Today is Easter Sunday. The day that our lord and Savior rose from the grave. It marks the end of Lent as well which many of us began 40 odd days ago on Ash Wednesday. For my readers who are non Christians please don’t stop reading yet. While I am going to be talking about my own beliefs a bit in here I am also taking you on the Journey of my Lent as well. Where I gave up Chocolate for 40 + days.
Our family did manage to mark today’s occasion with the usual Easter Egg hunt, but we also all managed to load up and head to Church today. It was also a Sunday Dave is working so it was me verses 4 kids on this venture. Because I am truly blessed with friends all I had to do was drive my brood to our church and the rest would take care of itself. That is the wonderful thing about Church and what I enjoy about my Church is that everyone is welcome and given a lending hand when needed. So we were able to come and celebrate this joyous occasion where we as Christians honor the day when Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave. Giving up his own life so that we can be forgiven for our sins.
Which is the purpose of Lent, to give up something that we really love and enjoy for the 40+ days to show our love for our Lord. In our family we all do try to give up something. We gave up TV one year the whole family. Dave has given up chips something he adores greatly. I have given up different things here and there. It is hard to know what to choose sometimes because you want to pick something that is a sacrifice but also isn’t too terribly hard to give up. Some years Lent is a little easier, some years it is hard. 6 years ago when I first was attending our Church it was the first time I participated in Lent. And 6 years ago I also made the choice to give up Chocolate. Which wasn’t easy then either I was in the last trimester of my pregnancy with Diana and food and I were hard to tear apart, especially chocolate. But through Christ everything is possible, and thanks be to god I still managed to find lots of yummy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth and help me to gain 50lbs during that pregnancy.
This year I had to motives for my choice. One I wanted to do something good again meaning hard also, and well my sister’s wedding was creeping up and since I wasn’t walking to and from school with the colder weather so was the scale. So I took a deep breath and I looked myself in the mirror and I said “You know we have to give up chocolate this year!” “Really didn’t we just give that up last year?” “Nope it was 6 years ago, and unless you plan to take you keester outside and exercise it has to be done.” “You are so cruel you know.” “Yes, well someone has to be.” “Fine. Fine! I’ll do it.” Then I asked the lord to help me through this journey, as it would be extremely hard since I pretty much began and ended my days with Chocolate. It was my go to when the kids were antsy, my savior when I didn’t get much sleep and needed something to kick start my day, it was my comfort also. With 4 kids, during winter when they spent most of it inside and the twins teething to boot this was going to be hard.
So I savored my last treats and decided that I was going to start a week early as well. Now or never I said plus I wanted a grace day or two, since I wanted to treat myself on the wedding day. Italian banquet hall with the 5 course meal and dessert bar, I wasn’t going to miss that. I plunged ahead and swapped my morning Hot Chocolate, my afternoon Hot Chocolate and my kids are driving me nutty Hot Chocolate with green tea. Yes, that is so fair right? Whoohoo I am so excited. Thankfully I still had caramel and peanut butter on my side and managed to find a few stray sugary treats that didn’t contain Chocolate. Now I know a little how people with nut allergies feel, chocolate is everywhere, at least in my house. Even my body wash was chocolate scented.
The first week or two were really hard, but I knew I could do it. See I sort of used Lent and my Christian guilt to help me through. That is why I knew I could, because I would feel so guilty if I did eat it. Now I won’t say it got easier and that I didn’t mess up either. Wow did I ever mess up! But I did keep on going. I even consulted my friend over my offenses to make sure I was OK or if I had to give it up longer than Lent for my mistakes. Here is a list though of my offenses, in as best of an order as I can remember.
- Mar 3 – Out on our Geocaching event, during a pit stop at Tim Hortons, after the restroom run I just grabbed the usual 6 donuts we get and jumped back in the van. We all ate up our sandwiches and then I was half way through my Boston Cream donut when I noticed it was covered in chocolate. Yes I ate the rest, I already sinned so I might as well not be wasteful too!
- Mar 7 – Arrival day in Toronto, my grandparents bring us dinner and with that came of course my Grandma’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. Probably my absolute favorite cookie on the planet. I sadly told my grandma I gave up chocolate for lent. But she knew how much I loved them she took the efforts to find me one with little to no chips in it. She found one to be believed chip free so I ate it, on the last bite finding a chip. Oh well. I’d have eaten the whole tin for my Grandma chips and all.
- March 10 – Bridal Shower day. I went to M & M’s before hand to buy squares making sure that I bought lemon ones that I could eat. Fair enough right? So I enjoyed them, about half the pan enjoyed them too. Next day tidying up I see the box they were in and I actually now read the label. Covered in White Chocolate! Sneaky!!!! I knew they were too good to be solely Lemon. Shoot now I can’t eat anymore because of that Guilt.
- March 21 – Day after we arrive back home. Dave gets a call from his parents they want to come see the kids and are on their way, but the kids are already in bed. You can still come see us. Ok his mom asks Dave what he wants from Tim Hortons, he replies a Double Double. So I know they what the plan is. He hangs up and I say “Your mom never asked what I wanted.” Dave replied Nope. I tell him “I bet she brings me a Hot Chocolate.” Dave “Ohhhh, yah but she knows you gave it up for Lent.” His parents show up drinks in hand and his mom happily says I brought you a Hot Chocolate Missy. I smile and say thanks, then she looks at me wide eyed and remembers I gave it up for Lent. Yes I drank it! The whole large thing too! It would be rude not to!
I think that is all of them. I want to say there was maybe more, but I cannot recall. The wedding didn’t count and I made sure to enjoy my frozen Nanimo bar, and the gelato filled crepe with Chocolate drizzle on it. It wasn’t an easy journey. There were many times I was offered Chocolate and had to decline.It took a lot of my strength some days to not reach inside the Chocolate chip container too. But that is what Lent is about. Learning to be strong during hard times, that we don’t need material things in our lives to be happy. Chocolate does taste delicious but it doesn’t make me a good mother. Well sometimes it does when I’m the one passing out to the kids, then I’m the best mom ever!
I did it though! I survived. There were times when I thought I would have jumped my 3 year old for a taste of the treat in her hand. When I would have stolen a bite when my twins weren’t looking, and I would say last night was the hardest while I sat stuffing the eggs full of chocolate treats to be hidden, mere hours away from being allowed to eat it again. But I didn’t and I went to bed and made it through one more night. Now today I have managed to drink a Hot Chocolate, eat a handful of M & Ms, some mini eggs, foiled eggs, the ears off my white chocolate bunny, and a creme egg as well and it is still only 3pm with about 7 hours or so before I go to bed. I think I better eat an apple for dinner and have a glass of water.
Happy Easter to everyone!