4. This made me literally grin. Here's to the free & uncensored!

  5. Thank you, Kate. Today is where the rubber meets the road and it's giving me the shakes. Your hurrah makes my day.

  6. The "NR" rated version of Jamie, a woman of No Reputation, a woman after God's own heart.

  7. Thanks, Susan. I pray I might always be so. Vulnerability feels painful but it's really a beautiful preparation for new growth. Thanks for sharing this journey. You are beauty!


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