Tuesday, February 23, 2010

that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion.

(Can I just say that the tremendous blessing of reformed theology is that I know that line for the lie it is? But that is so NOT what I stopped in to tell you tonight.)

I stopped by to say, I'm glad you didn't come to my house today. You would have found a toddler who has cried every fourteen seconds since 5:15 a.m. (No, I don't know why. Do you? Because I would really like to know). You would have found his mostly disinterested, mostly bored, mildly irritable "big" brother who was highly prone to bite all day, with the bruises on his brother to prove it. And you would have found their mama, walking on sandy hardwoods all day long, spending the entire day reacting instead of creating anything, apologizing for being snappy only to turn around and snap again two minutes later. Today was not my finest hour.

There's nothing like missing a good night's sleep to remind me that I am but clay. It's a good thing we are working as a family to show grace to one another, because today, I need some.

Brian, God bless him, has gone to the grocery store to buy enough bananas and milk to get us through, because friends, we ate the very last meal available in the house this evening. (When there's not enough jelly left to support a PB&J, it's time to go to the store). As he was leaving, he said, "You need to take up snacking again." He wasn't kidding.

I gave up snacking for Lent. (I mostly think announcing what I'm giving up for Lent on the internet is tantamount to receiving my reward in full, but I do have a point in sharing this with you). Before you start telling me how snacking is good for you, let me say that the way I have been snacking lately is NOT. I've been grazing on crackers and whatever is on the counter all day long, never getting the real nutrition that I need, never getting completely hungry or really full. Plus, as Michelle reminded us, Lent is not a diet. I gave up snacks because in my life, I knew it would be significant enough that I would be reminded to pray throughout the day, but not so significant (like giving up sugar or caffeine) that I would not be able to function.

What I did not realize is how unbearably IRRITABLE I am when I don't snack. My guess is that it has more to do with blood sugar than with breaking a habit, because my mood has been a little more sour each day, and if it was just a matter of discipline and changing behavior I would expect it to be easier over time. So I guess my question is - Is my fatigue and my increased propensity for yelling at my children part of the sacrifice? Or should I give up my Lenten intentions? Is my foul mood evidence that, yes, it turns out sacrifice is hard, and that part of growing in spiritual disciplines is learning to deal with it? Or should I just go and eat some crackers already?

What do you think? And, if you lived with me - if, say, I had the power to put you in time-out - would you still feel the same way? Or should that even matter?

4 comments:

Colin's Mom said...

From the habit standpoint, they say it takes 7 days to break a habit. With that said, I would think it would take your body equally as long to adjust to the change in diet. I think you should give it another couple of days and you might reap the rewards for years to come, not just until Lent is over!

Stephanie said...

And then there was this:
http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/02/how-lent-that-fails-actually-succeeds.html

And Isaiah 53, which has been quoted to me twice in as many days, not in the context of my life.

The fasting God desires is compassion for others.

Thanks be to God.

Lisa said...

I'm the same way with blood sugar. If I were you, I'd allow controlled snacks...one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Make them small and healthy and then avoid any unnecessary snacking on junk. You'll still be sacrificing, but your kids won't have to sacrifice because of your grumpiness.

Maughry said...

I actually heard recently -- somewhere entirely unreliable like on the Biggest Loser or something -- that snacking is actually not good for you because its how people take in the most unhealthy/empty calories without realizing it. They recommended one pre-determined snack per day between lunch and dinner. I'm typically a snacker (hate dessert but love anything salty) but not so much since I've been on such a regular work schedule.

But, I understand Brian's comment, Lane's food intake is directly and proportionately related to his ability to drive me absolutely crazy. To that end, he has a small glass of milk and an apple with peanut butter *religiously* every single solitary afternoon.

Clearly, these are just my pratical, non-religious, thoughts for what they are worth.