Sunday, February 19, 2012
I'll take Ashes over Blush
So I did some research before I started this blog today, and by research I mean I googled, "Why do Catholics give something up for Lent?" I figured I knew the answer, but I wanted some reassurance from catholics.org and yahoo answers I guess. Being in the South for school, I have come to the realization that Catholics here are far and few between, making a little difficult to stick to my roots. The upcoming Lenten season is giving me just the chance I need to remind me of why I'm Catholic and not any other religion.
A lot of people will look at me strange this Wednesday when I walk around campus with ashes on my forehead, because here it is still a strange concept. Now if I were to be in St. Louis, I would fit in with the majority of folks, who even if they didn't have ashes on their head, the would at least know why I did.
To a non-Catholic, especially a non-Christian, it can be a hard concept to understand why I give something up for 40 days. Their mindset is kind of how mine was growing up. I used to give up Jelly Beans every year because I knew I only ever ate them on Easter morning! I gave it up so I wouldn't have to "suffer" through those 40 days. It was easy, so I did it. Well, I'm not a kid anymore so I think about what to give up a lot more thoroughly. Last year I gave up Starbuck Coffee, like I had the last 2 years. Man that's tough. I did it because that was my 'everyday indulgence'. I drank it because of convenience (we have one on campus here and at home it was always on my way to school) I gave it up because of the fact that it was an indulgence. I didn't need to spend money(and a lot of it) on something I could make at home. You know the seven deadly sins? Well that was my gluttony.
This year, I'm giving up make-up. Unlike coffee which is an everyday thing(I like my morning cup of joe..which I now make at home) I don't always wear make-up. That's out of pure laziness, but when I don't wear it, I normally wish I were. As every girl can relate, make-up is often times the source of confidence. Covering up imperfections, dark circles, widening your eyes with mascara or eyeliner, gives you a little confidence boost, makes you feel more presentable. Well, that also leads to insecurity when you're not wearing it. But why? Shouldn't I be happy with the beauty God has given me? Why do I feel the need to cover up my freckles on my face, or mess with my big blue eyes? Yes, mascara and eye shadow can make my 'baby blues' look bigger, appear more blue, but when the mascara comes off my eyes are still just as big, just as blue.
Like I said, I'm not one to wear make-up every day, but the fact that I have come to feel like I'm less attractive, or less presentable when I'm not wearing it isn't a healthy thought. That's why I'm giving it up for 40 days. There will definitely be times where I wish I had a little mascara or cover up to 'enhance' my appearance but hopefully I will find out that I can look just as presentable with out make-up as I do with it. I can remove the stigma that a make-up-less face isn't as beautiful as a face full of it. I hope to see what God has given me is more than enough to feel confident as His creation.
What are you giving up? Even if you aren't Catholic, I encourage you to give up something that will help you see what sin exists in your life. And by removing one thing, what great happenings can occur! If you don't give up anything this year, add something. Add 20 minutes a day of reading the Bible, take a walk around the block everyday and just look at God's creation. Heck, say a prayer before each meal, thanking Him for giving you another day. Whatever you do, know that it is for God, for His son, who gave up everything so you could exist!